Course Topics

The statistical software R is well known for its very flexible graphical capabilities that are user-friendly if one understands the R programming language. One of the greatest aspects of R is the availability of packages that can be downloaded to extend the functionality of the base software. One such package is the graphics package, ggplot2. This package is known for producing elegant, aesthetic, and complex graphics with ease compared to customizing simple R plotting commands. This short course will start by making simple graphics in ggplot2 that are similar to plots made in R using the plot() function. It will then delve into the more complex, layer-based graphics that ggplot2 is known for.

The course is designed for researchers who are searching to improve their data visualization skills.  Previous experience with R or another programming language is preferable, but not required. The course will teach participants how to make graphics such as barplots, histograms, scatterplots, box plots, density plots and also how to customize text and titles in the ggplot2 framework. The course will not cover all possible plots in ggplot2 but will teach the fundamental tools necessary in order to make any plot in ggplot2 through the use of a Baseball data example. This data covers the performance over the last two years of all pitchers currently in the Washington Nationals organization. Although the example used is entertaining, ggplot2 is used more widely to visualize data from well-designed experiments to observational studies.

LISA Short Course: Using ggplot2 to produce enhanced graphics in R from LISA on Vimeo.