Online ggplot workshop

University of Connecticut


May 1, 2020

2:00 pm - 5:00 pm

Instructors: James Mickley, Dyanna Louyakis, Timothy Moore, Kendra Maas, Jeremy Teitelbaum

Helpers: Eliza Grames, Michael LaScaleia, Megan Chiovaro, Jie Chen

General Information

Software Carpentry aims to help researchers get their work done in less time and with less pain by teaching them basic research computing skills. This hands-on workshop will cover basic concepts and tools, including program design, version control, data management, and task automation. Participants will be encouraged to help one another and to apply what they have learned to their own research problems.

For more information on what we teach and why, please see our paper "Best Practices for Scientific Computing".

Who: The course is aimed at graduate students and other researchers. You don't need to have any previous knowledge of the tools that will be presented at the workshop.

Where: This training will take place online. The instructors will provide you with the infromation you will need to connect to this meeting.

When: May 1, 2020. Add to your Google Calendar.

Requirements: Participants must bring a laptop with a Mac, Linux, or Windows operating system (not a tablet, Chromebook, etc.) that they have administrative privileges on. They should have a few specific software packages installed (listed below).

Accessibility: We are dedicated to providing a positive and accessible learning environment for all. Please notify the instructors in advance of the workshop if you require any accommodations or if there is anything we can do to make this workshop more accessible to you.

Contact: Please email , , , or for more information.

Code of Conduct

Everyone who participates in Carpentries activities is required to conform to the Code of Conduct. This document also outlines how to report an incident if needed.

Collaborative Notes

We will use this collaborative document for chatting, taking notes, and sharing URLs and bits of code.


Please be sure to complete these surveys before and after the workshop.

Pre-workshop Survey

Post-workshop Survey


Before Pre-workshop survey
14:00 Plotting in R with ggplot2
15:30 Afternoon Break
15:45 Advanced plotting and publication-quality graphs
16:45 Wrap-up
17:00 Post-workshop Survey
17:10 END


Plotting in R with ggplot2

  • Reading in Data
  • Making simple plots
  • Adding bells and whistles
  • Multi-plot figures
  • Making it all publication-quality
  • Reference...


First and foremost, we recommend the lessons from Software Carpentry that we followed for this course. We've added links to those lessons in the syllabus above.

Downloadable etherpad notes (Right click and choose save-as): HTML, PDF, Word Doc.

Plotting in R with ggplot2


To participate in a Software Carpentry workshop, you will need access to the software described below. In addition, you will need an up-to-date web browser.

We maintain a list of common issues that occur during installation as a reference for instructors that may be useful on the Configuration Problems and Solutions wiki page.


R is a programming language that is especially powerful for data exploration, visualization, and statistical analysis. To interact with R, we use RStudio.

Video Tutorial

Install R by downloading and running this .exe file from CRAN. Also, please install the RStudio IDE. Note that if you have separate user and admin accounts, you should run the installers as administrator (right-click on .exe fileand select "Run as administrator" instead of double-clicking). Otherwiseproblems may occur later, for example when installing R packages.

You can download the binary files for your distribution from CRAN. Or you can use your package manager (e.g. for Debian/Ubuntu run sudo apt-get install r-base and for Fedora run sudo dnf install R). Also, please install the RStudio IDE.