Statistics 200 , fall 1997

Statistical Computing Laboratory

Instructors: Brendan Murphy and David Pollard
Class hours: Friday 2.30-5.00 Stat Lab, 140 Prospect

This class provides an introduction to the S-Plus statistical language. S-Plus (marketed by MathSoft) is based on the S language developed at Bell Labs by John Chambers and Richard Becker. It has become the accepted language for advanced statistical computing. New advances in statistical methodology are routinely made available as S-routines.

Unlike statistical packages such as SAS, Systat, SPSS or BMDP, S is a language for expressing statistical models and statistical procedures. There are many functions available in S for performing the routine statistical procedures such as regression, analysis of variance, survival analysis, plotting, tables; however, the essence of S is that you can modify the available functions, and write your own functions, to get what you want.

Requirements of the course

Classroom exercises to be handed in each week. You should be able to work through the material during the class time.

Please bring a floppy disk to each session to save your work

Topics to be covered

Click on the class number to view the corresponding handout for the lab session.
The first five weeks will provide a crash-course in S-Plus.

At the moment the links point to the lab sessions for last spring. We will be making some changes to the details, and perhaps to the ordering of sessions, as the course unfolds. (We like to learn from our mistakes.) We will flag the sessions as [Fall97] when they have been updated.

  1. [Fall97] Getting into and out of S-Plus. Help! Saving your work. Incorporating S-Plus output in reports. Introduction to lists, vectors, matrices, functions, and graphics. An illustrative example.
  2. [Fall97] Reading data from other sources; data from WWW sites (such as StatLib at Carnegie-Mellon University, and the U.S. Census Bureau). Data frames. Evaluation frames. Libraries. Search lists.
  3. [Fall97] Fancier graphics: beyond the defaults. Multiple plots per page, split screens, "graphics frames".
  4. [Fall97] Manipulation of matrices, arrays, and tables. Cross-tabulation of data. Factors.
  5. [Fall97] More about functions. Default arguments, variable numbers of arguments, return values. Idiot-proofing. Looping and conditional computations.
    End of crash course in S-plus
  6. [Fall97] Data structures. Regression and model fitting. Manipulation of lm objects.
  7. [Fall97] Low-level graphics. Construction of customized plots.
  8. [Fall97] Fancy pictures: Trellis graphics.
  9. [Fall97] Classes and methods.
  10. [Fall97] Can you trust qqnorm()?.
  11. [MISSING] Special projects.
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Or: Look at: (look under ABOUT THE STATLAB for Course Materials then follow the links through to this page).