University of California MERCED - Student Activities and Athletics Center, Room 209 (10/26) and Room 219 (10/27)

Oct 26-27, 2017

8:00 am - 4:00 pm

Instructors: Lisa Johnson, David Yakobovitch

Helpers: Sabah Ul-Hasan, Mario Banuelos, Daniel Leung, Alisak Sanavongsay

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: Muir Pass Road, Merced, CA 95340. Get directions with OpenStreetMap or Google Maps.

When: Oct 26-27, 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 ljcohen@ucdavis.edu or d@davidyako.com for more information.


Schedule

Surveys

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

Pre-workshop Survey

Post-workshop Survey

October 26

08:00 Introduction and Software Set-Up
09:30 Data Organization in Spreadsheets
10:30 Coffee
12:00 Lunch break
13:00 Data Cleaning with OpenRefine
14:30 Coffee
16:15 Wrap-up

October 27

08:00 Introduction and Software Set-Up
09:30 Data Analysis and Visualization in Python
10:30 Coffee
12:00 Lunch break
13:00 Python: Part II
14:30 Coffee
15:00 Data Management with SQL
16:15 Wrap-up

We will use this collaborative document for chatting, taking notes, and sharing URLs and bits of code.

Syllabus

Data Organization with Spreadsheets

  • Formatting data tables in Spreadsheets
  • Formatting problems
  • Dates as data
  • Quality control
  • Exporting data

Data Cleaning with OpenRefine

  • Working with OpenRefine
  • Filtering and Sorting with OpenRefine
  • Examining Numbers in OpenRefine
  • Scripts from OpenRefine
  • Exporting and Saving Data from OpenRefine
  • Other Resources in OpenRefine

Data Analysis and Visualization in Python

  • Starting with Data
  • Indexing, Slicing, and Subsetting DataFrames in Python
  • Data Types and Formats
  • Combining DataFrames with pandas
  • Data workflows and automation
  • Making Plots with ggplot
  • Data Ingest & Visualization - Matplotlib & Pandas

Data Management with SQL

  • Databases using SQL
  • Basic Queries
  • SQL Aggregation
  • Joins and aliases

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.

The Bash Shell

Bash is a commonly-used shell that gives you the power to do simple tasks more quickly.

Windows

Video Tutorial
  1. Download the Git for Windows installer.
  2. Run the installer and follow the steps bellow:
    1. Click on "Next".
    2. Click on "Next".
    3. Keep "Use Git from the Windows Command Prompt" selected and click on "Next". If you forgot to do this programs that you need for the workshop will not work properly. If this happens rerun the installer and select the appropriate option.
    4. Click on "Next".
    5. Keep "Checkout Windows-style, commit Unix-style line endings" selected and click on "Next".
    6. Keep "Use Windows' default console window" selected and click on "Next".
    7. Click on "Install".
    8. Click on "Finish".
  3. If your "HOME" environment variable is not set (or you don't know what this is):
    1. Open command prompt (Open Start Menu then type cmd and press [Enter])
    2. Type the following line into the command prompt window exactly as shown:

      setx HOME "%USERPROFILE%"

    3. Press [Enter], you should see SUCCESS: Specified value was saved.
    4. Quit command prompt by typing exit then pressing [Enter]

This will provide you with both Git and Bash in the Git Bash program.

Mac OS X

The default shell in all versions of Mac OS X is Bash, so no need to install anything. You access Bash from the Terminal (found in /Applications/Utilities). See the Git installation video tutorial for an example on how to open the Terminal. You may want to keep Terminal in your dock for this workshop.

Linux

The default shell is usually Bash, but if your machine is set up differently you can run it by opening a terminal and typing bash. There is no need to install anything.

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.