[R] Problems for 13 year old

Frank E Harrell Jr fharrell at virginia.edu
Fri Jan 24 15:12:12 CET 2003

On Fri, 24 Jan 2003 08:20:20 -0500
ggrothendieck at yifan.net wrote:

> I would like to teach some scientific/statistical computing to my 13 
> year old nephew and was considering using R for this.  He has a Mac G3 
> OS 9.1.
> I am looking for ideas for problems that would be interesting and 
> motivating for someone that age.  I recently taught him the basics of 
> HTML and noticed that he particularly was intrigued by the ability to 
> change colors; thus, perhaps problems that involve flashy color plots 
> would keep his attention.
> Thanks for any ideas.
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I applaud this effort, and am beginning to teach R to my 13 and 10 year olds.  One thing that really grabs their interest is learning commands such as

   rep('Dad is a task master', 5000)

and paste(c('Joe','Sally','Roger'),'is not playing with a full deck.')

Please post a summary of responses to your note.  I am also considering having my kids go through the book "Computer Programming for Dummies" 2nd edition by Wallace Wang (New York: Hungry Minds, Inc, 2001) which looks pretty good.  It mainly teaches using a free version of Basic but introduces many other languages including Java and has a lot of good background information about computers and what programming entails.

Frank E Harrell Jr              Prof. of Biostatistics & Statistics
Div. of Biostatistics & Epidem. Dept. of Health Evaluation Sciences
U. Virginia School of Medicine  http://hesweb1.med.virginia.edu/biostat

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