Some 22 faculty, staff and students at Cal State San Bernardino are taking advantage of a three-day institute to learn “R,” a programming environment used primarily for computational statistics, which is being facilitated by Michael Tsiang, who teaches statistics at UCLA.

R, also known as “The R Project for Statistical Computing,” is an open-source, free software environment for statistical computing and graphics. It compiles and runs on a wide variety of UNIX platforms, Windows and Mac operating systems, and is used in finance, STEM disciplines, psychology and other statistics-intensive disciplines.

And because it is open source, anybody can contribute packages to accomplish particular computational goals.

The three-day institute that began March 21 and runs through March 23 was offered through the CSUSB Faculty Center for Excellence and was a collaboration between Academic Technologies & Innovation and Academic Research. Previous initiatives at CSUSB included institutes on ATLAS.ti and JMP.

The institute is part of a larger campus initiative to create and support learning communities around research topics that transcend disciplines, such as research methodologies and academic research software, said Mihaela Popescu, the faculty director for Academic Technologies & Innovation and an associate professor of communication studies.

Tsiang, who has a doctorate in statistics and climate science from Stanford University, is passionate about teaching statistics. “There are two parts to what I do: teaching and statistics,” he said. “I enjoy teaching because I like to help others and facilitate their learning. And I like statistics because no matter what discipline you are in, you are going to need data and data analysis. Statistics is the only principled way to do that.”

Some 22 faculty, staff and students at Cal State San Bernardino took advantage of a three-day institute to learn “R,” a programming environment used primarily for computational statistics
The three-day institute that took place March 21-23 was offered through the CSUSB Faculty Center for Excellence and was a collaboration between Academic Technologies & Innovation and Academic Research. Previous initiatives at CSUSB included institutes on ATLAS.ti and JMP. Photos: Peter Acosta/CSUSB

Three-day institute at CSUSB focuses on learning ‘R’ programming environment