Join Dr. Amelia McNamara from the University of St. Thomas for her talk on Thursday, October 15th about “Speaking the dialects of R: A case study in R syntaxes”.


Part of what makes the R ecosystem great is that anyone can create their own R package, and share it with other users (e.g., on CRAN). However, the language authors left it open for users to create “micro-languages” or “domain specific languages” within R using non-standard evaluation. The result is a diversity of different R syntaxes, the three most common being the base R (dollar sign) syntax, the formula syntax, and the tidyverse syntax. This means there are many ways to “say” the same thing in R– many coding approaches that will result in the same output and conclusions. Particularly as we recognize the need for “explicit, direct instruction in programming education” (Hermans, 2019), thinking about how to teach and verbalize these different R syntaxes is crucial. This talk discusses a case study in explicit direct programming instruction across R syntaxes.

DATE: Thursday, October 15th, 2020

WHERE: Zoom (see below for more information)

WHEN: 3:15pm

If you wish to attend a Statistics Seminar please contact Po Yang ( or Aleeza Gerstein ( from the U of M’s Statistics Department for more details.