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Introduce summary() to inspect gapminder dataset in lesson 05-data-structures-part2 #445

DiogoVeiga opened this Issue Oct 17, 2018 · 3 comments


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DiogoVeiga commented Oct 17, 2018

Currently the lesson uses str() to inspect the structure of data frames. Another quite useful function is summary(), which permits one to understand both structure and data contents of a given data frame. Moreover, summary() is a generic implemented by several classes in R (i.e. linear models).

For instance, summary(gapminder) describes the number of measurements per country and continent, as well as min, max and averages for numeric columns of the data frame.

Thus, I suggest introducing summary() along with str() to inspect gapminder in order to provide a better description of the dataset for learners. A better grasp of this dataset will also facilitate the interpretation of the graphics generated in the ggplot2 lesson.


Alternatively, this function could be introduced within Challenge 5, to allow students to interpret the output of summary(gapminder).


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naupaka commented Nov 19, 2018

@DiogoVeiga thanks for the suggestion! I did a quick check and it looks like there's no mention of summary() at all until the tidyr lesson. That seems like too late. Care to submit a PR adding in this change?

@naupaka naupaka added the help wanted label Nov 19, 2018


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echodroff commented Nov 19, 2018

I added a brief description and example of the summary() function to 05-data-structures-part2.Rmd. I'm a bit new to git though, so just navigating the pull request now.


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naupaka commented Nov 19, 2018

Thanks! No rush. Happy to help out if you get stuck or have questions.

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