R is an integrated suite of software facilities for data manipulation, calculation, and graphical display. It includes the following:

  • An effective data handling and storage facility.

  • A suite of operators for calculations on arrays, in particular matrices.

  • A large, coherent, integrated collection of intermediate tools for data analysis.

  • Graphical facilities for data analysis and display either on-screen or on hardcopy.

  • A well-developed, simple, and effective programming language including conditionals, loops, user-defined recursive functions, and input & output facilities.

The term “environment” is intended to characterize it as a fully planned and coherent system, rather than an incremental accretion of precise and inflexible tools, as is frequently the case with other data analysis software.

R is designed around a true computer language, and it allows users to add additional functionality by defining new functions. Much of the source code is written in R only. C, C++, and Fortran code can be linked and called at run time for computationally-intensive tasks. Advanced users can write C code to manipulate R objects directly.

Many users think of R as a statistics system. Creators prefer to think of it as an environment within which statistical techniques are implemented. R can be extended (easily) via packages. There are about eight packages supplied with the R distribution, and many more are available through the CRAN family of internet sites covering a vast range of modern statistics.

R has its own LaTeX-like documentation format, which is used to supply comprehensive documentation online (in several formats) and hardcopy.

For more information, please visit https://www.r-project.org/.