Truth, Beauty, and Data

Due by 11:59 PM on Monday, September 4, 2017


Read through the entire syllabus and assignments page.

Reflection memo

Write a 500-word memo about the assigned readings for this week. You can use some of the prompt questions there if you want. As you write the memo, also consider these central questions:

E-mail me a PDF of the memo.

Become familiar with RStudio and R Markdown

Follow the instructions at the class page and install R, RStudio, and all the tidyverse packages. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask me or your classmates for help!

In the next assignment, you’ll play with actual R commands and create graphics. Before we get there, you need to familiarize yourself with RStudio. Go through this short tutorial and let me know in an e-mail that you did it.

Finally, you will write future memos and homework assignments in R Markdown instead of Word. RStudio has a helpful tutorial and a short video about R Markdown. Go through these short lessons:

Before doing these R Markdown tutorials, you’ll need to install a couple more R packages. Use RStudio’s “Packages” panel to install rmarkdown and viridis. Alternatively, paste these commands in the RStudio Console: install.packages("rmarkdown") and install.packages("viridis"). You can also type install.packages(c("rmarkdown", "viridis")) to install both at the same time.

Don’t worry if you don’t completely understand R Markdown! We’ll go over it at the beginning of class next Tuesday. Try your hardest and play around with it.

Also, if you want to convert R Markdown files to PDF instead of just Word or HTML (which you do), you’ll need to install LaTeX, which is a fancy scientific typesetting program. You don’t need to know how it works—it just has to be installed for R to use it.

If you’re feeling adventurous, generate something with R Markdown and e-mail that to me too.

Go through the tutorials, play around with R Markdown, and e-mail me to let me know you did (or that you tried).