Utah State University

Sep 29-30, 2017

7:30 am - 5:00 pm

Instructors: Paul Wolf, Carol Rowe, Betty Rozum, Binod Pokharel, Curtis Dyerson, Shawn Taylor

Helpers: Mallory Hagadorn, Samridhi Chaturvedi, Andrea Castillo, Bodie Weedop, Vishal Sharma, Sara Skindelien

This is the workshop template. Delete these lines and use it to customize your own website. If you are running a self-organized workshop or have not put in a workshop request yet, please also fill in this workshop request form to let us know about your workshop and our administrator may contact you if we need any extra information.

General Information

Data Carpentry aims to help researchers get their work done in less time and with less pain by teaching them basic research computing skills. This hands-on workshop will cover basic concepts and tools, including program design, version control, data management, and task automation. Participants will be encouraged to help one another and to apply what they have learned to their own research problems.

For more information on what we teach and why, please see our paper "Best Practices for Scientific Computing".

Who: The course is aimed at graduate students and other researchers. You don't need to have any previous knowledge of the tools that will be presented at the workshop.

Where: Room 154, Merrill-Cazier Library, 3000 Old Main Hill, Logan, UT 84321 . Get directions with OpenStreetMap or Google Maps.

When: Sep 29-30, 2017. Add to your Google Calendar.

Requirements: Participants must bring a laptop with a Mac, Linux, or Windows operating system (not a tablet, Chromebook, etc.) that they have administrative privileges on. They should have a few specific software packages installed (listed below). They are also required to abide by Data Carpentry's Code of Conduct.

Accessibility: We are committed to making this workshop accessible to everybody. The workshop organisers have checked that:

Materials will be provided in advance of the workshop and large-print handouts are available if needed by notifying the organizers in advance. If we can help making learning easier for you (e.g. sign-language interpreters, lactation facilities) please get in touch (using contact details below) and we will attempt to provide them.

Contact: Please email paul.wolf@usu.edu for more information.


Schedule

Surveys

Please be sure to complete these surveys before and after the workshop.

Pre-workshop Survey

Post-workshop Survey


Syllabus

Programming in Python

  • Using libraries
  • Working with arrays
  • Reading and plotting data
  • Creating and using functions
  • Loops and conditionals
  • Defensive programming
  • Using Python from the command line
  • Reference...

Managing Data with SQL

  • Reading and sorting data
  • Filtering with where
  • Calculating new values on the fly
  • Handling missing values
  • Combining values using aggregation
  • Combining information from multiple tables using join
  • Creating, modifying, and deleting data
  • Programming with databases
  • Reference...

Open Refine

  • Introduction to OpenRefine
  • Importing data
  • Basic functions
  • Advanced Functions
  • Reference...

Setup

To participate in a Data Carpentry workshop, you will need access to the software described below. In addition, you will need an up-to-date web browser.

We maintain a list of common issues that occur during installation as a reference for instructors that may be useful on the Configuration Problems and Solutions wiki page.

Text Editor

When you're writing code, it's nice to have a text editor that is optimized for writing code, with features like automatic color-coding of key words. The default text editor on Mac OS X and Linux is usually set to Vim, which is not famous for being intuitive. if you accidentally find yourself stuck in it, try typing the escape key, followed by :q! (colon, lower-case 'q', exclamation mark), then hitting Return to return to the shell.

Windows

Video Tutorial

nano is a basic editor and the default that instructors use in the workshop. To install it, download the Data Carpentry Windows installer and double click on the file to run it. This installer requires an active internet connection.

Others editors that you can use are Notepad++ or Sublime Text. Be aware that you must add its installation directory to your system path. Please ask your instructor to help you do this.

Mac OS X

nano is a basic editor and the default that instructors use in the workshop. See the Git installation video tutorial for an example on how to open nano. It should be pre-installed.

Others editors that you can use are Text Wrangler or Sublime Text.

Linux

nano is a basic editor and the default that instructors use in the workshop. It should be pre-installed.

Others editors that you can use are Gedit, Kate or Sublime Text.

Python

Python is a popular language for research computing, and great for general-purpose programming as well. Installing all of its research packages individually can be a bit difficult, so we recommend Anaconda, an all-in-one installer.

Regardless of how you choose to install it, please make sure you install Python version 3.x (e.g., 3.4 is fine).

We will teach Python using the IPython notebook, a programming environment that runs in a web browser. For this to work you will need a reasonably up-to-date browser. The current versions of the Chrome, Safari and Firefox browsers are all supported (some older browsers, including Internet Explorer version 9 and below, are not).

Windows

Video Tutorial
  1. Open http://continuum.io/downloads with your web browser.
  2. Download the Python 3 installer for Windows.
  3. Install Python 3 using all of the defaults for installation except make sure to check Make Anaconda the default Python.

Mac OS X

Video Tutorial
  1. Open http://continuum.io/downloads with your web browser.
  2. Download the Python 3 installer for OS X.
  3. Install Python 3 using all of the defaults for installation.

Linux

  1. Open http://continuum.io/downloads with your web browser.
  2. Download the Python 3 installer for Linux.
    (Installation requires using the shell. If you aren't comfortable doing the installation yourself stop here and request help at the workshop.)
  3. Open a terminal window.
  4. Type
    bash Anaconda3-
    and then press tab. The name of the file you just downloaded should appear. If it does not, navigate to the folder where you downloaded the file, for example with:
    cd Downloads
    Then, try again.
  5. Press enter. You will follow the text-only prompts. To move through the text, press the space key. Type yes and press enter to approve the license. Press enter to approve the default location for the files. Type yes and press enter to prepend Anaconda to your PATH (this makes the Anaconda distribution the default Python).
  6. Close the terminal window.

SQLite

SQL is a specialized programming language used with databases. We use a simple database manager called SQLite in our lessons.

Windows

The Data Carpentry Windows Installer installs SQLite for Windows. If you used the installer to configure nano, you don't need to run it again.

Mac OS X

SQLite comes pre-installed on Mac OS X.

Linux

SQLite comes pre-installed on Linux.

If you installed Anaconda, it also has a copy of SQLite without support to readline. Instructors will provide a workaround for it if needed.

OpenRefine

For this lesson you will need OpenRefine and a web browser. Note: this is a Java program that runs on your machine (not in the cloud). It runs inside a web browser, but no web connection is needed.

Windows

Check that you have either the Firefox or the Chrome browser installed and set as your default browser. OpenRefine runs in your default browser. It will not run correctly in Internet Explorer.

Download software from http://openrefine.org/

Create a new directory called OpenRefine.

Unzip the downloaded file into the OpenRefine directory by right-clicking and selecting "Extract ...".

Go to your newly created OpenRefine directory.

Launch OpenRefine by clicking google-refine.exe (this will launch a command prompt window, but you can ignore that - just wait for OpenRefine to open in the browser).

If you are using a different browser, or if OpenRefine does not automatically open for you, point your browser at http://127.0.0.1:3333/ or http://localhost:3333 to use the program.

Mac

Check that you have either the Firefox or the Chrome browser installed and set as your default browser. OpenRefine runs in your default browser. It may not run correctly in Safari.

Download software from http://openrefine.org/.

Create a new directory called OpenRefine.

Unzip the downloaded file into the OpenRefine directory by double-clicking it.

Go to your newly created OpenRefine directory.

Launch OpenRefine by dragging the icon into the Applications folder.

Use Ctrl-click/Open ... to launch it.

If you are using a different browser, or if OpenRefine does not automatically open for you, point your browser at http://127.0.0.1:3333/ or http://localhost:3333 to use the program.

Linux

Check that you have either the Firefox or the Chrome browser installed and set as your default browser. OpenRefine runs in your default browser.

Download software from http://openrefine.org/.

Make a directory called OpenRefine.

Unzip the downloaded file into the OpenRefine directory.

Go to your newly created OpenRefine directory.

Launch OpenRefine by entering ./refine into the terminal within the OpenRefine directory.

If you are using a different browser, or if OpenRefine does not automatically open for you, point your browser at http://127.0.0.1:3333/ or http://localhost:3333 to use the program.