Workshops

We offer, coordinate, and highlight workshops on data analysis and statistics, computation and programming, GIS methods and software and other useful stuff. Anyone in the UVa community may attend. It’s free! Feel free to email us recommendations for workshops you’d like to see: researchdataservices@virginia.edu.

Spring 2016 Workshops
Click on a workshop title to register; or click here to register for any of the workshops
StatLab Series || Computational Series || GIS Series || BioConnector Workshops || ARCS

StatLab Series
Find materials from past workshops

Workshop Topic (Instructor) Day Time Location
Intro to R
(Bommae Kim)
Thu, Feb 4 10:30 – 12:00 Brown Library 133
R is a free, open-source software for statistical computing and many other things. This workshop is designed for those who are new to R. We will be working on topics including introducing R and RStudio environment, reading in and manipulating data, carrying out basic statistical analysis, as well as making elementary graphics. No prior experience with R is assumed.

Download workshop materials

Web-Based Data Visualizations
(Bill Ferster, SHANTI)
Thu, Feb 4 2:00 – 3:30 Ruffner Hall 302
Have you ever wanted to visualize your research results without learning how to program? Not satisfied with simple Excel charts? SHANTI’s SHIVA suite of data visualization tools offers an array of charting, timeline, maps and many other tools for visualizing your data by merely dropping the data into google docs, and pointing the suite of tools towards them for quick, effective, and compelling results.
Topic Modeling in R
(Michele Claibourn)
Mon, Feb 8 2:00 – 3:30 Brown Library 133
Topic modeling is a popular tool for modeling document collections and has been applied in a variety of domains, from medical science to digital humanities. This workshop will introduce topic modeling in R, from processing text for a topic model, estimating topic models, and first steps at evaluation and interpretation.
Intro to LaTeX
(Chelsea Goforth)
Tue, Feb 9 10:00 – 11:30 Brown Library 133
LaTeX is a free typesetting program, primarily used for compiling professional research papers, articles, presentations, letters, and books. It is especially useful for the integration of mathematical formulas and equations and statistical output in ways that allow more control compared to popular word processing programs; however, compared to these other word processors, there is a steeper learning curve associated with learning the LaTeX language necessary to compile documents. This workshop is aimed at users new to LaTeX: we will address what LaTeX is and how it is most useful; introduce the structure of LaTeX documents, including how to start a document, use packages, and compile code; and provide an overview of basic formatting, document layout, and the creation of figures, tables, and equations; among other topics. Please note that you should already have LaTeX installed if you plan to follow along during this workshop as it can take a good deal of time to download and install; please also have a text editor of your choice installed (We recommend TeXStudio).
Intro to Machine Learning, with Support Vector Machines
(Bommae Kim)
Fri, Feb 19 10:30 – 12:00 Brown Library 133
We hear about Machine Learning and Data Mining everywhere. What are they? Are they relevant to your research. This workshop aims to introduce the basics of machine learning theory to applied researchers. The workshop will cover the basic concepts and terminology in machine learning, in comparison to the conventional statistical analysis. From many machine learning algorithms, we will take the example of Support Vector Machines in R. The workshop assumes introductory-level knowledge of linear regression and logistic regression.
Matching Methods for Causal Inference
(Michele Claibourn)
Tue, Feb 23 2:00 – 3:30 Brown Library 133
Experimental designs provide some of the strongest evidence of causality, primarily in response to the removal of confounding through randomization. But observational data abounds in the social and behavioral sciences, limiting causal inference.This workshop will introduce the potential outcomes framework for causal inference and the role of matching methods in estimating treatment effects in non-experimental data. We’ll focus on propensity score matching, one among many matching approaches, and walk through the implementation and diagnostics of matching. The workshop is intended for participants who are comfortable with multiple regression and familiar with limited dependent variables. We’ll use R to illustrate the approach.
Intro to Social Network Analysis
(Yun Tai)
Thu, Feb 25 11:00 – 12:30 Brown Library 133
Social network analysis (SNA) focuses on relationships between or among social actors or entities. This workshop is designed for those who are interested in getting started to know more about social network analysis, and whether and how SNA can be applied on your research or teaching. We will introduce basic concepts and measures of network structure, types and formats of network data, together with hands-on experience of how to perform elementary analyses and visualize network data in R. No previous knowledge of SNA is assumed. Prior experience with R will be helpful but not required.
Intro to Machine Learning, Classification and Regression Trees
(Clay Ford)
Thu, Mar 3 2:30 – 4:00 Brown Library 133
This workshop introduces the basics of machine learning theory to applied researchers, emphasizing tree-based methods. Tree-based methods allow you to create “decision trees” out of your data. Two common applications of decision trees are classifying a species of plant based on measurements and visual cues, and determining an appropriate medical action based on symptoms and vital signs. In this workshop we’ll show you how to use R to build and interpret regression and classification trees, and how to improve their predictive performance. While knowledge of R will be helpful it is not required.
Power and Sample Size Analysis
(Clay Ford)
Wed, Mar 16 10:00 – 11:30 Brown Library 133
When performing statistical tests it’s important to consider if your sample size is large enough to provide sufficient power to detect a hypothesized effect. In this workshop we’ll cover how to calculate power and sample size for various statistical tests using the “pwr” package in R. Knowledge of basic statistics, such as t-tests, ANOVA, and regression will be helpful as will some familiarity with R.
Exploratory Factor Analysis (using Stata)
(Chelsea Goforth)
Tue, Mar 22 10:00 – 11:30 Brown Library 133
In this workshop, we’ll begin by briefly discussing the relationships between principle component analysis, exploratory factor analysis, and confirmatory factor analysis, which are all variable reduction techniques with important similarities and differences. We’ll then discuss exploratory factor analysis in more detail and work through one or more examples of the technique in order to provide attendees with step-by-step instructions for conducting this technique using Stata and interpreting the output.
Geospatial and Census Data in R
(Yun Tai)
Wed, Mar 30 11:00 – 12:30 Brown Library 133
This workshop is designed for people with no or limited experience in using geospatial and US census data who would like to apply them on social sciences and other research and teaching using R. we will introduce geospatial data types, geospatial data handling such as importing, exporting, subsetting, joining and visualizing geospatial data, as well as structure of US census data, census data R package and census data mapping. Prior experience with R will be helpful but not required.

Computational Series

Workshop Topic (Instructor) Day Time Location
Intro to Linux
(Bryan Wright, Physics)
Wed, Feb 3 2:00 – 3:00 Brown Library 133
Linux is a very powerful operating system which includes a multitude of tools for programmers and system administrators. It is heavily used in the academic and scientific communities. But often the system seems cryptic to a new user. This workshop aims to demonstrate the basic functionality of the Linux system, the command line, navigating the UNIX file system. We will break down the various commands and functionality a beginner will typically encounter. No prior experience is necessary.
Intro to Python
(Pete Alonzi)
Tue, Feb 16 3:30 – 5:00 Brown Library 133
Python is a great scripting language with a lot of built-in functionality. It is rapidly gaining popularity for a variety of implementations especially in the data science world. This workshop will take the user from no prior experience, to installation, to built-in functionality understanding, and beyond. Participants are encouraged to bring their laptop as this will be an interactive workshop. No prior knowledge is needed to participate.
Numerical Computing in Python with NumPy and SciPy
(Katherine Holcomb, ARCS)
Thu, Feb 25 4:00 – 6:00 Brown Library 133
This workshop provides an introduction to performing scientific computations in Python using packages like SciPy and NumPy, high level packages that provide facilities for scientific and technical calculations. NumPy is Python’s core numerical library and adds true multidimensional arrays (similar to Fortran or C/C++ arrays) to the language. SciPy is a collection of open-source packages for applications such as minimization/optimization, ordinary differential equations, image processing, symbolic computation, and many others.
Visualization in Python with matplotlib
(Pete Alonzi)
Tue, Mar 1 2:00 – 3:30 Brown Library 133
Matplotlib is a python library for making publication quality plots, histograms, etc. This workshop will illustrate the fundamentals of making plots in python using matplotlib. This workshop is designed to be hands on so bring your laptop. No prior experience with matplotlib is required but it would be helpful to have had some experience in python.
Using Python with Web APIs
(Pete Alonzi)
Tue, Mar 15 2:00 – 3:30 Brown Library 133
Tons of data is streaming across the web every nanosecond. Why not write a program to grab some of it? That’s exactly what we’re going to learn about in this workshop on Web APIs using Python. We will write programs that interact with popular websites to gather data. This is a full participation workshop so pack your laptop to get the most out of it. We will be using python and instructions on how to setup your system will be sent to registrants. Some python knowledge would be great but if you don’t have any don’t let that stop you from coming. A can do spirit is the most important thing!
Version Control with Git
(Pete Alonzi)
Tue, Mar 24 2:00 – 3:30 Brown Library 133
Git is a powerful tool for version control. In this workshop we will go through the basic workflow with version control and use Git for our examples. The goal of the work shop is to demonstrate a full workcycle using proper version control practices. No experience required.
Computer Networking
(Bryan Wright, Physics)
Tue, Mar 29 2:00 – 3:00 Brown Library 133
In this workshop we’ll present an overview, in the context of Linux, of the layers that make up the “five layer” TCP/IP model of networking. We’ll start by introducing Ethernet, comparing it with other alternatives and describing the CSMA/CD principle upon which it works. We’ll talk about hardware (MAC) addresses, and how they’re used along with the ARP protocol and gateways to route messages. Then we’ll move to the Internet Protocol (IP), talk about how the Domain Name System (DNS) works, and how DNS lookups are configured on a Linux computer. Next we’ll move up to the Transport layer and talk about the TCP and UDP protocols, and introduce the concept of ports. We’ll take a look at how ethernet interfaces are represented and configured under Linux. Finally, we’ll talk about a few network monitoring tools.

GIS Series

Workshop Topic (Instructor) Day Time Location
Making Your First Map with ArcGIS
(Chris Gist)
Thu, Feb 4 3:00 – 4:00 Alderman Library 421
Here’s your chance to get started with geographic information systems software in a friendly, jargon-free environment. This workshop introduces the skills you need to make your own maps. Along the way you’ll get a taste of Earth’s most popular GIS software (ArcGIS) and a gentle introduction to cartography. You’ll leave with your own cartographic masterpieces and tips for learning more in your pursuit of mappiness at UVa.
Georeferencing a Map: Putting Old maps and Aerial Photos on Your Map
(Chris Gist)
Thu, Feb 11 3:00 – 4:00 Alderman Library 421
Would you like to see historic map overlaid on modern aerial photography? Do you need to extract features of a map for use in GIS? Georeferencing is the first step. We will show you how to take a scan of a paper map and align in it in ArcGIS.
Getting Your Data on a Map
(Chris Gist)
Thu, Feb 18 3:00 – 4:00 Alderman Library 421
Do you have a list of Lat/Lon coordinates or addresses you would like to see on a map? We will show you how to do just that. Through ArcGIS’s Add XY data tool and Geocoding (address matching), it is easy to take your tabular lists and generate points on a map.
Points on Your Map: Street Addresses and More Spatial Things
(Chris Gist)
Thu, Feb 25 3:00 – 4:00 Alderman Library 421
Do you have a list of street addresses crying out to be mapped? Have a list of zip codes or census tracts you wish to associate with other data? We’ll start with addresses and other things spatial and end with points on a map, ready for visualization and analysis.
Taking Control of Your Spatial Data: Editing in ArcGIS
(Chris Gist)
Thu, Mar 3 3:00 – 4:00 Alderman Library 421
Until we perfect that magic “extract all those lines from this paper map” button we’re stuck using editor tools to get that job done. If you’re lucky, someone else has done the work to create your points, lines, and polygons but maybe they need your magic touch to make them better. This session shows you how to create and modify vector features in ArcMap, the world’s most popular geographic information systems software. We’ll explore tools to create new points, lines, and polygons and to edit existing datasets. At version 10, ArcMap’s editor was revamped introducing new templates, but we’ll keep calm and carry on.
Introduction to ArcGIS Online
(Chris Gist)
Thu, Mar 17 3:00 – 4:00 Alderman Library 421
With ArcGIS Online, you can use and create maps and scenes, access ready-to-use maps, layers and analytics, publish data as web layers, collaborate and share, access maps from any device, make maps with your Microsoft Excel data, customize the ArcGIS Online website, and view status reports. You can also use ArcGIS Online as a platform to build custom location-based apps.
Easy Demographics
(Chris Gist)
Thu, Mar 24 3:00 – 4:00 Alderman Library 421
Need to make a quick demographic map or religious adherence? This workshop will show you how easily navigate Social Explorer. This powerful online application makes it easy to create maps with contemporary and historic census data and religious information.
Geospatial and Census Data in R
(Yun Tai)
Wed, Mar 30 11:00 – 12:30 Brown Library 133
This workshop is designed for people with no or limited experience in using geospatial and US census data who would like to apply them on social sciences and other research and teaching using R. we will introduce geospatial data types, geospatial data handling such as importing, exporting, subsetting, joining and visualizing geospatial data, as well as structure of US census data, census data R package and census data mapping. Prior experience with R will be helpful but not required.
Historic Census Data
(Chris Gist)
Thu, Mar 31 3:00 – 4:00 Alderman Library 421
Would you like to map the poverty in Philadelphia around the turn of the 20th Century? How about a racial breakdown by state in the 1860s? This workshop will focus on how to download historic census boundary and tabular data to make historic demographic maps.

BioConnector Series

Workshop Topic (Instructor) Day Time Location
Best Practices in Organizing Your Spreadsheet Data
(Andrea Denton, HSL)
Wed, Feb 17 3:00 – 4:00 HSL Tolleson Classroom
Are you new to research? Or perhaps just starting out on a new research project? This introductory class will explore how organize your spreadsheet data from the start. By properly configuring your data following some simple best practices, you’ll make your data collection and review more efficient and effective, and better prepare your data for analysis. This hands-on class will use Excel spreadsheets to explore practices for creating “tidy data”, such as consistency in data entry, naming of data elements, and the importance of data documentation. You’ll also use tools such as Open Refine to help automate the process of cleaning up your data.
Automated Image Analysis with ImageJ and R
(Zhuo Fu)
Wed, Mar 30 1:00 – 5:00 HSL Carter Classroom
This workshop aims to introduce open source (free) image analysis and statistical software to life science researchers with little to no programming experience. During the workshop, participants will learn how to use ImageJ and R on the Linux operating system to efficiently analyze large numbers of immunofluorescence staining images with minimal human error. By the end of the workshop, participants will master several basic computing concepts and skills (such as headless system, macros and scripting, creating and using functions in R) and be able to adapt codes found online to meet their own research needs. Laptop with software installed. More information will be emailed to participants at a later date. If you do not have a laptop or have questions about the configuration please contact the instructor at fuzhuofz@gmail.com
Power and Sample Size Analysis
(Clay Ford, RDS)
Thu, Mar 31 2:00 – 3:30 HSL Carter Classroom
When performing statistical tests it’s important to consider if your sample size is large enough to provide sufficient power to detect a hypothesized effect. In this workshop we’ll cover how to calculate power and sample size for various statistical tests using the “pwr” package in R. Knowledge of basic statistics, such as t-tests, ANOVA, and regression will be helpful as will some familiarity with R.
Building ‘Shiny’ Web Applications In R
(V.P. Nagraj, HSL)
Mon, Apr 11 2:00 – 3:30 HSL Carter Classroom
Shiny is a framework for developing interactive, web-based tools with R. This workshop will cover how to create a basic user interface, add reactive widgets and publish a Shiny app. No web development experience is required. Some familiarity with R will be helpful.

ARCS Series

Workshop Topic (Instructor) Day Time Location
Introduction to the HPC System
(ARCS)
Friday mornings Email hpc-support@virginia.edu Albert H. Small Room 112
New Rivanna users are invited to attend a free one-hour orientation session, Introduction to the HPC System, held on Friday mornings in the Albert H. Small Building (across from Rice), Room 112. Topics are aimed at researchers who are ready to move their computational research from their desktops to a faster environment. Emphasis will be on submitting jobs with the SLURM queuing system. Prerequisite: Experience with programming and an allocation on the HPC System. Email hpc-support@virginia.edu to reserve a space.
Campus Computing Cooperative
(ARCS)
Tue, Feb 8
Wed, Feb 9
11:00 – 11:50
3:00 – 3:50
MEC 215
Olsson 120
An initiative with the University of Indiana to evaluate the potential benefits of federation of resources, including machines with general-purpose GPUs as well as standard HPC clusters. Attendees will be able to participate in hands-on exercises to launch and monitor jobs from their laptops (Windows, Mac, Linux).
Global Federated Filesystem (GFFS)
(ARCS)
Thu, Feb 11
Fri, Feb 12
2:00 – 2:50
2:00 – 2:50
MEC 215
MEC 215
Learn to securely access and share data from almost anywhere. View and manipulate your files on Windows, Mac, or Linux. Secure, fast, and convenient.
XSEDE Campus Visit
(ARCS)
Fri, Feb 19 3:00 – 4:00 Thornton Hall, Rodman Room
Learn about XSEDE, the network of national resources providers funded by NSF.