R is a programming language and environment that is widely used for statistical computing and data analysis. It was developed in the early 1990s by Ross Ihaka and Robert Gentleman at the University of Auckland, New Zealand, and is now maintained by the R Development Core Team. R is open-source and free to use, making it a popular choice for academic, commercial, and personal projects. R has a wide variety of packages and tools for data manipulation, analysis, visualization, and modeling.

R is known for its powerful graphics capabilities, with many built-in functions for creating visualizations such as histograms, scatterplots, and box plots. R also has a large and active community that contributes to the development of packages and tools, making it a versatile language for various applications. Some examples of industries and fields that use R include finance, healthcare, social sciences, and ecology.

R is an interpreted language, which means that code is executed line by line, making it a good choice for interactive analysis and exploration. R code can also be compiled for faster execution using tools like the Just-In-Time (JIT) compiler. R also has interfaces to other programming languages like C++, Python, and Java, allowing for integration with other systems and tools.