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Training and Learning

Northwestern IT Research Computing Services collaborates with campus partners to offer members of the Northwestern research community opportunities to develop data science and computing skills, as well as learn about the services and resources that support research activities on campus.

Workshop topics include: R, Python, data visualization, SQL, Bash, high-performance computing (HPC), and more.  Northwestern Libraries offers workshops on GIS. See the Online Training tab for links to additional free training resources available for Northwestern researchers.

Subscribe to the NUIT-RESEARCH listserv to receive notice of research and training opportunities happening on and off campus.

Current Events

Most workshops are currently offered online; exceptions to this are noted.  Additional online learning resources are also available for independent learning.


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Anaconda Virtual Environments
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Programming Concepts  
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Python Fundamentals (Remote)


R: Fundamentals (Remote)

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Python Fundamentals (Remote)


R: Fundamentals (Remote)

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Python Fundamentals (Remote)


R: Fundamentals (Remote)

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Python Fundamentals Bonus Level


R: Fundamentals (Remote)

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June
14
2022

Anaconda Virtual Environments

Tuesday, June 14 | 1-2:30pm | Online

Have you ever had an issue where installing one Python or R package caused a different Python or R package to stop working? Have you tried to install a Python or R package on a system in which you did not have administrative privileges? Have you had trouble sharing or reproducing the environment in which you ran your code successfully? Have you had issues installing a Python or R package in general? In this workshop, we demonstrate how and why Anaconda can help with all of these software installation problems whether you are installing packages on your own laptop or you are on a remote computing system like Quest.

Prerequisites: None.

Register

June
15
2022

Programming Concepts

Wednesday, June 15 | 1-4pm | Online

New to programming? Want to learn R or Python? This workshop focuses on the fundamental concepts and terms that are shared across programming languages. Getting familiar with these ideas will help you get the most out of the Python Fundamentals Bootcamp and R Fundamentals Series. A link to view the recording will be provided to everyone who registers. If you cannot attend the Zoom workshop but want access to the recording, you must register.

Things you’ll learn in this workshop:

• How filesystem paths work
• Variables: how they work
• Data types: integer, double/numeric/float, strings, boolean
• Comparisons and conditional tests
• If-then-else statements
• Loops
• Lists/arrays/vectors
• Functions: calling them, arguments and parameters, return values
• Interactive coding vs. scripts

Prerequisites: None

Register 

June
21
2022

Python Fundamentals Bootcamp (Remote)

Tuesday, June 21 through Thursday, June 23  | 10am-3pm | Online

This three-day remote bootcamp provides an introduction to the Python programming language for beginners. Live Zoom lectures will happen every morning from 10 am - 12 noon Central time and every afternoon from 1 pm - 3 pm Central time. Participants will also be expected to complete a review quiz on their own each day sometime after the afternoon session (approx. 30-40 minutes). 

We will cover the basics of Python, including:

• How to use Python
• Basic objects: integers, floats, strings, booleans, lists, and dictionaries
• Basic functions
• Writing loops and conditionals
• Writing functions
• Loading and working with files
• Basic error handling
• Importing modules
• Using Jupyter notebooks

This three-day bootcamp will be recorded. Links to the recordings will be sent out each afternoon to everyone who is registered. If you cannot attend but want to watch the recordings, you need to register. This course will not be using Canvas this year, and is available to all Northwestern community members.

Prerequisites: If this is your first time learning a programming language, we highly recommend you also take the Programming Concepts workshop before you begin the bootcamp. A recording of that workshop will be provided; register for that workshop to get access to the recording.

June
21
2022

R: Fundamentals (Remote)

Tuesday, June 21 through Friday, June 24  | 10am-2pm | Online

This 4-day virtual workshop provides an introduction to R appropriate for complete beginners, but it will also help those who may have used R before fill in some details about how R works. It covers 4 main topics: language and tool fundamentals, such as how to use the console and call functions; working with data frames, or datasets; basic data manipulation and analysis; common statistical tests and models. Each day includes an interactive presentation with integrated exercises, a break for lunch, and then opportunities for questions, a quiz, and more examples. The content is the same for both the in-person and virtual sessions of this workshop. This workshop will be recorded; links to the recordings will be sent out each afternoon to everyone who is registered. If you cannot attend but want to watch the recordings, you need to register.

Prerequisites: If this is your first time learning a programming language, we highly recommend you also take the Programming Concepts workshop before this workshop. A recording of that workshop will be provided; register for that workshop to get access to the recording.

June
24
2022

Python Fundamentals Bonus Level

Friday, June 24   | 10am-3pm | Online

BONUS LEVEL! One more day of Python Fundamentals to cover some concepts that didn't fit into the 3-day bootcamp. This remote workshop consists of live Zoom meetings from 10 am - 12 pm and 1 pm - 3 pm.

BONUS OBJECTS: tuples and sets
CHEAT CODE: f-strings
LEVEL UP: How (and why) to write and run Python scripts
FINAL BOSS: extra (optional) homework project to get you practicing your Python and logic skills

This workshop will be recorded. Links to the recordings will be sent out after the afternoon session to everyone who is registered. If you cannot attend but want to watch the recordings, you need to register.

Prerequisites: Python Fundamentals 3-day bootcamp

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R: Fundamentals (In-Person)
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R: Fundamentals (In-Person)
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Data Organization in Spreadsheets
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R: Tidyverse
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R: Tidyverse

Python for Automation (Evanston)

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R: Tidyverse
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R: Tidyverse

Next Steps in Python: Lunch Lessons

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R: Tidyverse
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R: ggplot2
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Python: Introduction to Pandas

Using NVIDIA GPUs with Python (Part 1)

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Next Steps in Python: Lunch Lessons 

Using NVIDIA GPUs with Python (Part 2)

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July
7-8
2022

R: Fundamentals (In-Person)

Thursday, July 7 and Wednesday, July 8  | 9am-4pm | Mudd Library, Large Classroom #2220, Evanston

This 2-day in-person workshop provides an introduction to R appropriate for complete beginners, but it will also help those who may have used R before fill in some details about how R works. It covers 4 main topics: language and tool fundamentals, such as how to use the console and call functions; working with data frames, or datasets; basic data manipulation and analysis; common statistical tests and models. The content is the same for both the in-person and virtual sessions of this workshop. There will be a break for lunch (lunch is not provided). Registration is the same as for the virtual version of the workshop; indicate your preference for the in-person workshop during registration. There will be a break for lunch (lunch is not provided).

Prerequisites: If this is your first time learning a programming language, we highly recommend you also take the Programming Concepts workshop before this workshop. A recording of that workshop will be provided; register for that workshop to get access to the recording.

July
12
2022

Data Organization in Spreadsheets

Tuesday, July 12  | 10-11:30am | online

How do you use spreadsheets in your research? If you're like many researchers, your spreadsheets include not only data, but plots, color coding, calculations and stray research notes.

The upside: everything is in one human-readable place. The downside: this format makes it difficult to move from analyzing and visualizing your data by hand to automated workflows. This workshop will show you how to prepare your data for analysis in statistical programs and programming languages like R and Python.

This workshop will be recorded; a link to the recording will be sent out to everyone who is registered. If you cannot attend but want to watch the recording, you need to register.

Prerequisites: None

July
18
2022

R: Tidyverse Basics

Monday, July 18 through Friday, July 22  | 2-3pm | Online

Have you heard R users mention something called the tidyverse? Wonder why they're using pipes? Are you looking for tools to help you write clearer code in R that makes data manipulation easier? Then come learn about the tidyverse - a set of R packages that support common data manipulation and analysis tasks. This workshop covers the basic ideas shared by the packages and the core functions of the dplyr and tidyr packages. This workshop will be recorded; links to the recordings will be sent out each afternoon to everyone who is registered. If you cannot attend but want to watch the recordings, you need to register.

Prerequisites: Familiarity with R at the level of the R: Fundamentals workshop.

July
19
2022

Python for Automation

Tuesday, July 19   | 10am-3:00pm |Online

Make your Python code reusable and more efficient, both for your own use and so that you can confidently share it with others. We will cover how to remove hard coding, when to use a script vs. a notebook, how to run the same script over multiple files, how to take in user input from the command line, and the basics of building bash pipelines with Python scripts. This workshop is great for anyone who runs Python scripts on Quest or another server, wants to build a computational pipeline that can run in the background, or wants to run a Python script on multiple datasets in parallel.


Prerequisites: Python Fundamentals bootcamp or similar beginning Python tutorial or workshop. Some knowledge of running Python scripts from the command line is helpful.

July
21
2022

Next Steps in Python: Lunch Lessons

Thursdays, July 21 - August 18   | 12-1pm | Online

5 weeks of Lunch Lessons! Each week will cover a new intermediate topic in Python that will make your life easier (I promise!). Register to get links to the recordings.

  • July 21: Saving Python Objects with json and pickle
  • July 28: List Comprehensions (Part I)
  • August 4: List Comprehensions (Part II)
  • August 11: Working with Dates and Times
  • August 18: *args and **kwargs


Prerequisites: Basic knowledge of Python at the level of the Python Fundamentals Bootcamp

July
25
2022

R: Data Visualization with ggplot2

Monday, July 25  | 2-4pm | Online

Looking to make better data visualizations with R? Have you been using ggplot2 without quite understanding what you're doing or what the options mean? This workshop will help you understand the different elements that go into making a data visualization with ggplot2 in addition to covering common plot types and the key features of the package. This workshop will be recorded; links to the recordings will be sent out each afternoon to everyone who is registered. If you cannot attend but want to watch the recordings, you need to register.

Prerequisites: Familiarity with R at the level of the R: Fundamentals workshop.

July
26
2022

Python: Introduction to Pandas

Tuesday, July 26   | 1-4pm | Online

Pandas is a popular (and dense) Python module for working with DataFrames (data shaped in rows and columns, like csv and excel files). This remote workshop will cover the basics of Pandas to get you started working with your own data. We will cover:

  • why Pandas is useful
  • reading and writing files
  • selecting subsamples of data
  • grouping data
  • calculating summary statistics
  • making simple plots

A recording link will be emailed to anyone who is registered. You must be registered to receive the recording link.


Prerequisites: Participants should be familiar with basic Python at the level of the Python Fundamentals Bootcamp.

July
26
2022

Using NVIDIA GPUs with Python

Two-Day Workshop

Tuesday, July 26 and Thursday July 28   | 1-2:30pm | Online

In this two-part workshop presented by NVIDIA, you'll get hands-on experience accelerating Python codes with NVIDIA GPUs. We will utilize code samples in three main categories to introduce you to Python GPU accelerated computing. First, we will explore drop-in replacements for SciPy and NumPy code through the CuPy library. Next we’ll cover NVIDIA RAPIDS, which provides GPU acceleration for end-to-end data science workloads. Finally we'll cover Numba, which gives you the flexibility to write custom accelerated code without leaving the Python language. We'll finish with an end-to-end example that incorporates all the tools introduced to tackle a geospatial problem. By the end of the workshop, you will have the tools to start accelerating your own Python codes using the Quest A100 GPUs which are available to anyone on Quest.


Prerequisites: Experience using the Python libraries Pandas and Scikit-Learn is highly recommended to get the most from the workshop. No prior knowledge on GPU computing is required.

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Website Basics with HTML, CSS and JS 

 

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Introduction to Data Visualization

 

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Next Steps in Python: Lunch Lessons

 

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Intro to Apache Spark with 84.51
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Next Steps in Python: Lunch Lessons  

 

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Next Steps in Python: Lunch Lessons
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Python: Machine Learning with Scikit-learn: Day 1
R: Intro to Predictive Modeling with tidymodels : Day 1
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Python: Intro to MatPlotLib
Python: Machine Learning with Scikit-learn:Day 2
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Python: Machine Learning with Scikit-learn Day: 3
R: Intro to Predictive Modeling with tidymodels: Day 2
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Intro to Command Line
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Aug
1
2022

Website Basics with HTML, CSS and JS

Monday, August 1   | 1:30-3pm | 1800 Sherman, Room 7-600

If you want to make your own website, scrape websites, develop interactive online visualizations, and/or create any web-based application, you need to know the basics of building a website.

This workshop covers the essential ingredients of the web: HTML, CSS and Javascript. You will learn how, why and where to use each of these tools and how they work together. We will also work through and edit example websites on CodePen. 

Prerequisites: This is a beginner workshop with no prerequisites.

Aug
2
2022

Introduction to Data Visualization

Tuesday, August 2   | 1-2pm | 1800 Sherman, Room 7-600

Visualizing your data can be a highly effective way to communicate your research results to a wide variety of audiences.

This workshop covers best practices in converting your data into effective charts and graphs (i.e., visualizations). We will discuss how to get started, ways to tell your data’s story visually and how to thoughtfully use all the tools at your disposal. We will also work through hands-on examples using Python and the Python package matplotlib. 

Prerequisites: No prior Python knowledge is required, though may be beneficial

Aug
10
2022

Intro to Apache Spark with 84.51

Wednesday, August 10   | 1-4pm | online

Wonder what a data science workflow looks like in industry? This workshop will introduce you to working with data via Apache Spark. Using the Azure Databricks environment, you’ll query and analyze large data sets with Python via a web-based notebook. The first two hours will explain how Spark works, how it’s different than working with a CSV file, and how to perform basic queries and calculations. In the third hour, you’ll have a chance to practice your new skills and explore some data from 84.51°.


Prerequisites: The workshop will assume that you’re familiar with basic Python and SQL, as well as Jupyter notebooks. New to SQL? There are online tutorials from Codeacademy  here and here
This workshop is taught by the Data Engineering team from 84.51° . It will not be recorded.

Aug
21
2022

Next Steps in Python: Lunch Lessons

Thursdays, July 21 - August 18   | 12-1pm | Online

5 weeks of Lunch Lessons! Each week will cover a new intermediate topic in Python that will make your life easier (I promise!). Register to get links to the recordings.

  • July 21: Saving Python Objects with json and pickle
  • July 28: List Comprehensions (Part I)
  • August 4: List Comprehensions (Part II)
  • August 11: Working with Dates and Times
  • August 18: *args and **kwargs


Prerequisites: Basic knowledge of Python at the level of the Python Fundamentals Bootcamp

Aug
23-25
2022

Python: Machine Learning with Scikit-learn

Tuesday, August 23 through Thursday, August 25   | 2-3pm | Online

Three day remote workshop

This workshop will cover the basics of Scikit-learn, the most popular Python package for predictive modeling and machine learning. Over three days, we will experiment with both supervised and unsupervised machine learning models, including linear/logistic regression, decision tree and clustering.

Prerequisites: Basic Python knowledge at the level of the Python Fundamentals bootcamp; Basic statistical knowledge is also recommended

This workshop will be recorded; a link to the recording will be sent out to everyone who is registered. If you cannot attend but want to watch the recording, you need to register.

Aug
23 & 25
2022

R: Intro to Predictive Modeling with tidymodels

Tuesday, August 23 and Thursday August 25   | 4-5pm | Online

Two day remote workshop: Tuesday and Thursday ONLY

This workshop will cover the basics of the Tidymodels package. The tidymodels framework is a collection of R packages for modeling and machine learning using tidyverse principles. We will be focusing on how tidymodels can be used to perform an exploratory data analysis as well as feature engineering, model tuning and selection, and model evaluation through simple models. The workshop is not meant to be an exhaustive description of all the tools within tidymodels or the types of models that can be made, but to give a brief overview of the process of model creation that can later be adapted to specific data and research questions. We will cover both regression and classification.

Prerequisites: Basic R at the level of the R Fundamentals workshop

This workshop will be recorded; a link to the recording will be sent out to everyone who is registered. If you cannot attend but want to watch the recording, you need to register."

Aug
24
2022

Python: Intro to MatPlotLib

Wednesday, August 24   | 12-1:30pm | Online

Learn the basics of making visualizations in Python with the sophisticated plotting library MatPlotLib. This workshop will cover:

  • the basic elements of a plot in MatPlotLib
  • the code format for making a plot
  • basic plots using both continuous and categorial data
  • how to customize the title, axis labels, legend, etc.
  • tips for choosing the right type of figure for your data based on what you want to communicate to your audience
Prerequisites: Basic Python knowledge at the level of the Python Fundamentals Bootcamp

This workshop will be recorded; a link to the recording will be sent out to everyone who is registered. If you cannot attend but want to watch the recording, you need to register.
Aug
30
2022

Intro to Command Line

Tuesday, August 30   | 2-4pm | Online

Using the command line (aka Unix shell, or terminal) is fundamental for effectively using both your own computer and more powerful servers, cloud resources, and HPC clusters like Northwestern's Quest. The command line is used for managing and troubleshooting software and package installations, interacting with databases, using version control systems like Git, submitting jobs on servers, creating conda environments, running specialized research software, creating computational pipelines, and more. Being comfortable with the command line will open up new computational possibilities.

In this introductory workshop, we will go over how to navigate your file system; copy, move, and remove files; search for certain files or file types; read and write files; and use flags and aliases. This workshop will prepare you for starting out with using Git, Quest, or conda environments.

Prerequisites: None. Windows users will need to install a Unix or Bash terminal before the workshop begins; we recommend WSL2 and we will provide instructions for installation before the start of the workshop.

This workshop will be recorded; a link to the recording will be sent out to everyone who is registered. If you cannot attend but want to watch the recording, you need to register.

Dataquest Online Courses

Access to Dataquest is available for researchers interested in learning or improving their skills with R, Python, SQL, and git through interactive, self-paced courses. Space is limited, and access is granted quarterly.

For more information and a link to the registration page, see Dataquest Access.

Research Computing Services Online Guides

Check out our curated lists of free, online books, exercises, tutorials, videos, and other resources for data science and programming skills.

O'Reilly/Safari Books Online

Northwestern University Libraries provides access to O'Reilly/Safari Books Online. This includes many popular books on programming, software development, and other technology topics. It also includes online tutorials. Students, faculty, and staff can register for an account with a Northwestern email address; access the link from the Northwestern network or VPN.

LinkedIn Learning

Northwestern offers access to LinkedIn Learning (formerly lynda.com) courses for students, faculty, and staff. Courses cover a wide range of technology and business topics including databases, programming, and data analysis.

For more information, see the Human Resources LinkedIn Learning page.

Previous Workshops

A selection of previous workshops is below. We offer many of these workshops at least once a year. If there is a particular workshop topic you're interested in, contact us to discuss options for hosting a workshop.  

Python

Introduction to Python
Next Steps in Python
Data Visualization with matplotlib
Pandas
Scikit-learn
Text Analysis with NLTK
Biopython
GeoPandas
Deep Learning with Tensorflow

R

Introduction to R
Tidyverse
Data Visualization with ggplot2
Shiny
Webscraping with rvest
Statistical Methods
Predictive Modeling
Social Network Analysis and Visualization
Text Analysis

Computing on Quest

Introduction to Quest
Introduction to Command Line
Bash Scripting
OpenMP
Singularity

Other Topics

Programming Concepts
Introduction to SQL
Designing and Creating Databases
Introduction to Git and GitHub
Intermediate Git and GitHub
Data Analysis with Tableau
Introduction to Data Visualization
MATLAB
Data Organization in Spreadsheets
Cloud Computing Essentials

Last Updated: 23 June 2022

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