Introduction to R for C# Programmers

I wrote an article titled “Introduction to R for C# Programmers” in the July 2015 issue of MSDN Magazine. See https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/magazine/mt238409.aspx.

It’s not quite entirely accurate to say that R is a programming language. R is really a scripting language plus an environment used for statistics and data analysis. In part because of the increasing amount of data generated by software systems, the use of R has increased greatly over the past 18 months or so. R is an open source, GNU project.

Additionally, Microsoft recently acquired the Revolution R company, which made an R environment based on the Visual Studio shell, so R is now part of the Microsoft technology stack.

3D_Surface_DoubleDip_Using_R

There are many resources available on the Internet that provide an introduction to R. But the majority of those resources seem to assume that the target reader is a university student studying statistics. My goal was to get software developers up to speed with R.

In the MSDN article I show how to use R to perform three common types of data analyses: linear regression (the Hello World of data analysis in my opinion), the chi-square test for uniform distribution, and the chi-square test for independence of factors. My examples show that R is quite a bit different than C# which is a general purpose language.

In my article I point out that even programmers who don’t intend to use R directly can benefit by knowing a little bit about R so that they can effectively communicate with R language specialists if necessary.

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