I am now planning the next offering of a Generalized Linear Mixed Models course that I sometimes teach to our graduate students. I’m teaching the next offering next spring. All our graduate students are clamoring for a course in R, and I am sure I’ll get much pressure to teach this course using R.
I have found a fantastic textbook for this course: Generalized Linear Mixed Models: Modern Concepts, Methods, and Applications by Walter W. Stroup, a statistician at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln. The textbook uses exclusively the GLIMMAX procedure of SAS. I’ve used SAS since I was an undergraduate, and it is the gold standard of statistical computing software in my opinion. However, students don’t like to learn to use it anymore because it is not FREE. R is free.
The best comment about R vs. SAS I have ever heard was told to me by Joe Travis, Florida State, who was repeating a comment that Charlie Baer, University of Florida, told him. According to Joe, Charlie said:
If R gives you the wrong number, some guy in his basement says, “oops.”
If SAS gives you a wrong number, statisticians in Cary, North Carolina get fired.
Who would you trust?
I also always think of the old adage that you get what you pay for.