Teaching a Class of Undergrads, RStudio Server, and My Ubuntu Machine

February 2, 2014

(This article was first published on Data and Analysis with R, for Fun (and Maybe Work!), and kindly contributed to R-bloggers)

I was chatting about public speaking with my brother, who is a Lecturer in the Faculty of Pharmacy at UofT, when he offered me the opportunity to come to his class and teach about R.  Always eager to spread the analytical goodness, I said yes!  The class is this Friday, and I am excited.

For this class I’ll be making use of RStudio Server, rather than having to get R onto some 30 individual machines.  Furthermore, I’ll be using an installation of RStudio Server on my own home machine.  It gives me more control and the convenience of configuring things late at night when I have the time to.

While playing around with the server on my computer (connecting via my own browser) I noticed that for each user you create, a new package library gets built.  That’s too bad as it relates to this class, because it would be neat for everyone to be able to make use of additional packages like ggplot2, dplyr and such, but this is an extremely beginner class anyway.

I’ve signed up for a dynamic dns host name from no-ip.com, and have set the port forwarding on my router accordingly, so that seems to be working just fine.  I just hope that nothing goes wrong.  I need to remember to create enough accounts on my ubuntu machine to accommodate all the students, which will be a small pain in the you-know-what, but oh well.

As for the data side of things, I’ve compiled some mildly interesting data on drug-related deaths by council area in scotland, geographical coordinates, and levels of crime, employment, education, income and health.  I only have an hour, so we’ll see how much I can cover!  Wish me luck.  If you have any advice, I’d be happy to hear it.  I’ve already been told to start with graphics :)

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