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CoDEx Workshops

Morning workshops will kick off the day bright and early, from 8:45 a.m. to 9:45 a.m. Registration is required via the CoDEx registration form. Registered attendees are invited to breakfast in the Louis Lobby at 8 a.m.

Come learn a new skill from the experts of Northwestern IT Research Computing and Data Services. Whether you are a non-coder, an experienced programmer, or somewhere in between, there is a workshop for you. Workshops are one-hour, hands-on, practical lessons designed specifically for the Northwestern University research community.

Please note that workshop seating is limited. We expect workshops to reach capacity. Only register if you are certain that you will attend. Registration is available through the CoDEx registration.

Concurrent Morning Workshops
8:45–9:45 a.m.

CANCELLED: An Introduction to Object-Oriented Programming for Parents of Young Children and Other Fans of “Bluey” - Lake Room

Colby Witherup Wood, Manager, Data Science Services, Northwestern IT

Have you ever wondered what object-oriented programming (OOP) is and how it differs from how you code now? Have you tried to understand this coding style in the past, but it just left you confused? This hands-on workshop starts with a fun illustration of OOP with help from the characters from the Australian children’s TV show Bluey. We will then code a Bluey episode using OOP in Python. We will define our object classes with their attributes and functions and learn about object inheritance. Some knowledge of Python coding is helpful, but it is not necessary to follow along. No prior knowledge of Bluey is required. 

Prerequisites: Participants should bring a laptop with internet access and have a Google account (personal or through Northwestern) to access Google Colab (a free cloud tool for coding in Python notebooks).

How to Code with ChatGPT - McCormick Auditorium

efrén cruz cortés, Data Scientist, Northwestern IT; Aaron Geller, Senior Data Visualization Specialist, Northwestern IT; and Emilio Lehoucq, Data Scientist, Northwestern IT

More and more researchers are turning to ChatGPT to write, improve, and understand code. But should you trust AI? This workshop introduces participants to the capabilities of large language models for coding-related tasks. We will introduce generative AI, talk through examples of its uses and misuses in coding, go over some common pitfalls, and give you helpful tips and tricks for writing prompts and interpreting the output. The workshop will focus mainly on ChatGPT but will include some information about GitHub Copilot and other models. 

Prerequisites: Participants should bring a laptop with internet access and create an OpenAI account before the workshop begins.

Version Control and Collaboration on GitHub from the Web (Without Learning Git) - Big Ten Room

Tobin Magle, Lead Data Management Specialist, Northwestern IT; John Lee, Data Scientist, Northwestern IT

This workshop is designed for researchers and support staff who are non-coders or who do not have time to learn the Git command line syntax. GitHub is a website that stores code and other documentation. It is also a version control system to track changes made in files and check for differences when two or more collaborators make changes to the same file. While many coders learn how to use Git from the command line to “add” their changes, “commit” their versions, and “push” their files to the web, you can do the same things from the GitHub website. We will walk you through the GitHub web interface and teach you all the Git jargon you need to know to collaborate with your colleagues.

Prerequisite: Participants should bring a laptop with internet access and create their own GitHub account before the workshop begins. 

Beyond the Defaults: Elevating Your Data Visualizations - Louis Room

Christina Maimone, Associate Director, Research Data Services, Northwestern IT

Data analysis programs produce default plots and visualizations that work well for exploring your data. But when you are ready to share your analysis with others, taking a few extra steps beyond the default output can significantly improve the clarity and impact of your visualizations. We will walk through several examples to see the big effect small changes can have. Code examples will be shown using ggplot2 in R, but any data analysis program can implement the concepts covered. You will leave with a list of ideas you can apply to your visualizations.

Prerequisite: R users should bring a laptop with R/RStudio installed and internet access; other participants should bring a pen and paper.

Want to Learn More?

If you are interested in more opportunities for learning computing and data skills, additional workshops and learning resources are available through Northwestern IT Research Computing and Data Services.