The statistics package R is Open Source, which among other things means that it is freely available for students to download and use. First developed in New Zealand, R has a fascinating history and has featured in the New York Times including follow-up.

Using R

There are three ways in which you can access R for course work:
  1. In the computer laboratories in the Mathematics and Statistics department (Start->Lab Apps->MathStat->R).
  2. Through the computers in CAL labs or in the halls of residence.
  3. Installing and using your own machine (desktop or laptop).
Select one of the links above for more information.

You can also use the graphical front-end RStudio (from the Start Menu or the Desktop icon in Mathematics and Statistics labs).


By itself R is a very capable statistics program, but you'll likely want to install extra packages to provide additional functions. Packages are being developed all the time by the R community and you may wish to access these.

Provided R is installed, you can install packages at the R prompt by typing,


If using R under Windows, you can choose Packages->Install package(s) for a list of available R packages.
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