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Computational Skills for Researchers (CSR)

Research Computing Services offers workshops on programming, data analysis, and other technical skills for Northwestern researchers.

All members of the Northwestern research community are welcome. There is no cost to attend most sessions, but registration is required. Workshops are in Mudd Hall on the Evanston campus unless otherwise noted.

 

Upcoming Workshops

Intro to the Command Line

Thursday, January 18, 2018, 3-5pm, Mudd Hall, Rm 2210

Instructor: Mike Cronin, Senior Data Visualization Specialist, Northwestern IT Research Computing Services

This workshop will teach you how to use a command line terminal with the Bash shell to list, access, create, move, and copy directories and files on your computer or a remote system. These skills are essential for users accessing remote systems like Quest or installing open source software and packages on their own systems. Please bring your laptop to follow along; software installation instructions for Windows users will be provided prior to the workshop.

Register.

 

Intro to Quest

Tuesday, January 23, 2018, 3-4:3pm, Mudd Hall, Room 2210

Instructor: Alper Kinaci, Senior Computational Specialist, Northwestern IT Research Computing Services

New to Quest or looking to improve your familiarity with it? Come get an overview of the system, learn how to submit jobs, and get familiar with best practices. All researchers are welcome to attend, but you'll need an active Quest allocation to participate interactively, which will help you get the most out of the workshop. See the About Quest page for more information on getting an allocation. If you're not familiar with the command line, we recommend that you also take the Intro to the Command Line workshop on January 18th. Please bring your own laptop.

Register.

 

Intro to vi/vim

Tuesday, February 6, 2018, 3-4pm, Mudd Hall, Room 2210

Instructor: Alper Kinaci, Senior Computational Specialist, Northwestern IT Research Computing Services

vi and its successor vim (vi iMproved) are a powerful command line text editors used in Unix environments. According to Stack Overflow 2016 survey*, vim is the first choice of Data Scientists among development environments. Being a modal editor, different tasks are accomplished within different modes in vi/vim. This may seem complicated in the beginning but frequent users do not even need to take their hands off the keyboard while editing text or coding. All researchers who are editing texts and coding in their daily routine are welcome. Please bring your laptop to follow along; software installation instructions for Windows users will be provided prior to the workshop.

Register.

 

Intro to d3

2-part Workshop: Tuesdays, February 20 and 27, 2018, 3-5pm, Mudd Hall, Room 2124

Fee: $10

Instructor: Frank Elavsky, Data Visualization Specialist, Northwestern IT Research Computing Services

Data isn't very powerful if you don't have an audience to share it with. This is why d3.js (a JavaScript library) is the most important tool for building fully customizable, web-facing visualizations. D3 makes your data as accessible, interactive, and visually-driven as any webpage. Contrary to other tools or frameworks, d3 is not a microwavable meal but more of a cookbook and a kitchen full of ingredients. Due to the expertise necessary to get started using d3, this is a two-part workshop with attendance limited to 15 participants. The first workshop will focus on learning the basics of d3 and what makes it so powerful, along with a hands-on portion building your first graph. Following off of this, the second workshop is primarily hands-on, where users will be expected to solve a difficult visualization problem using d3 (so attendance at both is strongly encouraged). Please bring your own laptop and ensure you have the latest version of Chrome installed. You will need a text editor as well, such as Sublime, Atom, Notepad++ or equivalent.

Register.

 

Past Workshops

Intro to Quest

Instructor: Janna Nugent, Senior Bioinformatics Specialist, Northwestern IT Research Computing Services

New to Quest or looking to improve your familiarity with it? Come get an overview of the system, learn how to submit jobs, and get familiar with best practices. All researchers are welcome to attend, but you'll need an active Quest allocation to participate interactively, which will help you get the most out of the workshop.

MPI/OpenMP

Instructors: Pascal Paschos, Senior Computational Specialist, Northwestern IT Research Computing Services and Alper Kinaci, Senior Computational Specialist, Northwestern IT Research Computing Services

OpenMP (Open Multi-Processing) and MPI (Message Passing Interface) are two standard approaches to parallelize codes. OpenMP provides parallelism within a multi-core node and MPI offers intra- and inter-node parallelization. This introductory workshop will focus on the fundamental concepts of parallel computing using these two methods. Topics will include distributed versus shared memory computing, constructing parallel regions, domain decomposition and avoiding race conditions.  The workshop will include examples of using MPI with Python. This workshop assumes you're comfortable writing at least basic Python code.

Data Visualization with Python

Instructor: Christina Maimone, Senior Computational Social Sciences Specialist, Northwestern IT Research Computing Services

Are you using Python to analyze data? Then learn how to visualize it with the matplotlib plotting library. The pandas data analysis library has built-in support for matplotlib, but matplotlib works with other analysis libraries and data structures too. We'll work through examples of several different types of plots, learn how to change styles and options, and talk about resources for learning to create professional plots on your own. This workshop assumes you're comfortable writing at least basic Python code.

Last Updated: 15 December 2017

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