[R] R routines vs. MATLAB/SPSS Routines

Prof Brian Ripley ripley at stats.ox.ac.uk
Wed Oct 3 10:57:05 CEST 2007

On Wed, 3 Oct 2007, Patrick Burns wrote:

> I don't think it is so much that the R routines
> work faster/more efficiently/more accurately
> but that the user works faster/more efficiently/
> more accurately.

And in particular a user can do many informative/insightful/penetrating 
statistical/graphical analyses that are not readily available for Matlab 
or SPSS.

In the case of the distribution functions it probably is the case that the 
distribution functions ([dpq]xxxx) are more accurate than other sources, 
thanks to the sustained efforts of Martin Maechler and others.

> Patrick Burns
> patrick at burns-stat.com
> +44 (0)20 8525 0696
> http://www.burns-stat.com
> (home of S Poetry and "A Guide for the Unwilling S User")
> Matthew Dubins wrote:
>> Hi all,
>> I've become quite enamored of R lately, and have decided to try to teach
>> some of its basics (reading in data, manipulation and classical stats
>> analyses) to my fellow grad students at the University of Toronto.  I
>> sent out a mass email and have already received some positive
>> responses.  One student, however, wanted to know what differentiates the
>> routines that R uses, from those that MATLAB and SPSS use.  In other
>> words, in what respects do R routines work faster/more efficiently/more
>> accurately than those of MATLAB/SPSS.
>> I thank you in advance for any answer you can give me (or rather, the
>> inquiring student).
>> Cheers,
>> Matthew Dubins

Brian D. Ripley,                  ripley at stats.ox.ac.uk
Professor of Applied Statistics,  http://www.stats.ox.ac.uk/~ripley/
University of Oxford,             Tel:  +44 1865 272861 (self)
1 South Parks Road,                     +44 1865 272866 (PA)
Oxford OX1 3TG, UK                Fax:  +44 1865 272595

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