Calculate Square in R (4 Examples)


This tutorial shows how to raise the values of a data object to the power of two in the R programming language.

Table of contents:

Let’s dive right in.


Example 1: Compute Square of Single Value

This example illustrates how to calculate the square of a single data value in R.

x <- 5                             # Create data object
x                                  # Print data object
# 5

As you can see based on the previous output of the RStudio console, we’ll use the value 5 for this example.

Now, we can calculate the square of this data object by using the ^ symbol:

x^2                                # Calculate square of data object
# 25

The RStudio console shows the result: The square of 5 is equal to 25.


Example 2: Compute Square of Vector Using ^

In this example, I’ll illustrate how to raise all elements of a vector to the power of two. First, we have to create a vector in R:

my_vec <- 1:5                      # Create vector
my_vec                             # Print vector
# 1 2 3 4 5

Now, we can simply apply the ^ symbol to this vector as we already did in Example 1:

my_vec^2                           # Calculate square of vector
# 1  4  9 16 25

The output is another vector containing the square of each element of our input vector.


Example 3: Compute Square of Vector Using *

This example explains shows an alternative way for the computation of squares in R.

Instead of the ^ symbol, we can also multiply our data by itself by using the * symbol:

my_vec * my_vec                    # Multiply vector by itself
# 1  4  9 16 25

The output is exactly the same as in Example 2.


Example 4: Compute Square of Data Frame

In this example, I’ll show how to take the square of all elements in a numeric data frame. Let’s create some example data:

my_data <- data.frame(x1 = 3:6,    # Create data frame
                      x2 = 5:2,
                      x3 = 4)
my_data                            # Print data frame
#   x1 x2 x3
# 1  3  5  4
# 2  4  4  4
# 3  5  3  4
# 4  6  2  4

Now, we can basically apply the same R code to our data frame as we already did in Examples 1 & 2 (i.e. ^2):

my_data^2                          # Calculate square of data frame
#   x1 x2 x3
# 1  9 25 16
# 2 16 16 16
# 3 25  9 16
# 4 36  4 16

Looks good!


Video, Further Resources & Summary

Do you need further info on the contents of this page? Then I can recommend to watch the following video of my YouTube channel. I’m explaining the R codes of this page in the video tutorial.


The YouTube video will be added soon.


Furthermore, you may read the related tutorials on my website:


Summary: This post illustrated how to take the square of a data object in the R programming language. In case you have further questions, let me know in the comments.


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