# Vectorized conditional statement in R and Racket

In a previous post, I wrote that Racket’s `if`

is similar to `ifelse`

in R. That’s not quite right. This is a short post to clarify the comparison. The more accurate description is that this Racket code

```
(if (test-expr)
true-expr
false-expr)
```

is the same as this R code.

```
if (test_expr){
true_expr
}else{
false_expr
}
```

In contrast, R’s `ifelse`

function is vectorized meaning that the same operation is applied to multiple elements of a vector. Below, we use `ifelse`

to return a vector of the same length as the original vector with all negative values replaced by zero.

```
> a = c(-999, 2, -999, 4, 5, 6, 7, -999, 9, 10)
> ifelse(a < 0, 0, a)
[1] 0 2 0 4 5 6 7 0 9 10
```

In Racket, we use `map`

and an anonymous function, specified with `lambda`

, to apply `if`

to the elements of a list.

```
> (define a '(-999 2 -999 4 5 6 7 -999 9 10))
> (map (lambda (x) (if (< x 0) 0 x)) a)
'(0 2 0 4 5 6 7 0 9 10)
```

To apply `if`

to a vector, we use `vector-map`

.

```
> (define b #(-999 2 -999 4 5 6 7 -999 9 10))
> (vector-map (lambda (x) (if (< x 0) 0 x)) b)
'#(0 2 0 4 5 6 7 0 9 10)
```

It is also possible to write similar code in R using `sapply`

. The curly braces can be omitted when `if else`

is written inline.

```
> sapply(a, function(x) if (x < 0) 0 else x)
[1] 0 2 0 4 5 6 7 0 9 10
```

R and Racket have a shared heritage in Scheme and Lisp that can yield some strinkingly similar code.