Each student will be expected to introduce a package (or two) that is relevant to their research interests in a 5 minute presentation during a class session. The objectives are:

  • Learn how to find/download/install a new package and learn how to use it
  • Teach your peers about existing R packages that may be useful in their research

The presentation must include:

  1. Brief introduction: what does the package do and why is it useful? (1-2 slides, 1 minute)
  2. Author introduction: a short background (affiliation and other packages, etc.) on at least one of the package authors (1 slide, 1 minute)
  3. Simple demonstration of package code: example input/output from the examples or custom coded examples (2-3 slides, 3 minutes)

There will not be time to actually run any code on-the-fly during your presentation. Instead, copy the code and output into a presentation (powerpoint, etc.) so that you can simply display it. See an example presentation here.

To select a package, I recommend starting with the views on CRAN for a topic of interest. Then read the narrative in the task view for something interesting to you and install the package in R with install.package("packagename") in R and take a look at what it can do. Most package functions include sample code that performs a function. For example, if I was introducing the dplyr package, I might choose the filter() function. If you look in the help you will find a section called “Examples” that you can use for your example code in your presentation. All you have to do is copy-paste it from the help into the R console and them summarize what it’s doing in your presentation. For example, I might demonstrate (from the filter() documentation) that the following code will select all characters from Star Wars that are human.

filter(starwars, species == "Human")
## # A tibble: 35 x 13
##                  name height  mass    hair_color skin_color eye_color
##                 <chr>  <int> <dbl>         <chr>      <chr>     <chr>
##  1     Luke Skywalker    172    77         blond       fair      blue
##  2        Darth Vader    202   136          none      white    yellow
##  3        Leia Organa    150    49         brown      light     brown
##  4          Owen Lars    178   120   brown, grey      light      blue
##  5 Beru Whitesun lars    165    75         brown      light      blue
##  6  Biggs Darklighter    183    84         black      light     brown
##  7     Obi-Wan Kenobi    182    77 auburn, white       fair blue-gray
##  8   Anakin Skywalker    188    84         blond       fair      blue
##  9     Wilhuff Tarkin    180    NA  auburn, grey       fair      blue
## 10           Han Solo    180    80         brown       fair     brown
## # ... with 25 more rows, and 7 more variables: birth_year <dbl>,
## #   gender <chr>, homeworld <chr>, species <chr>, films <list>,
## #   vehicles <list>, starships <list>