CUNY's Digital Research Bootcamp

Over winter break, I was lucky enough to attend CUNY's inaugural Digital Research Bootcamp (DRB).  The DRB was host by CUNY's Digital Research Initiatives and took place from 1/19-1/22.  

The bootcamp had an ambitious goal--participants from all disciplines were brought together to learn and practice a wide variety of digital skills. Over the 4 days, I attended workshops on programming (python, git & the command line) , GIS mapping, and machine learning. 

 CUNY's science center was filled with PhD students and faculty for the inaugural Digital Research Bootcamp

CUNY's science center was filled with PhD students and faculty for the inaugural Digital Research Bootcamp

While I am not a newcomer to programming languages (I spend most of my days sifting through R scripts) the bootcamp provided foundational information that has clarified underlying principles of my coding work in R.

One of the overarching highlights was the multi-disciplinary nature of the group.  Forty attendees represented over 10 training areas within CUNY. It was inspiring to see the excitement around collaboratively learning skills that we can all implement in our research. 

If you happen to be thinking about, or are just starting  out with programming, I wanted to share a few essentials I came across during the DRB.  The first two days of the workshop were led by two instructors with Software Carpentry.  I highly encourage attending their workshops, or visiting the "lessons" section of their site to follow along with their well-developed curricula.  If you're familiar with the basics of coding, and want to explore more advanced machine learning techniques using Python, check out SciKit's site for techniques to implement machine learning programs  (I'll be doing this soon!) CartoDB is a GIS site which lets users construct mapping masterpieces from large datasets.  Below is a map I created during the DRB using publicly available data on school districts and museums in NYC.

 An example of GIS mapping with CartoDB

An example of GIS mapping with CartoDB

Lastly, if you are interested in the full immersive DRB experience visit CUNY's Digital Research Initiatives site--preparations are already underway for a second DRB!

 

Rob Crystal-OrnelasComment