This is the website and GitHub repository for the R User Group at Maastricht University (RUG@UM).


R is a programming language and software environment for carrying out computations, manipulating and analyzing data, and creating various types of plots and graphics (see the R project website for more information). R is free and open-source software and has become the ‘lingua franca of statistics’ and the software of choice for analyzing data in various disciplines.

The purpose of the R User Group is to bring together those at Maastricht University that are interested in using or that already use R (e.g., for teaching/learning purposes, conducting research, or really any type of data processing/analysis needs) and to facilitate the exchange of knowledge around R and its ecosystem.

You can see the schedule for topics we have covered in the past, the corresponding materials, and the topics for the upcoming meetings. Additional topics we might cover are mentioned here. All participants are invited to suggest additional topics.

The group is open to students at all levels, post-docs, staff, faculty members, researchers, and essentially anybody interested in learning more about R. There are no prerequisites for joining. Also, you do not have to be affiliated with Maastricht University to attend – the ‘@UM’ part of the name just refers to the fact that this is where the user group is located. Finally, there is no need to sign up or register for the meetings; just show up as as often as you can!

Notes & Philosophy

A User-Driven Club

The group is not a ‘course’, although we very much welcome people who are just starting to learn R and will provide assistance in doing so. Decisions about topics, meeting structure, and so on are made jointly by group members. We come together to learn from each other. Hence, members can present R related topics based on their experience and we can also invite guests/speakers to give a presentation on a particular topic.

Meeting Structure

In general, 45-60 minutes of a meeting are devoted to a presentation and discussion on a particular topic. The remaining time is more dynamic where (a) newcomers can examine the materials from previous meetings on their own (and, as needed, with the support from more experienced R users), (b) members can explore other topics, and (c) people can just mingle with like-minded individuals. If you need help with running certain analyses in R, you are also likely to find people at the meetings who are able and willing to help.

Since meetings are meant to be ‘hands on’ (i.e., to the extent possible, we will demonstrate, try out, and practice using R), make sure to bring a laptop to the meetings with the current version of R installed, which you can get from CRAN. A lot of people work with R via RStudio (an ‘integrated development environment’ for R), which you also might want to install (and can get for free from here).

Open Access

All materials (e.g., code, presentation slides) are openly and freely available via the GitHub repository for this website (or just go to the materials page). That way, members and those interested in joining the group can always check and stay up-to-date with what has been covered in previous meetings.