What Does R Mean?

R is a GNU-licensed free software programming language and software environment primarily used for statistical computing as well as for graphics. It is widely used by statisticians and data miners for creating or developing statistical and data analysis tools and software.


R was designed and developed by Ross Ihaka and Robert Gentleman. The name “R” was partly derived from the first letters of the authors’ names and also as a play on the name of the S programming language.

Techopedia Explains R

The R programming language provides a wide selection of graphical and statistical techniques such as linear and nonlinear modeling, classification, clustering, as well as classical statistical tests and many others. It is an extensible language, which allows the creation of new functions and extensions, such those being developed by the R community.

R is also considered a data analysis software that data scientists, analysts and statisticians use for statistical analysis, predictive modeling and data visualization. This is done by writing functions using the lexicon of the language. It is object oriented and provides objects, functions and operators to make data exploring, modeling and visualizing very natural.


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Margaret Rouse

Margaret 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 IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.