Supercomputing for Everyone Series: Introduction to R for Biologists

Supercomputing for Everyone Series: Introduction to R for Biologists

October 27, 2020 - 1:00pm to 4:30pm

Instructor: Sheri Sanders

In this three day workshop, learn about the basics of the R language - structure, data types, and functions - that will help you read and write R. 

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Event Categories:  Workshops

A lecture and Lab will be taught on each day, October 27, November 3, and 10 from 1pm - 4pm, Eastern Time.

Registration deadline is October 25th at 5pm EST!  

Registration Details: If you do not have Indiana University / IUPUI login credentials: Choose "I am not an employee or student of IU/IUPU". If you have never signed-up before choose SIGN UP FOR AN ACCOUNT. An email with an activation link will be sent to the email you use to create your account. Once you confirm your account go back and choose "I am NOT an employee or student of IU/IUPUI" again. Enter your new account credentials. Confirm that you would like to register.

The goal of this course is to help participants get started in R, so they’ll be able to read and write code, and figure out where to get help when needed.

This workshop covers three major concepts in R:

  • The general syntax of the language, the basic data types, and how to manipulate them.
  • Introduction to the two different plotting paradigms in R, and visualizing GIS and ordination as examples of plotting different data.
  • How to read and write functions in R.

The course does not focus on any particular analysis, but uses DNA sequences as a case study to apply the material covered. We will also cover how to use Jetstream (the research cloud) to power analyses in RStudio. Use of personal installations on laptops is fine for the workshop; however, we will not troubleshoot individual installations during class.

Format: All participants in the course will be directed to a pre-made Virtual Machine with RStudio installed and all necessary packages loaded.  You are free to use your own installation of RStudio, however, support for troubleshooting individual installations is not available as that is tremendously time consuming.

Course materials are all available in pdf textbook format with links to video lectures on YouTube.  These parts will be self-guided.  The labs are also available as textbook chapters.  All answers to problems in the labs can be filled in on Canvas quizzes to get immediate feedback.  The answers are also available in pdf if you prefer that route.

Instructors will hold live office hours via Piazza on Tues from 1-4:30PM EST to answer questions and provide insight on the lecture and lab sections.  We will also be answering questions throughout the week, so if the time does not work for your schedule, you can still take the course!  We will also be adding supplemental videos for the course to answer common questions, additional tips, etc.  



Tentative Schedule

Tuesday, Oct 27:  Chapter 1 - Intro to R Language and Data Types; Chapter 2 - Lab I: DNA words (practice for vectors and syntax)

Tuesday, Nov 3:   Chapter 3 - Intro to Graphing and Visualization in R; Chapter 4 - Lab II: Metagenomic Analysis with PCA/PCoA (practice for visualization)

Tuesday, Nov 10:  Chapter 5 - Intro to Reading and Writing Functions in R; Chapter 6 - Lab III: Writing a Sliding Window Analysis Function (practice for functions and all other skills)


For more details and registration, visit:

For questions/more information, contact Robert Ping


Date(s): October 27, 2020 from 1:00 - 4:30 p.m., November 3, 2020 from 1:00 - 4:30 p.m. and November 10, 2020 from 1:00 - 4:30 p.m.

Online - Canvas/Piazza
United States