Five fun things you can do with R (Vol. 1)

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I’ve been having fun with R through some side projects lately. One of which involves trying to use some machine learning and evolutionary algorithms to teach my computer to draw… (I hope to share a post on that project before too long). But that got me thinking… so I decided to start a series of posts on fun projects you can do with R that I’ve either written myself or found online to re-share. Thanks in advance to all the authors of these articles. Special thanks to Ryan Timpe for the inspiration for this post1 (also see his site: http://www.ryantimpe.com/).

Yes, full disclosure I’m a bit of a geek when it comes to R (if you couldn’t guess already), but if you are just starting out maybe some of the ideas below will spark your interest about the possibilities. If you’re a more advanced R user, then maybe take a shot at completing some of these projects yourself.

So here’s the first installment:

Christmas Card by Greta Gasparac
Christmas Card by Greta Gasparac
  1. Make holiday or birthday cards. Yes, this might be the epitome of the geekiest gift you might have for someone, how cool would it be to share your love for R with your friends and family. Greta Gasparac: https://towardsdatascience.com/christmas-cards-81e7e1cce21c
Google Search history barplot by Saul Buentello
Google Search history barplot by Saul Buentello
  1. Analyze your personal Google search history. What kind of cool patterns can you find and learn about yourself? Saúl Buentello: https://towardsdatascience.com/explore-your-activity-on-google-with-r-how-to-analyze-and-visualize-your-search-history-1fb74e5fb2b6
Example Datasaur tweet by Ryan Timpe
Example Datasaur tweet by Ryan Timpe
  1. Build a twitterbot that ‘creates’ dinasaurs. Yes. Exactly as that sounds. Ryan Timpe: http://www.ryantimpe.com/post/datasaurs1/
Example Kerasaur phylogeny by Ryan Timpe
Example Kerasaur phylogeny by Ryan Timpe
  1. Use deep learning to create new dinasaur names. This is connected to the previous idea, but really cool! There are many ways you could apply this to other topics and themes. Ryan Timpe: https://www.ryantimpe.com/post/kerasaurs1/
Example Amazon book purchase history
Example Amazon book purchase history
  1. Analyze your Amazon shopping history. Here’s an older post of mine about how you can visualize your Amazon purchase history and maybe even draw some insights about yourself. WARNING: You might prefer not to see how much money you’ve been spending on all those purchases… 😆 https://lukaneg.github.io/personal-scrape.html

Have you come across or written a post about doing something fun with R? let me know! I’ll try to share it in an upcoming post. Just comment down below.

Footnote 1: Check out Ryan Timpe’s presentation about how side projects are a great way to learn on your own terms, practice, and have fun while doing so!



If you liked this post and want to learn more, then check out my online course on the complete basics of R for ecology:

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