Data Manipulation and Scripting in R: Becoming an R-expert

  • Start Date: October 28, 2019
  • End Date: October 30, 2019
  • Time: 8:30am - 4:00pm
  • City: Revelstoke, BC
  • Venue: The Regent Hotel, 112 1 St E, Revelstoke, BC
  • Instructor: Dr. Carl Schwarz

Course Description

R is a free, open source statistical package that is increasingly being used in many fields. While R is free, it is not cheap — meaning that mastering R requires some time investment. It is particularly helpful to have some guidance in the more complex applications of R.

Class Size: class size is limited to 16 people.

Bring: Laptop computer pre-loaded with software (see below)

Prerequisites: It is assumed that participants have a basic familiarity with R — this is NOT a course for beginners of R. For example, it will be assumed that you can read basic data using read.table() or read.csv() into a data frame; that you can compute basic statistics, e.g. using the mean() function, and have a basic understanding of plotting, e.g. using basic plot() command.

Course Content

1. Quick review of basic R

  • data frames, vs vectors vs. matrices. vs lists
  • selecting rows/columns of objects
  • more advanced functions, e.g. grep, recode,
  • dealing with dates and times

2. Basic model fitting

  • The basic ANOVA and regression models using the lm() function.
  • Multiple comparisons using the lsmeans package
  • Predictions; confidence intervals for the mean and prediction intervals

3. Basic Plotting

  • Basic plotting using Base R plot(), histogram(), strip.chart(), boxplot() functions
  • Saving these for use in your reports

4. Better graphing via ggplot – much better than Base R graphics

  • Basic qplot and ggplot commands
  • More advanced features of ggplot
  • Saving ggplot graphics

5. Improve your R output

  • making nicer tables and text output
  • generating nicer reports using R Markdown (but not using Sweave)

6. Functions – generalize your work

  • how to write functions
  • different data structures for input and output (e.g. data frames, lists, etc)
  • passing data among functions; scoping rules;
  • debugging your functions
  • sourcing and function management

7. Subgroup processing

  • the plyr package – processing for sub-groups of your data

8. Bootstraping/simulation studies

  • how to find standard errors for non-standard cases



SchwarzDr. Carl Schwarz, Department of Statistics and Actuarial Science, Simon Fraser University. Carl has taught  many courses with CMI, and is back by popular request!



Required Software

  • Base R. (available for Mac, Linux, and Windoze-systems)
  • Adobe Reader
  • Microsoft Excel
  • More details about software requirements can be found here

Preparation for the course

About 2 weeks before the course you will be sent a web link where you can download pre-reading, a course manual, a set of practice exercises to load on your computer before the class, and a reminder about where to get the course software.

You will need to bring your own laptop pre-loaded with the required software and downloaded files.

Consider bringing along an external monitor and an external keyboard if you have a small laptop.

You will need to make your own hotel booking, and remember to ask for the rates we’ve arranged for people attending this course (see below).

** The course starts at 8:30 a.m. sharp, you will need to arrive before that so you can set up your computer.



Registration includes catered breaks provided by La Baguette and there is an option to add in bagged lunches for $13/day.

CMI Member: $675.00*

Non-member:  $720.00

*NOTE: You can purchase your $40 membership at the same time as you register.  See more about membership here.

Registration now closed 


Where to stay?

We have set up two room-blocks that you can take advantage of:

The Stoke Hotel has a special room rate of $89.99 + tax / night, includes continental breakfast, and new outdoor hot tub. You can book rooms at a discounted rate so long as there is availability so we recommend booking your accommodation as soon as possible. To receive this rate you must call the hotel directly at 1-877-837-5221 and state that you are with the “CMI group.” This hotel is located across on the west side of the highway but is still an easy walking distance to the college.  Ask them to direct you to the river-side path that will take you under the highway bridge.

If you prefer to stay on-site and in the downtown core of Revelstoke, the Regent Hotel is offering a rate of $129.99 = tax / night, includes hot buffet breakfast. You can book rooms at a discounted rate so long as there is availability so we recommend booking your accommodation as soon as possible. To receive this rate you must call the hotel directly at 1-888-245-5523 and state that you are with the “CMI group.”

If you are wanting to camp, we recommend the Lamplighter Campground which would only be about 10-15 mins walk from the college. This campground is well-maintained and has all the amenities. 250-837-3385.


  • Phone 250-837-9311
  • Fax 250-837-9311
  • Email

Mailing Address

  • P.O. Box 2568
  • Revelstoke, British Columbia V0E 2S0
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