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The Researcher's Toolkit

The Researcher's Toolkit is a technology workshop series designed to help Northwestern researchers improve scholarly productivity and efficiency in the areas of programming, data analysis, scientific computing, data management, publication skills, and GIS. Workshops are open to all members of the Northwestern community.  They are aimed at a beginner level accessible to researchers from all fields and backgrounds.

This workshop series is hosted in collaboration with the Northwestern University Library and Northwestern University Information Technology.  All workshops are held on the Evanston campus in Mudd Library. There is no cost to attend, but please register

Feel free to bring your lunch with you!

Fall 2018 Topics

Intro to the Ensembl Genome Browser

Wednesday, October 17, 2018, 12-1:30pm, Mudd Library, Large Classroom 2210
Instructor: Pamela Shaw, Biosciences & Bioinformatics Librarian, Galter Health Sciences Library
You have probably heard of or used the UCSC Genome Browser, but the Ensembl Genome Browser is a platform that also contains a wealth of information on dozens of species’ genomic data. This hands-on demonstration will show users the basic Ensembl interface; how to find sequence, variation, and regulation information; and how to download data from the browser.  Bring you laptop!


Good Data Visualization Practices

Tuesday, October 23, 2018, 12-1:30pm, Mudd Library, Large Classroom 2210
Instructor: Frank Elavsky, Data Visualization Specialist, Research Computing Services
This interactive, fun tutorial is focused on best practices when visualizing quantitative data. Participants are first given an overview of what “visual literacy” is, as well as some important terms and concepts related to visualization. Then the participants interact and follow along as they figure out how to identify ‘bad’ charts and graphs fix them to make them more effective. This workshop is geared towards anyone who wants to communicate their data and leave a meaningful impact on their audience or anyone who is curious about how to design effective visual communication for data. There will be some hands-on visualization building in this course! Bring your laptop! More details.


Video Production and Prototyping in Mudd: The Lightboard Studio and Maker Lab

Wednesday, October 31, 2018, 12-1pm, Mudd Library, Large Classroom 2210
Instructors: Becca Greenstein, STEM Librarian, Northwestern Libraries; Angie Mah, User Support Specialist, Northwestern Libraries
The Lightboard Studio and Maker Lab are services available in Mudd Library that offer creative possibilities for research and scholarship. The Lightboard Studio is equipped with a video camera and a glass chalkboard for creating short video lectures or presentations. The Maker Lab offers 3D printing and 3D scanning services for your individual research needs. In the first part of this workshop, participants will learn about lightboard and Maker Lab capabilities, best practices, and logistics. You will then be taken on a tour to see and try both tools for yourself.


An Introduction to Privacy Considerations in Research and Teaching

Tuesday, November 6, 2018, 12-1pm, Mudd Library, Large Classroom 2210
Instructor: Qiana Johnson, Librarian, Northwestern Libraries
If you are teaching or conducting research, there are likely privacy considerations and regulations you haven't thought about:

Privacy is not just information that we want to keep secret, but also about the information we are willing to share with others and how that information could potentially be used by others. Privacy considerations are frequently brought up relating to personal privacy, but there are also privacy considerations relating to research and teaching. This workshop will briefly cover a few different definitions of privacy, privacy regulations in different contexts, and considerations to keep in mind when using some commercial tools for research and teaching.


Cloud Computing Essentials

Tuesday, November 27, 2018, 12-1pm, Mudd Library, Large Classroom 2210
Instructors: Jenni Hartman, Research Lab Engineer, and Matthew Rich, Senior Cloud Services Specialist, Research Computing Services
Have you heard the term “cloud computing” and wondered if it’s right for your research? Do you need to automate workflows, expand your computational capacity, store TBs of data, host web applications, create a database, or solve other computational and storage challenges? If you’d like to learn about the services available in the cloud, and how to sort through your options, this short workshop and discussion is the right place to start. More details.


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Last Updated: 1 October 2018

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