R is an industrial strength open source statistical package. We'll use it for simulation, computation and visualization. Don't worry if you are not familiar with R, we will provide plenty of tutorials and guidance in its use.

R takes two minutes to install. Here are the steps:

  1. Go to http://www.r-project.org/ Click the 'CRAN' link on the left. Then choose any of the mirror sites.
  2. Download and install.

We will also be using RStudio which provides an integrated environment for working in R. It is also a two-minute install. Here are the steps.

  1. Go to http://www.rstudio.com/ide/download/desktop and choose the version for your computer (probably the one 'recommended for your system')
  2. Download and install.

Here is the main page of the R project. If you're interested you can find lots of information and tutorials on R there.