Workshop Description (Introductory Course)

R ( is a free software environment for statistical computing and graphics. First, this workshop introduces basic concepts, syntax, and usage in R programming, statistical analysis, and visualization techniques. We will conduct hands-on tutorials throughout the session, giving attendees a chance to see R in action. This course is a pre-requisite for several other Collaboratory workshops.

This workshop is geared towards researchers who have little or no experience with R who want to get started with importing data into R and visualize it. This workshop will provide resources for data wrangling, visualization and cover principles and best-practices for robust and reproducible data visualization. If you are interested in any particular R/Data Visualization tool, please contact the instructor in advance and effort will be made to cover topics of community interest.

Workshop Materials

Basic R

  • Introduction to R and R Studio
  • Importing data
  • Data structures and organization

Course materials can be found here.

Day 2:

Data Wrangling and Visualization

  • Data Wrangling and Organization with dplyr
  • Guiding Principles in Data Visualization
  • Data Visualization in practice with ggplot2 and pheatmap.

Day 3:

Data Visualization and Writing Reports

  • More examples with ggplot2
  • Using Rmarkdown to create reproducible reports

Technical Requirements

Technical Requirements


Dr. Alex Brummer is a postdoctoral scholar in Dr. Van Savage’s group through the Depts. of Biomathematics and of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology. Alex is working with the lab software Angicart to digitally reconstruct and analyze vascular tissues from medical images spanning multiple modalities (e.g. MRI, CT, and micro-CT) to search for geometric signatures of disease and recovery. Concurrent with this, Alex is developing and testing new models for asymmetric branching in vascular networks that relate the degree or pattern of asymmetry to biological scaling exponents that encapsulate how metabolic rate, heart rate, and lifespan change with body size across species. Alex earned B.S. degrees in physics and mathematics at Oregon State University, and his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in physics at the University of Arizona. Email:



Excellent workshop! I attended other R workshops in the past, but this was by far the clearest and most useful. Well done!

Winter 2020 Student

This is one of the best instructional seminars I have attended at UCLA – bravo to the instructor!

Winter 2020 Student

This course was perfect for my level (never used R before).

Fall 2019 Student

I had some familiarity with R, but the use of boolean functions was new very useful to me. This is exactly what I was hoping for, i.e. learn some new ‘R tricks’, thank you for the excellent course and keep up the great work!

Fall 2019 Student

Really clear, nicely paced, and provided a really supportive environment in which to ask questions. Would definitely recommend.

Spring 2019 Student

Class was very well organized and the instructors were amazing!

Spring 2019 Student

Workshop Details

Prerequisites: None
Length: 3 days, 3 hrs per day
Level: Introductory
Location: Collaboratory Classroom  (Boyer Hall, 529)
Seats Available: 28

Spring 2020 Dates

April 21, 22, and 23
9:00 AM to 12:00 PM