DRB Recap!

DRB Recap!

For four days in late January, 35 students and faculty from around CUNY gathered at the Graduate Center to take part in GCDI’s inaugural Digital Research Bootcamp. These individuals represented over a dozen academic programs from across the humanities, natural and social sciences. All told, these intrepid scholars engaged in 28 hours of hands on learning, developing their digital research skills with an array of methods and tools, in over 20 workshop sessions. The DRB kicked off with a day of digital research basics led by Jen, Keith, and David from Software Carpentry, with morning sessions on navigating your computer using the command line followed by an afternoon of version control with Git. On day two, the Software Carpentry team continued with a full day of programming with Python, focusing on data manipulation and basic analysis. On day three, the Digital Fellows took the helm and bootcampers returned for a day of data. The morning started off with two sessions on data cleaning and formatting led by former Fellow Evan Misshula, and a session on accessing social media data with the Twitter API, led by The GC’s Data and Digital Projects Librarian Stephen Zweibel and current Digital Fellow Patrick Smyth. The afternoon offered concurrent sessions on analyzing numerical data using NumPy/SciPy and machine learning with Fellow Hannah Aizenman, and analyzing text-based data with the Natural Language Tool Kit (NLTK), led by Fellows Michelle Johnson-McSweeney and Patrick Smyth. On the final day, things got visual with dual morning sessions on building a digital academic identity led by fellows Mary Catherine Kinniburgh and Patrick Sweeney, visualizing geographic data using CartoDB with Fellow Michelle Johnson-McSweeney, and a session on the basics of building webpages with HTML, CSS, and JavaScript, with Fellow Ian Phillips. The afternoon concluded with an engaging session on data visualization with Gephi, led by former Fellow Micki Kaufman, followed by a hard-earned post-camp celebration.

The engaging environment at the DRB was made possible by the enthusiasm and commitment to learning of the inaugural class of bootcampers. The DRB was developed through a grant submitted in partnership with Software Carpentry, NYPL Labs, Mozilla Science Lab, NYC Media Lab, Humanities Intensive Learning and Teaching, and the Digital Humanities Summer Institute thanks to support from GCDI, The Graduate Center, and The CUNY Strategic Investment Initiatives Program.

We’d like to give a HUGE THANK YOU to DRB participants, supporting and partner organizations—especially Jennifer, Keith, and David at Software Carpentry, and special guest workshop leaders Micki Kaufman, Evan Misshula, and Stephen Zweibel.

If you missed this one, worry not, for we will be hosting another Digital Research Bootcamp at CUNY Graduate Center this June! Stay tuned for applications. In the meantime, be sure to check out this spring’s workshop series and events hosted by the Digital Fellows.

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