As a recent graduate, I can remember the moment when my classmates and I began learning how to write our own functions in R and it seemed like an impossible task. Amy Moore’s “The R Funk, A Beginner’s Guide to Creating R Functions, First Edition” explains a concept that intimidates many students new to R in a way that someone with the most limited programming experience can understand.
The text is conversational and begins by explaining functions in terms of math and algebra, and then eases into simple functions that most statistics students will easily comprehend. Ms. Moore discusses functions that are built-in to R and how to use them, how to build your own, and how to decode someone else’s function. This last part is important because whether you are a student or working as a data analyst, you will more than likely be given someone else’s code as an example at some point in time.
Ms. Moore offers ample examples and practice problems throughout the book so that the reader can gauge their understanding. The text ends with real world applications of functions, and an additional section of practice problems. I think the most beneficial part of this text is that Ms. Moore makes herself available to answer any questions the reader might have, and provides a variety of consulting, tutoring, and instruction to complement the text through her website. If you are looking for an introduction to functions, this book is for you!
Audrey Moore, MS