Statistics plays a key role in many scientific research projects, and increasingly, the R statistical platform is being used to perform such analysis. R, an open source version of the S statistical language developed by Bell Laboratories in the 1980s, is a powerful computing environment and language for statistical computing and graphics. More specifically, software packages from R provide capabilities for reading a wide variety of data formats, performing simple and sophisticated data manipulations, applying statistical tests and computations, and plotting the data and results of the statistical analysis. In this tutorial, we will give an overview of the basic concepts and data manipulation techniques in R. In a follow-up tutorial given the coming Thursday (March 1) afternoon, we will offer a hands-on session, where we will practice R step-by-step together.