SGCI webinars bring together community members across the globe.

Content with tag education .

Webinar: Data and Software Carpentry: Using Training to Build a Worldwide Research Community

May 10, 2017

Data and Software Carpentry: Using Training to Build a Worldwide Research Community
Presented by Tracy Teal, co-founder and the Executive Director of Data Carpentry, and Adjunct Assistant Professor with BEACON, Michigan State University

Although petabytes of data are now available, most scientific disciplines are failing to translate this sea of data into scientific advances. The missing step between data collection and research progress is a lack of training for scientists in crucial skills for effectively and reproducibly managing and analyzing large amounts of data. Already faced with a deluge of data, researchers themselves are demanding this training. Short, intensive, hands-on Software and Data Carpentry workshops give researchers the opportunity to engage in deliberate practice as they learn these skills. This model has been shown to be effective, with the vast majority (more than 90%), of learners saying that participating in the workshop was worth their time and led to improvements in their data management and data analysis skills. Data Carpentry events have trained over 20,000 learners since 2014 on 6 continents with over 800 volunteer instructors. The strategies of growing this community could be applied toward growing communities of gateway users, particularly by offering training and demonstrating the value of the skills and tools that will enhance their work.

View the slides (Slideshare)

Watch on YouTube


Questions asked during the webinar (and some answers)

If you have further questions, you are welcome to contact Tracy at tkteal AT datacarpentry DOT org.

Q: What is the relationship between SGCI and her organization? There seems to be some training, for example? 
A: Currently there is no formal relationship between SGCI and Data Carpentry, but we definitely want to look into that option further!

Q: I wonder how additional topics and instructors get added to the set of offerings.

Q: When discussing "active learning", she used an acronym - IBU? IVU? What's that?
A: I, We, You [First the instructor shows it, then we do it together, and then you do it yourself.]

Q: Do you request attendees install software before a workshop (or during)? In the Python ecosystem, do you recommend a particular distribution?
A: Anaconda

Example of a lesson:

Q: So what about Jupyter? Do you use it?

Q: Where does the instructor training take place? and is there also a cost for this?

Q: Who pays for the volunteer instructor's travel?

Q: What is the relationship between Data Carpentry and Software Carpentry.

Webinar: Creating a developer pipeline by teaching gateway technologies

February 8, 2017

Creating a developer pipeline by teaching gateway technologies
Presented by Marlon Pierce and Suresh Marru, Indiana University 

Abstract: Do you have trouble recruiting and retaining good gateway developers? Common challenges include the allure of the cutting-edge commercial sector, academic pay scales, and the specialized knowledge necessary for development. The Indiana University Science Gateways Research Center is attempting to turn this challenge into an opportunity by teaching Web-based cyberinfrastructure systems using concepts and technologies that will benefit students in their non-academic careers. Such distributed systems require knowledge of both classic and cutting-edge topics, such as microservices and “DevOps” practices. Meanwhile, the instructors can identify and connect with promising students while keeping themselves aware of important trends and technologies. This webinar will provide an overview of the material and concepts that we cover in the class, describe the student project assignments and class organization, and present outcomes and student feedback that we have gotten over the last two semesters. We will also discuss possibilities of making the course material and instruction available to other interested universities. Course information and material is available from

View the slides (Slideshare)

Watch the YouTube recording

Answers to questions asked during the webinar

Q: Are services mostly on the gateway side or mostly at the clusters?
A: Services are mostly middleware.

Q: Were all/most students CS students? Were they undergraduate or graduate students?
A: Yes, all of them ended up being CS students. We had Data Science students enrolled but we probably scared them away with programming-heavy projects. So far, it has been restricted to graduate students.

Q: Were distributed data services part of the class?
A: Distributed data services are part of the advanced class we are teaching in Spring. We are trying to make this is a rhythm; in Fall, the foundation gateway architecture class, and in Spring, we recruit selected students from the Fall class to do advanced topics like you mention.

Q: Were there exams? Or was it all homework/project-based?
A: Everything is project and class participation based. Here's an example of our grading in Fall:

Q: Do you ever invite "real" scientists to discuss their use of gateways?
A: Yes, we do guest lectures when we have to travel. We also tried to bring in guest lectures from industry, which also worked out well.