R refers to both a programming language for statistical computing and software. It is a free and open source project. We will be doing all of our data analysis using the R programming language.


RStudio is a commercial organization that offers a free and open source version of desktop software. The RStudio desktop software is an integrated development environment. Which is to say, it is software for executing R code. RStudio has several benefits over the base R software.

Syzygy (Optional)

The R and RStudio software are available for Windows, Mac, and Linux operating systems. Neither will operate on a tablet or Chromebook. If you are using a tablet or Chromebook, you can run R in a web browser using a web application called Jupyter Notebook. A Jupyter Notebook that has been set up to run R is available to UBCO students at You can sign in to Syzygy with your CWL.

Jupyter Notebook is an entirely separate interface from RStudio. The R code is the same, but the interface is difference. We recommend using RStudio if possible, not because it is better, but because it is what we will be using. However, if RStudio is unavailable to you, or you just want to use Juptyer, then you should feel empowered to do so. You can absolutely be successful in this course using Jupyter.


If you are using a Mac, you will need to install XQuartz. XQuartz is required to install some of the R packages we will make frequent use of throughout the course. It is free and open source.


Office hours with the lab instructors will be held via Zoom.


We will use Canvas to share information and documents, including data sets, slides, and other useful materials.