Class Central is learner-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.

Harvard University

Data Science: R Basics

Harvard University via edX


The first in our Professional Certificate Program in Data Science, this course will introduce you to the basics of R programming. You can better retain R when you learn it to solve a specific problem, so you'll use a real-world dataset about crime in the United States. You will learn the R skills needed to answer essential questions about differences in crime across the different states.

We'll cover R's functions and data types, then tackle how to operate on vectors and when to use advanced functions like sorting. You'll learn how to apply general programming features like "if-else," and "for loop" commands, and how to wrangle, analyze and visualize data.

Rather than covering every R skill you might need, you'll build a strong foundation to prepare you for the more in-depth courses later in the series, where we cover concepts like probability, inference, regression, and machine learning. We help you develop a skill set that includes R programming, data wrangling with dplyr, data visualization with ggplot2, file organization with UNIX/Linux, version control with git and GitHub, and reproducible document preparation with RStudio.

The demand for skilled data science practitioners is rapidly growing, and this series prepares you to tackle real-world data analysis challenges.

Taught by

Rafael Irizarry


4.5 rating, based on 12 Class Central reviews

4.4 rating at edX based on 170 ratings

Start your review of Data Science: R Basics

  • Perfect! I loved the course and I'm going to complete the whole Harvard's Data Science program (9 courses ahead). I liked the instructor, the subject is perfectly clarified and the videos are engaging. The course is very concise - no chance to get bored. Perfect solution for everyone who looks for R fundamentals and basic statistics course in one place.

    I also liked that the course is integrated with DataCamp, allowing you to use your new R coding skills in practice. By the way, after completing the course, if you sign up to DataCamp, you'll receive statement of accomplishemet also from there.
  • Profile image for Omer Salih
    Omer Salih
    I am a statistician. I received an introduction to the R language. I need more practical applications and installing methods for dealing with it in the field of statistical analysis and statistical programming. It is considered an essential and modern entry point for joining distinguished jobs.
  • Morah Ofunne Anthony
    My name is Morah Anthony a Nigerian. Am 34 years old. My qualifications are master in science education, bachelor in Physics and a diploma in electrical electronic engineering, with various professional certification worthy of mentioning is my certi…
  • Profile image for Akhil Vatsa
    Akhil Vatsa
    The course covers most of the basics you'll need in R. I have had a little experience with data science and R language in general, and the course sufficed as a refresher for me. Prof Irizarry takes you through a series of hands-on R applications with assignments on datacamp.
    I'd recommend it to any beginner who wants to grasp a broad concept and applicability of R language, though the concepts don't go very deep in general.
  • I found it to be an engaging introduction to R. In it base functions and some verbs of the popular R package dplyr were taught. Practice exercises were done in the Datacamp console which I appreciated, especially since I am already familiar with it. The professor was clear and the lessons were well paced. I am looking forward to the rest of the courses in this series.
  • Anonymous
    I just finished the course. I believe it provides a fairly simple introduction to R programming. The course is well structured, video lectures are good. The fact that key points are written under the video is quite helpful if you need a quick reminder when working on the assignments.

    I did not think the course was particularly hard. If you have some programming experience you will certainly face no problems. If you are new to programming this is also quite doable, assessments walk you through the solving problem process and you can always return to the lectures. I finished the course in less than a week probably took me about 5 hours in total.
  • Good to do something new at this point when we are on lock down.. Am very sure this classes will help in improving me skill in every area and that's why I want to engage my self it... Rite now don't really know when this lock down will be over so is best I do something that will help in improving and make me a better citizen of my country Nigeria..
  • Profile image for Susann
    The course explains the basics very well. The exercises are useful, but the instructions on Datacamp are sometimes not clear. However, discussions in the forum helped to clear those questions.
  • Profile image for Claudia Scwz
    Claudia Scwz
    A really good introduction to R! You'll get to know a great deal in a concise and fun way.
    I recommend consulting the textbook here and there.
  • The course is well designed and is very good introduction to R and examples makes things easy to understand. Recommended for any begginer.
  • Anonymous
    Challenging but very doable. I wish the assents were a little bit better constructed, but they still are great for learning.
  • I like it The University of Hartford is a private university in West Hartford, Connecticut. Its 350-acre main campus extends into neighboring Hartford and Bloomfield

Never Stop Learning.

Get personalized course recommendations, track subjects and courses with reminders, and more.

Someone learning on their laptop while sitting on the floor.