University of Illinois Faculty and Students Among the First to Use RStudio Cloud in Classrooms this Fall

A partnership between University departments aims to simplify how students learn about data science and analytics.

Urbana, IL (September 16, 2020) – This fall, several courses in the Department of Statistics and Gies College of Business are piloting the use of RStudio Cloud. RStudio Cloud is the cloud-hosted version of RStudio, the popular software frequently used in data science and analytics projects. RStudio Cloud reduces setup time for instructors and students by eliminating the need to download, install, and configure software. Instead, they can analyze data, work with resources like databases, and store files, directly through a web browser.

Faculty and students associated with courses enrolled in the pilot program will have access to RStudio Cloud from the Technology Services WebStore.

One of the top goals from the University’s Data Science Education Task Force states, “Every Illinois student should have the opportunity to have a meaningful exposure to data science.”

“Teaching data science and finance to MBA students using RStudio Cloud has allowed me to focus on the course content without having to worry about the logistics of setting up and controlling an environment in which students can learn and work with R.”

Jose Rodriguez Director, Margolis Market Information Lab

Jeff Douglas, Associate Chair of Statistics, said, “RStudio Cloud has had a positive impact on student learning as students are able to immediately take on the role of being a Data Scientist within our Statistics Programming Methods and Data Science Programming Methods courses.”

Data Science is one of 11 focus areas within the University’s strategic plan.  The University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign is one of the first universities to use RStudio Cloud for education.

The RStudio Cloud pilot was made possible through support provided by Prof. Jeffrey Douglas (Associate Dept. Chair, Statistics); Prof. Douglas Simpson Former Dept. Chair, Statistics); Nick Vance (Data and Technology Innovation, Technology Services); Ashley Baldwin (Senior IT Procurement Analyst, Technology Services); Joe Yun (Director, Data Science Research Service, Gies College of Business); and Greg Gulick (Interim CIO).

If you would like more information about the RStudio Cloud pilot, contact James Balamuta (

Updated on September 22, 2020

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