DataUp Program – Texas A&M University – Kingsville Workshop

Learners, faculty members, and Carpentries instructors at the close of the Texas A&M University – Kingsville’s (TAMUK) Python/JupyterHub 2-day workshop.  The DataUp program will host a 2-day workshop at each of the participating institutions.
On September 28 – 29, the DataUp program hosted a 2-day workshop at Texas A&M University – Kingsville, a historically Hispanic serving institution in Southern Texas. Arriving on the first day, a sense of eagerness buzzed throughout the classroom. Not only from the learners but also from the hosting faculty members. Faculty member, Dr. Min Zhoung, Assistant Professor of Environmental Engineering, noted that oftentimes learners tend to stray away from analytical or data science opportunities because of a ‘math or computational’ fear. The Carpentries instructors provided engaging and supportive hands-on Python & SQL tutorials and exercises utilizing the shared notebook, JupyterHub. Although there were learners of varying stages of coding knowledge and expertise, numerous students stated their excitement and gratitude for the workshop. One young woman who works in the TAMUK’s President’s office noted that her “projects took considerable time to set up and run, but with the tips from the workshop she can cut her project time down significantly”. The DataUp program’s mission, in part, is to increase capacities for and usage of data science tools. Learners noted that similar workshops moved either too fast or too slow, but this workshop provided the opportunity for all learners to ask questions and learn subtleties to maximize Python and JupyterHub. This workshop was timely for a young man attending a job interview the following week providing him the opportunity to ‘brush up on his verbiage and techniques’.
Another young man, who self-identified himself as proficient in R and new to Python, shared that the instructor’s ability to relate and identify how other coding languages could utilize the notebook “really helped [him] to understand and see how [he] could use the notebook to collaborate with faculty and project members on his [environmental studies] research”. No matter the level of coding expertise, each learner noted how the workshop and the utilization of JupyterHub will benefit their future research and project opportunities. The workshop also allowed for learners and faculty members to experience a way the South Hub continues to expand individual and institutional capacities for data science utilization. By the end of the workshop, numerous learners noted their interest in additional opportunities to engage with the South Hub and with similarly interested individuals. The next DataUp workshop will take place at Florida A&M on Oct 11-12.