Note: Most of the content is still from Fall 2022 and will be updated once Spring 2024 shapes up.


On this is an online class, lectures are a combination of slides, short videos – and required reading plus self-guided exercises. We will aim to upload the lecture slides weekely.

Lecture Schedule

For each week, deliverables consists of

  • two pdf lecture note slide decks,
  • (generally) two (or three) short videos
  • a weekly overview video.

A (tentative, subject to change) list of lectures, generally two per week over a full (Spring) term, follows:

Week Starting Topics
1 Jan 16 Course Overview, RStudio, GitHub, General Setup
2 Jan 22 Shell Lectures I and II
3 Jan 29 Lecture on sed and awk; Markdown
4 Feb 5 Git Lectures I and II
5 Feb 12 SQL Lectures I an II
6 Feb 19 R Foundations; R Data Input/Output
7 Feb 26 R Data Wrangling; R Scripting
8 Mar 4 data.table; dplyr
Mar 11 Spring Break: No Classes
9 Mar 18 Parallel R; Efficient R
10 Mar 25 Visualization I and II
11 Apr 1 Shiny; Guest Lecture (TBD)
12 Apr 8 R Packages Lectures I and II
13 Apr 15 GitHub Actions; Docker
14 Apr 22 No lectures – time for project
15 Apr 29 No lectures – time for project

Weeks 12 and later will not be part of quizzes. This gives extra time for the optional (but recommended) project work.

Office Hours

Title Name Location Hours Type / Booking
Instructor Dirk Eddelbuettel Zoom Mon 11am - noon Open
Zoom Mon 6pm - 7pm Open
Zoom via booking system Thu 7pm - 8:30pm 15m, one-on-one
TA Linjun Huang Zoom Wed 11am - noon Open
Zoom Fri 11am - noon Open

We offer two types of office hours. The first type is open with an open door where you can walk in and out, attend every week, or never—as you see fit. The second type are individual one-on-one office hours that fifteen minutes each, and which you book via the calendly link above. We expect that you limit your use of these to two per term. The booking system only allows one week out so please be considerate of your fellow students. Under genuinely exceptional circumstances, additional visits can be scheduled on demand. (Note that the Zoom links above differ per time slot. Make sure you pick the correct one.)

The same table is at syllabus/overview. For online office hours, links for the sessions will be emailed via compass2g announcement emails.

PrairieTest – Computer-Based Testing Exams

The following dates have been (tentatively) reserved (but are as always subject to change):

Quiz First Date Last Date Self-Reserve Weeks Covered
Quiz 1 (Shell, Markdown) Feb 8 Feb 11 Jan 25 @ 01:00 Weeks 2 and 3
Quiz 2 (Git, SQL) Feb 22 Feb 25 Feb 8 @ 01:00 Weeks 4 and 5
Quiz 3 (R Part I) Mar 5 Mar 8 Feb 22 @ 01:00 Weeks 6 and 7
Quiz 4 (R Part II) Mar 28 Mar 31 Feb 29 @ 01:00 Weeks 8 and 9
Quiz 5 (Visualization, Shiny) Apr 11 Apr 14 Mar 28 @ 01:00 Weeks 10 and 11

Quizzes follow the bi-weekly schedule of the homework, and cover the same (typically two week) set of lectures, and are also not cumulative. You are responsible for scheduling your quiz, and you can schedule your exam time within these windows via the PrairieTest site exam will be a session of 50 minutes. These are in-person exams.

Under exceptional circumstance, accomodations may be made by course staff upon written request (also see email etiquette) with proof of exceptional circumstances to allow for online exams for fully-remote students not residing in Urbana-Champaign for the full length of term. Again, proof of such cirumstances will be required as this must be need-based and is not an elective choice for Urbana-Champaign based students who are expected to test at the CBTF facility in person. Requesting online testing when you were able to attend the CBTF in person may be treated an academic integrity violation with its full consequences.

Please consult the PrairieTest and CBTF sites for full details.


We aim to have a homework each other week prior to the PrairieTest quiz.

Week Given Due
Homework 1 (Shell, Markdown) – Week 3 Feb 1 @ noon Feb 7 @ noon
Homework 2 (Git,SQL) – Week 5 Feb 15 @ noon Feb 21 @ noon
Homework 3 (R Part I) – Week 7 Feb 27 @ noon Mar 4 @ noon
Homework 4 (R Part II) – Week 9 Mar 20 @ noon Mar 27 @ noon
Homework 5 (Visualization, Shiny) – Week 11 Apr 4 @ noon Apr 10 @ noon

These are indicative dates which may be adjusted as needed.

Homeworks are generally released at noon, and due a week later at noon. Note that as the spring break, as well as ‘busier’ times at the CBTF site have to be accomodated, not all homeworks follow the Thursday to Thursday schedule. Graduate students receive (generally two) additional required questions. These questions are typically more substantial in nature and require extra effort than the regular questions for both undergraduate and graduate students. Undergraduates may opt to answer one or both of these questions for additional points, or challenges. Scoring is however capped at 100%.

Project Presentations

For the Spring 2024 term, presentations will likely be again recorded Zoom videos. The general idea is to have five minutes per team along with five slides per team. Both limits are hard. You are expected to produce presentation-ready slides (in either html pdf) via the R / RStudio environment based on either markdown or quarto. ).

The overall deadline for the projects will be noon on Reading Day, May 2 at which point we will snapshot the repositories. You will continue to have write access and can make changes, however only changes made prior to noon on May 2 will be evaluated for the project grade.