What is our objective?

Organized by Healthy Brains for Healthy Lives (through its HBHL-SKILLSETS program), this workshop aims to provide an introduction to programming for research trainees at the undergraduate, graduate and postdoctoral level in neuroscience and related disciplines. We will cover an initial introduction to basic programming structure— including an overview of languages and tools of interest— with an emphasis on developing reproducible and portable software. Participants will gain skills and tools that can be applied to their own research projects.

This event will be taught as three half-day components, each of which may be attended independently and covering the following content:

  • Session 1, Introduction to Programming: this session is intended for true beginners. We will cover the basics of programming, how algorithms are designed, and begin practicing with our own non-research examples. We will budget time for helping configure participants' computers for the later sessions.

  • Session 2, Fundamentals of Programming: this session will teach you how to perform basic programming tasks, including processing numerical data and writing functions. It will jump through components of the Software Carpentry curriculum, with particular emphasis on programming in Python. We will discuss how the introduced structure can be seen in R, as well.

  • Session 3, Applications in Data Analysis: this session will be two sessions run in parallel (each participant will choose one):
    • Learn to visualize data and perform basic statistical analysis in Python. This session will introduce the Scikit-learn library.
    • Learn to visualize data and perform basic statistical analysis in R. This session will be based on the Data Carpentry in R lesson which analyzes ecological data, but can be easily generalized to neuroscience data.

This workshop will be led by Greg Kiar and Elizabeth DuPre. Both are Ph.D. students at McGill University and former HBHL Fellows, certified software and data carpentry instructors, have developed and taught courses on scientific computing to a wide variety of audiences and skill levels, and use the skills being presented in their daily work.

The organizers hope the outcome of this event is an increased understanding of programming methodologies for data analysis, and, in particular, increased ability of users to better ask questions about programming, which will expedite and ensure high quality in their research.

Please run the Setup Instructions before coming, and join in discussions on Slack in the #hbhl-i2p channel to connect with the community and start asking questions!

Dates: February 23-24, 2019
Cost: Free. Registration is required
Location: New Residence Hall (3625 Park Ave, Montreal, QC H2X 3P8)
Languages: English
Required skills: Desire to learn basic scientific programming in Python/R and Unix, as well as version control with Git


The schedule will be approximately as follows:

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