Graphics in R

Ghent University
Tuesday, May 29, 2018 - 10:00 to Thursday, May 31, 2018 - 16:00

R is a powerful, flexible and open-source software package for statistical data analysis and graphical data representation. In some research domains, such as bioinformatics and biostatistics, R is the most often used program for statistical analysis. 

R has great features to make graphics and produce attractive figure.  This workshop is intended for R users who want to take full advantage of the graphical possibilities of R and who want to improve their graphical skills in R using the traditional graphics system, plus the add-on packages lattice and ggplot2.

Day 1: 29/05/2018: Traditional graphics

  • High and low level plot functions
  • Annotations
  • Multipanel plots
  • Loops
  • Custom-made functions
  • Lists

Day 2: 30/05/2018: Trellis plots using lattice

  • The trellis formula
  • Multivariate plots
  • Grouped displays
  • Manipulating the panel function

Day 3: 31/05/2018: ggplot2

  • Building a plot layer by layer
  • Faceting
  • Multiple plots on same page

We start the day at 10.00, and end at 16.00.


Dates and times:

This is a three-days interuniversity FLAMES workshop on Graphics in R on the following days:

  • May 29, 2018: 10h00 - 16h00
  • May 30, 2018: 10h00 - 16h00
  • May 31, 2018: 10h00 - 16h00



PC-lokaal 0.1
Campus Ledeganck

K.L. Ledeganckstraat 35
9000 Gent

Course Objectives:

At the end of this module, participants should be able to make high-quality graphs and figure in R using traditional graphics, lattice, and ggplot2.


Course material:

The course notes will be made available online through dropbox link, which will be mailed shortly before the course. No hardcopies are provided on-site.



Erik Fransen obtained a PhD in Biochemistry at the University of Antwerp in 1998. After a few years of lab work, he started additional studies in biostatistics, resulting in a Master degree in Statistical Data Analysis at the UGent (2007). Through his research at the Center for Medical Genetics, Erik has experience with a wide range of statistical techniques for data analysis. To-date, he has a part-time (20%) position at the faculty of Farmaceutical, Biomedical and Veterinary Sciences at the University of Antwerp. As a consultant for StatUa, he is involved in the analysis of data from various projects in the life sciences. 

An Carbonez is professor at the Leuven Statistics Research Centre (Lstat) of the KULeuven. She obtained her PhD in Science at the KULeuven in 1992. She is coordinator of the MSc in Statistics, is involved in statistical consulting projects and teaches statistics courses at KULeuven and in companies. 


Background Reading:

“Introductory Statistics with R” by Peter Dalgaard. (Springer, New York, USA ; ISBN : 0-387-95475-9)
“Statistics. An introduction using R” by Michael J. Crawley (Wiley, Chichester, UK ; ISBN : 0-470-02298-1)
“R Graphics” by Paul Murrell (Chapman & Hall, Boca Raton, USA ; ISBN : 1-58488-486-X)
“Data manipulation with R” by Phil Spector (Springer, New York, USA ; ISBN : 978-0-387-74730-9)
“Modern Applied Statistics with S” by WN Vennables ans BD Ripley (Springer, New York, USA ; ISBN 0-387-95457-0)
“ggplot2, Elegant graphics for data analysis” by Hadley Wickham (Springer, New York, USA ; ISBN : 978-0-387-98141-3)

For whom: 

FLAMES targets young researchers from all disciplines.


Participants should be able to read in and manipulate data in R. If you have no idea what the following commands mean, the course is too advanced for you.

mydata <- read.table (“c:/temp/rawdata.txt”,header=T, dec=”,”)

No prior knowledge on statistics is assumed.



  • PhD students and postdocs of a Flemish university: 0 €
  • Other academics: 180 €
  • Non-profit/Social sector: 300 €
  • Private sector: € 600


Short Course: 1 < days < 7 / frequently repeated (yearly, quarterly)
Erik Fransen & An Carbonez