R (Statistical Programming Language)

What Does R (Statistical Programming Language) Mean?

R is an open-source statistical programming language and framework that's used for a wide range of scientific applications, including machine learning. R is a popular skill requirement for job openings in artificial intelligence and data science.


R is considered to be a well-developed programming language, although it is known to be fairly unconventional when compared to other popular software development languages such as C++ or Java. What makes R stand out from most other languages is that the framework provides developers with an interactive statistical environment for analyzing and visualizing data.

Users can compile and run R on various operating systems including Windows, Unix, Mac OS X and Linux. New code and statistical techniques are shared through groups such as the Comprehensive R Archive Network (CRAN).

Techopedia Explains R (Statistical Programming Language)

Although R is known as a programming language, many programmers refer to it as software that contains a language as well as a runtime environment. It includes conditionals, loops and user-defined recursive functions, as well as and input and output facilities that facilitate the use of predictive analytics.

R, which was developed by Ross Ihaka and Robert Gentleman in the 1990s, is sometimes referred to as an open source implementation of the S programming language. The name R was chosen to reflect the creators' first names.


RStudio is an open source integrated development environment (IDE) for for data manipulation, calculation and graphical display. It includes R console, a code editor, file browser, help files and graphical display.


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Margaret Rouse is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical, business audience. Over the past twenty years her explanations have appeared on TechTarget websites and she's been cited as an authority in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine and Discovery Magazine.Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages. If you have a suggestion for a new definition or how to improve a technical explanation, please email Margaret or contact her…