R is a programming language
and software environment for statistical computing and graphics. The R language is widely used among statisticians and data miners for developing statistical software and data analysis. Polls, surveys of data miners, and studies of scholarly literature databases show that R's popularity has increased substantially in recent years.
R is an implementation of the S programming language combined with lexical scoping semantics inspired by Scheme. S was created by John Chambers while at Bell Labs. There are some important differences, but much of the code written for S runs unaltered.
R was created by Ross Ihaka and Robert Gentleman at the University of Auckland, New Zealand, and is currently developed by the R Development Core Team, of which Chambers is a member. R is named partly after the first names of the first two R authors and partly as a play on the name of S.
R is a GNU project. The source code for the R software environment is written primarily in C, Fortran, and R. R is freely available under the GNU General Public License, and pre-compiled binary versions are provided for various operating systems. R uses a command line interface; there are also several graphical front-ends for it.