R is an open source implementation of the programming language S, created at Bell Laboratories by John Chambers, Rick Becker, and Alan Wilks. In addition to R, S is the basis of the commercially available S-PLUS system. Widely recognized as the chief architect of S, Chambers in 1998 won the prestigious Software System Award from the Association for Computing Machinery, which said Chambers’ design of the S system “forever altered how people analyze, visualize, and manipulate data.”

Think of R as an integrated system or environment that allows users multiple ways to access its many functions and features. You can use R as an interactive command-line interpreted language, much like a calculator. Type a command, press Enter, and R provides ...

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