Computation and Visualization Consortium

Precollege and Undergraduate Science Education Program Award to Macalester

Paul Overvoorde
Program Director
Olin-Rice 211

The 2nd Computation and Visualization Consortium will take place July 7-11, 2014 at Macalester College. Download workshop announcement

A set of seats and scholarships are available for Faculty from non-CVC institutions.  Please complete an application for the workshop using this link.

Macalester faculty and their counterparts at Calvin College, Gustavus Adolphus College, Grinnell College, Lawrence University, and Smith College comprise the consortium.

The consortium will address a shared need to improve key computational skills, to promote connections among faculty with similar teaching and research interests, and to conceive, vet, and implement curricular materials (syllabi, instructional modules, assignments, and labs) that cultivate in students the skills to organize, filter, analyze, and display data sets of increasing size and complexity.

Workshop Audience and Topics

As the second in a series of workshops, this gathering aims to engage science faculty who have an interest to better prepare science students to meet the challenges of formatting, analyzing, and visualizing increasingly complex and large data sets.  Recognizing the diverse backgrounds and needs of faculty, the week will be divided in two parts.  Participants can join for all or half of the 5-days of programing.

The first 2.5 days of the workshop (starting 9 am on Monday, July 7 and ending at noon on July 9) aims to introduce faculty members to the open source software package, RStudio.  These days will serve as an introduction to using R for handling data and graphics and include

  • An introduction to the RStudio environment
  • A “More with Less Cookbook” for R, maybe “doing more in R with less cookbook”
  • Designing and creating sophisticated graphical data visualizations
  • Data wrangling: Manipulating data for graphics and insight
  • Preparing documents that include text, graphics and analysis.  

The second 2.5 days of the workshop (starting at noon on July 9 and ending at 4 pm on July 11) will provide participants a chance to dig in on their own projects -- the “work” part of the workshop

  • quick review of first half of workshop
  • planning your case study
  • development of case studies (individually or in small groups)

In order to support project development, participants will learn specific skills as needed.  

These may include

  • how to summarize data with models
  • how to construct plausible models and fit them
  • displaying models on graphics
  • error bars/bands and how to see inferential ideas on graphs
  • basic data scraping skills (how to get data from web sites)
  • working with online databases in R
  • more advanced data cleaning skills
  • additional programming skills
  • resampling and bootstrap methods

Arrival and Departure

The first-half of the workshop will begin at 9 am on Monday, July 7, 2014 and end at noon on Wednesday, July 9, 2014.  The second-half of the workshop will start at noon on Wednesday, July 9 and conclude by 4 pm on Friday, July 11, 2014.  Those flying to the workshop can book flights to the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport (MSP).  The airport is approximately 15 minutes from campus by car.  Shuttle or taxi transportation will be arranged once flight schedules of participants becomes known. As agreed upon during the planning of the Computational and Visualization Consortium (CVC), each participating institution will cover transportation costs.  A limited number of travel scholarships are available for non-CVC participants.

Institutional Representatives of the Computation and Visualization (CVC) Steering Committee

 Macalester College        Paul J. Overvoorde (Professor of Biology)

Calvin College               Randy Pruim (Professor of Math and Statistics)

Grinnell College              Leslie Gregg-Jolly (Professor of Biology)

Gustavus Adolphus      Jeff Dahlseid (Associate Professor of Biology and Chemistry)

Lawrence University      Beth DeStasio and Nancy Wall (Professors of Biology)

Smith College                 Chirs Gole (Professor of Mathematics and Statistics)