[R] RE: Giving a first good impression of R to Social Scientists

Rau, Roland Rau at demogr.mpg.de
Thu Aug 12 12:19:30 CEST 2004


> -----Original Message-----
> From:	Vito Ricci [SMTP:vito_ricci at yahoo.com]
> do you know there are several GUI for R? See:
> R-Commander is quite like GUI of commercial softwares.
	Yes, I do know the R-Commander. But I did not want to give them a
GUI but rather expose them to the command line after I demonstrated that the
steep learning curve in the beginning is worth the effort for the final

	That is why I wanted to ask the list if anyone has faced the same
situation to persuade students to use R. Are social science students most
impressionable with some nice graphs (e.g. filled.contour) or will they get
a more positive attitude if I used the "R as an overgrown calculator" like
in Peter Dalgaards book? Or should I write an SPSS script to perform a
certain task and demonstrate how easy, compact, and elegant it is to fulfill
the same job in R? Just telling them "We will use R during our course"
without any explanation would be not a good choice in my opinion.

	As I have written before: I would like the students to trust me that
it is worth to invest some extra energy in the beginning. I do not expect to
receive any prepared demonstration from anyone of you. I am more curious
about your teaching experiences and how you got people enthusiastic to use
this software.


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