Teaching basic lab skills
for research computing

Data Science Centers at UCB, UW, and NYU

Yesterday, the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation (who are Software Carpentry's main backer) announced $37.8M to support new data science centers at UC Berkeley, the University of Washington, and New York University. As UCB's Fernando Perez says in his blog post, it's taken a lot of work to get this off the ground, but the impact will be enormous.

We hope to help. Drew Conway's Venn Diagram shows "Hacking Skills" as one of the three principal components of data science:

Venn Diagram

Personally, I think the region that includes math and expertise but not hacking skills should be labelled "A World of Pain" rather than "Traditional Research". Our mission is to help scientists get out of it and into the center of the diagram by teaching them how to write code well (which is the key to writing it faster and being able to re-use it), how to automate repetitive tasks, how to use version control to keep track of what they've done and share it with others, and how to use the web to do more than just upload spreadsheets and download PDFs. If you'd like to help, we're now accepting applications for the March 2014 run of our instructor training course; please mail us about that, or about running a bootcamp where you are.

Congratulations to everyone involved in the proposal—we look forward to wonderful things.

Dialogue & Discussion

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