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Software Tools, spring 2008


Petri Koistinen


6 cu.


Intermediate studies.

Status and prerequisites

Anyone interested in using the R statistical computing environment can take the course Introduction to using the R software (Johdatus R-ohjelmiston käyttöön). This part of the course has no formal prerequisites. Some examples are difficult to follow if you do not have any knowledge of statistics. (Specifically, this part does not require any knowledge of Bayesian statistics.)

The course Software Tools is mainly intended for the students in the EuroBayes master's degree program in Bayesian statistics and decision analysis. The prerequisites are an understanding of Bayesian statistics (gained, e.g., by studying for the courses Elementary Bayesian Analysis or Computational Methods in Statistics).


Period III, Monday 12-14, Thursday 12-14, room C128.

The space in the computer room C128 is limited. If you are interested in either passing the R part of the course or the whole course, send email to me to the address (where first name is petri and last name is koistinen), put the phrase software tools in the title of the message, and introduce yourself.

Course description

This course actually contains a short course titled

Introduction to using the R software, 3 cu

This is an introductory course on using the statistical computing environment R. This course can be passed separately under the title Introduction to using the R software, 3 cr (Johdatus R-ohjelmiston käyttöön, 3 op).

Well, what then is R? R (GNU version of S) is a popular software environment for statistical computing and graphics. R is free, open source, and has lots of online documentation availble. Unfortunately, learning to use R on one's own is laborious, and therefore taking this course can be useful. The main topics in the R-part are the following.

  • The essentials of the R programming language.
  • Reading and writing data.
  • Further features of the R programming language.
  • R graphics.
  • Some statistical facilities of R.

Grading is binary (fail / pass). You get the credits by returning a sufficient number of solved exercises.

Suurin osa R-osion materiaalista on saatavilla suomeksi, ja suomenkieliset opiskelijat voivat palauttaa harjoitustehtävien vastaukset suomeksi. Luento-opetus pidätään englanniksi.

Software Tools, 6 cu

Those students who need (or want) to pass the course Software Tools (6 cr) will not pass the course Introduction to using the R software but only the course Software Tools. In addition to the R software, they study the following topics by means of individually tailored practical work.

  • Using the BUGS system.
  • Using computer algebra (maple or Mathematica).
  • Report writing (literature search; using LaTeX and BibTeX; preparing graphics for reports).

See this page for more details.

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