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UW-Madison Software Carpentry Workshop for the Social Sciences

Co-sponsored by

  • The Center for Demography and Ecology
  • The Department of Sociology
  • The Sociology of Gender Brownbag (Femsem)

June 3-4, 2015

3rd Floor Teaching Lab, Discovery Building, UW-Madison Campus

This repository contains the course material for the Software Carpentry workshop hosted by UW-Madison's Advanced Computing Initiative (ACI) for researchers in the Social Sciences at the UW-Madison.

Setup and Preparation

You will need to bring a laptop to all sessions of the workshop. It is strongly encouraged that participants already have a basic understanding of programming concepts, like loops, conditionals, and arrays. Before you arrive, please follow the instructions to install python and other software.


Please see our workshop advertisement page for registration.


This workshop has been structured around the concepts put forth in the recent paper "Best Practices for Scientific Computing" by G. Wilson, et al (at the top of this repository). In so doing, the sessions names have been chosen to correspond with some of the most important practices to start early in the research process. Please note that this schedule is subject to minor changes by the start of the workshop.

Day 1

Time Topic Instructor
8:30-9:00 Setup & Intro All
9:00-9:15 If it's not reproducible, is it still science? Karl
9:15-10:45 Introducing the Shell Lauren
10:45-11:00 Break
11:00-12:30 Let the Computer Do the Work Lauren
12:30-1:30 Lunch
1:30-2:30 Write Code for People Alex
2:30-2:45 Break
2:45-3:45 Write Code for People (cont.) Alex
3:45-4:30 Make Incremental Changes I Steve

Day 2

Time Topic Instructor
9:00-9:45 Don't Repeat Yourself (or Others) Alex
9:45-10:45 Make Incremental Changes II Christina
10:45-11:00 Break
11:00-12:00 Plan for Mistakes Christina
12:00- 1:00 Lunch
1:00-2:00 Make Changes from Anywhere (GitHub) Steve
2:00-2:30 Work and Home (or Being Mobile) Steve
2:30-2:45 Break
2:45-3:15 Collaborate Christina
3:15-4:30 Best Practices Summary and Discussion All


On the first day of our first boot camp (April 29, 2013), we were offered this XKCD Comic: Today's XKCD Comic


UW-Madison Software Carpentry workshop material




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