[R] R for simple stats

Don MacQueen macq at llnl.gov
Fri Jun 28 17:11:42 CEST 2002

If you go to the R web site, http://www.R-project.org/, and follow 
the documentation links, you will find a very good set of pdf's that 
should help a lot.

If you type
you will get the man page for mean, and see its "trim" argument.

Generally speaking, however, R is not oriented towards generating 
lots of summary stats for lots of variables with just a few commands. 
A couple of places to start looking are


At 11:12 PM -0500 6/27/02, Tim Wilson wrote:
>Hi everyone,
>I'm taking a course in statistics as part of my doctoral program in
>education at the U. of Minnesota, USA. I found R via Rpy, a python
>module that makes it possible to use R from python scripts.
>The instructor refers to SPSS a lot and that seems to be the standard
>stats tool around here. But being more of a Unix guy and not intimidated
>by programming, I'd like to see if I can do some of my course homework
>with R (probably using Rpy frequently).
>One thing I've noticed about SPSS is that it makes it extremely easy to
>generate all sorts of summary statistics including means, various
>trimmed means, skewness, etc. I've not had much luck doing similar
>things with R yet. For example, I have yet to find out how to calculate
>the skewness of a set of data. (This is a vector in R, right?) The same
>is true of trimmed means.
>I guess what I'm looking for is a reference that would point me to a
>particular R library or function for a particular statistic that I'd
>like to calculate. For example, I look up skewness and it tells me to
>use the foo function. Does such a think exist?
>I'm very impressed with what I see so far and it's likely that my
>inexperience with R at this point is making things look harder than they
>really are. But my approach has always been to jump in with both feet
>and give it a go. I haven't drowned yet.
>Tim Wilson      |   Visit Sibley online:   | Check out:
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>W. St. Paul, MN |                          | http://slashdot.org
>wilson at visi.com |  <dtml-var pithy_quote>  | http://linux.com
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Don MacQueen
Environmental Protection Department
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
Livermore, CA, USA
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