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Advanced R Paperback – Oct 28 2014

4.7 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 476 pages
  • Publisher: Chapman and Hall/CRC (Sept. 25 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1466586966
  • ISBN-13: 978-1466586963
  • Product Dimensions: 15.6 x 2.7 x 23.5 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 612 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #82,207 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description


"The book is aimed both at the veteran R user who wants to use the language to its full capabilities, and to the engineer who is entering R with experience in other languages. To either audience it is an invaluable, and irreplaceable, resource…Among the treasures of the book is the introduction of several packages, many of them authored by Wickham, which will help experienced users get more out of the language." (Journal of the American Statistical Association)

"The material is technically correct … clearly explained and carefully presented. The author has become one of the foremost authorities on this topic and is well known and appreciated throughout the entire R community. This is the great strength of the book and the primary reason it deserves to be published. It addresses a topic where there is already a growing number of books, but few have the depth, the technical accuracy, and the authority of this one."
―Bill Venables, CSIRO

"Technically outstanding … Enthusiastically recommended."
―Vince Carey, Channing Division of Network Medicine, Harvard Medical School

"In Part IV of Advanced R, the exposition is very good in that every term and concept seems to be defined and explained well, with examples to illustrate main concepts. For any reader who is sufficiently advanced to want to read Part IV, it is clear and surprisingly easy to read. There is plenty of good general advice in these chapters on programming, profiling, optimizing code, etc. that would be applicable for other programming languages. The statements and examples in these chapters seem to be quite accurate and very clear. It is nice to use a book with examples at every step."
―Maria Rizzo, Bowling Green State University

About the Author

Hadley Wickham is an Assistant Professor and the Dobelman FamilyJunior Chair in Statistics at Rice University. He is an active memberof the R community, has written and contributed to over 30 R packages, and won the John Chambers Award for Statistical Computing for his work developing tools for data reshaping and visualization. His research focuses on how to make data analysis better, faster and easier, with a particular emphasis on the use of visualization to better understand data and models.

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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The author gives an very deep insight into the way R behaves. I highly recommend it if you want to become an R professional and push the boundaries of your code. It is an essential if you want to build a package. There are lots of open-ended exercises to help you wrap your head around some concepts and the chapters are well structured with clear deliverables if you work through them, not just browsing. This book has made an impact in the way I write R code and it has helped me understand why it behaves in ways most unexpected coming from strictly procedural languages like C++ and python.
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Fantastic. This is one of the must-read books in R. The author Hadley is the Chief Scientist at RStudio. He wrote books in a very organized way and the content is very practical and useful if you want master this language.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) HASH(0xa52f09fc) out of 5 stars 35 reviews
48 of 49 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa5385b40) out of 5 stars Not how to do x, but how to understand R Oct. 20 2014
By Stephen Oates - Published on
Format: Paperback
tldr: An excellent work for intermediate to advanced users of R by one of the most prolific R package developers. Less a reference work and more a clearly written and concise course in how to understand and think about R programming more deeply.

Hadley Wickham is very well known to R users for his prolific number of packages (in a recent post called "10 R packages I wish I knew about earlier" 5 of them were produced by Wickham). This book started out as an online guide to how to write R and an attempt for Wickham to pass on the lessons he has learnt in his 10 years as a user (and producer) of R. To be clear this book is not about "how to use R to do x" in the sense of many other works. Packages are only discussed incidentally to explain how R itself is functioning in a particular case. Nor is it a reference work like Matloff's excellent The Art of R Programming: A Tour of Statistical Software Design where you would pull it off the shelf to quickly solve a problem or understand a specific issue. Instead "Advanced R" reads like a course in understanding how R works. The chapters start with overview questions to see if the chapter is applicable ("What are three properties of a vector, other than its contents?") followed by a chapter outline. There are questions after each sub-section ("What are the six types of atomic vector"). However one of the most impressive things about the work is both the readability and conciseness. Chapter 4 for example is list of functions and operators without definitions.

This may sound strange for a book aimed at pedagogy, but Wickham is aiming at not just imparting a knowledge of what a particular function does. Rather he is trying to impart a deeper level of knowledge about how R itself works. The closest analogy I can think of is that of his visualisation package "ggplot2". "ggplot2" is not just about producing a plot, but rather about understanding how static plot generation works in terms of its constituent parts (or at least one way of defining those parts). Initially its harder than "just" creating a plot, but once you become (somewhat) familiar you begin to appreciate the power of the package which is to let you pluck from the space of all plots, the particular plot you require (dplyr is another example of this). I am confident that as I work my way through this book and its exercises a similar appreciation of the power (and peccadilloes) of R will be gained.
25 of 27 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa6449b7c) out of 5 stars Excellent, optional Dec 7 2014
By Dimitri Shvorob - Published on
Format: Paperback
On first seeing the Amazon page of "Advanced R", I speculated that the book would build on "plyr" and "ggplot2" and go for "advanced" data manipulation and visualization. I was off the mark: the book mostly sticks to "base" R, and focuses on the advanced features of R language. In this regard, it resembles Norman Matloff's (fine) "Art of R Programming" - I would call "Advanced R" "Art of R Programming" on steroids, except that the book exhibits a thorough, methodical yet friendly approach not normally associated with steroid use. Much of "Advanced R" was frankly too advanced for me - for example, I skipped all of Chapter 8, talking about environments. However, I stopped and read carefully "Advanced R"'s discussion of (a) functional programming (closures, function-factory pattern, etc.), (b) object-oriented programming, (c) interfacing with C++ with Rcpp. Of these, functional-programming elements of R is an arrow that belongs in the quiver of any R programmer: should you decide not to invest in an "Advanced R" hard copy, make sure to read this material on Hadley Wickham's web site.

UPD. With the benefit of a little more life experience, I would say: don't spend your time on *any* R book. Python is the way to go.
31 of 37 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa56df03c) out of 5 stars Good book for R programmers with some experience. Oct. 9 2014
By UncleCat - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Usually I don't write a review because there are already plenty of good reviews exist. However, this is a quite new book and the only review from Mr. CharlesBabbage is, I should say, pretty unfair and biased. So I decided to write my own review.

I am an undergraduate student and have only two years of R experience. I have written some R programs and a simple package in different areas including time series, financial mathematics, data mining, bio-stat/math for my research project and course works. However, I never took a class in R and everything I learned is from Google and stackoverflow, or based on my previous experience in C/C++. That's why now I think I meet a bottleneck that I can write a usable program, but I can hardly write a beautiful and efficient program.

I learned the author Hadley Wickham from another book about R package which he also kindly posted on his website for free, and I really like his philosophy in programming. So I ordered this book to see if it can help me to overcome the bottleneck. Now I just finished reading the second chapter and have already learned a lot. I may provide more feedback as I read more, but from what I have read, I think it deserves a 5 star.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa56de810) out of 5 stars Outstanding Nov. 6 2014
By Pedro H Moy - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
First time taking the time to write a review at Amazon (will keep it short and sweet). This book is outstanding, that is, it is a simple as it needs to be, to the point, with a very clear intent. Recommended for those with basic knowledge of R whom also have thought about and struggled with some of the quirkiness of R (yes you need to know what that means). This book bridges R concepts that you have come across before (hopefully) and let slip away as you struggled to get that project done on time. Easy read worth every page. Good luck.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa5211930) out of 5 stars A must have book on R March 2 2015
By FayeCoGa - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is not a book about analytics or big data, or application of statistics. It is all about the 'R' programming language. I consider it the quintessential R reference, comparable to the work of Dennis M. Ritchie and Brian W. Kernighan in their seminal presentation of 'The C Programming Language'. For those who want to give back to the community of 'R' and analytics with interesting packages, I would definitely recommend this as the goto book. Like "The C Programming Language" book, it is succinct and concise. Worth every penny!