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The Many Faces of R

Some days I see R as an eclectic programming language preferred by scientists.

“Programming languages as people.”


From Leftover Salad (David Marino).

Other days I see it more like the following.

“Statistical tools as cars.”

Shared previously by Darren L. Dhaly and brought to my attention by post by Dimitri Liakhovitski, not sure of original source.

(Apologies to SPSS, I haven’t used the system and don’t have any strong opinion about it one way or another.)

Categories: Opinion

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Data Scientist and trainer at Win Vector LLC. One of the authors of Practical Data Science with R.

3 replies

  1. in the beginning, i.e. 370 days, SAS was seen as what the adults used while SPSS was for the kiddies. in large measure this was because Goodnight was a card carrying stat guru. SPSS pre-dates SAS by some years. SAS started in hard science, while SPSS meant Statistical Package for the Social Sciences. eeewww! that view has, if anything, gotten stronger over the years. both were more user friendly, a bit, than BMDP.

    1. I was surprised to learn from my graduate advisor (in the social sciences) that when he first learned statistics, there was no SPSS GUI whatsoever. In retrospect, of course there had to be such a time given how long SPSS has been around. But today a primary justification of SPSS (perhaps the only one) is its GUI, which spares the user from having to know basically anything about its language.

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