Dr Katerina MichalickovaThe Research Computing Skills Programme consists of a range of courses in research design, programming and statistics, all of which aim to enable doctoral students to complete their research successfully and effectively. The courses are facilitated by members of staff in computing, statistics and academic departments. Programme participants also have the opportunity to learn from experienced peer GTAs, who design and deliver some of the courses. This provides an interesting perspective, as GTAs have a unique understanding of doctoral researchers’ needs.

The Research Computing Skills Programme aims to:

  • Complement the research support that doctoral researchers receive locally
  • Provide training in a range of programming languages
  • Enhance doctoral researchers’ ability to analyse data using a variety of statistical methods
  • Develop doctoral researchers’ capacity to conduct research effectively

Research Capacity Professional Development Courses

Computing: Bash Shell Scripting

Tutor: Dr Katerina Michalickova
Course Level: Level 1

This tutorial aims to teach students fundamentals of bash shell scripting.  Bash script is a series of shell commands that are executed in a sequence.  Shell scripts are often used to deploy large repetitive tasks on the system.  Because shell scripts use common programming constructs, this class can serve as an introduction to programming. Prerequisite: working knowledge of the command line

Outline:

  • What is a bash script and why do we need it?
  • Variables
  • Tests
  • Loops
  • Functions
  • Worked example 

On completion of this workshop you will be able to:

  • Identify problems that can be solved with bash scripting
  • Write medium complexity shell scripts
  • Test and troubleshoot errors in their scripts
  • Refactor existing scripts

Dates

The Graduate School’s Professional Skills Course Programme has finished for the 2018-19 academic session.  Courses will be available to book at the end of September 2019 for the next academic session (2019-20).

 

Computing: Introduction to HPC at Imperial

Tutor: Dr Katerina Michalickova
Course Level: Level 1

This workshop introduces the high performance computing resource at the College. This is a central resource that covers a large part of the College’s scientific computing needs. The participants will first learn how to use this resource for simple serial computations.  We will then consider data parallelism and deployment of such computations.  Finally, we will move onto fundamentals of parallel computing and demonstrate using parallel programs on the resource.

Outline:

  • Systems at Imperial
  • Log in
  • File management
  • Software Management
  • Queue system
  • Computation parameters
  • Deployment scripts
  • Serial jobs
  • Data parallelism
  • Open Multi-Processing introduction
  • OpenMP code example
  • Message Passing interface introduction
  • MPI code example
  • Hybrid jobs
  • Hybrid code example

On completion of this workshop you will be able to:

  • Estimate resources needed for their computations
  • Combine knowledge of bash scripting and queue system to write deployment scripts
  • Use Imperial HPC systems for serial, multiple serial and parallel jobs
  • Troubleshoot errors and pinpoint probable cause of problems
  • Ask for help in an informed way

Dates

The Graduate School’s Professional Skills Course Programme has finished for the 2018-19 academic session.  Courses will be available to book at the end of September 2019 for the next academic session (2019-20).

Students must attend both parts of this course to be awarded a credit.

Computing: Introduction to LaTeX

Tutors: Alexis Belessiotis & Debesh Mandal (GTAs)
Course Level: Level 1

LaTeX has become the industry standard for technical documents across the sciences - capable of producing articles, letters, books, slides and posters which are standardised, aesthetic and clear. Typesetting is also a widely transferable skill beyond academia. This workshop introduces the key concepts which underlie the LaTeX language and its various uses, and guides participants through the creation of a simple document template which can be used as the basis for their future articles.

On completion of this workshop you will be able to:

  • Recognise the advantages of LaTeX and its applications in the wider context of typesetting
  • Identify the key features for reading and compiling an existing .tex document
  • Develop new technical documents from simple templates
  • Create simple equations, figures, tables, lists and references within LaTeX
  • Assess and troubleshoot common compiler problems and use online aid to

Dates

The Graduate School’s Professional Skills Course Programme has finished for the 2018-19 academic session.  Courses will be available to book at the end of September 2019 for the next academic session (2019-20).

 

Computing: Writing Theses in LaTeX

Tutors: Alexis Belessiotis & Debesh Mandal (GTAs)
Course Level: Level 2

The thesis is likely to be the longest technical document you have ever compiled, and can seem a daunting task. But if done well, you will leave behind a lasting record of your achievements. This workshop explores how LaTeX can be used to typeset a thesis in a professional and aesthetic way, which conforms to the Imperial College guidelines. Participants will practise using a variety of LaTeX packages, will receive personalised feedback on their typesetting, and will leave with their own thesis template. 

To benefit fully from this workshop, participants should already be familiar with the key concepts in the LaTex language and/or should have attended Introduction to LaTex.

On completion of this workshop you will be able to:

  • Recognise the advantages of LaTeX and its applications in the wider context of typesetting
  • Identify the key features for reading and compiling an existing .tex document  
  • Develop new technical documents from simple templates
  • Create simple equations, figures, tables, lists and references within LaTeX
  • Assess and troubleshoot common compiler problems and use online aidtools

Dates

The Graduate School’s Professional Skills Course Programme has finished for the 2018-19 academic session.  Courses will be available to book at the end of September 2019 for the next academic session (2019-20).

Computing: The Linux Command Line for Scientific Computing

Tutor: Dr Katerina Michalickova
Course Level: Level 1

This tutorial is aimed at students who have no experience with using the command line.  During this workshop, you will be introduced to basic commands and this will include a range of exercises.

The tutorial will cover:

  • File management for a scientific project
  • Text editing with nano
  • Basic Unix commands and parameters
  • Command redirection and pipes
  • Types of files
  • Running programs on the command line
  • Connecting to a remote server
  • Examples of installing software

On completion of this workshop you will be able to:

  • Identify the situations when the Linux command line is needed
  • Apply the Linux commands to manage data and programs
  • Develop a command line based project plan
  • Identify the right commands to execute the plan
  • Troubleshoot potential problems related to the command line environment

Dates

The Graduate School’s Professional Skills Course Programme has finished for the 2018-19 academic session.  Courses will be available to book at the end of September 2019 for the next academic session (2019-20).

Research Skills - Social Sciences and Medicine: Research Design

Tutor: Professor Marjo-Ritta Jarvelin
Course Level: Level 1

This session will focus on the importance of a feasible plan with appropriate design, and how the aims and hypotheses influence choosing the best design. The course will cover types of study, sample selection and size. We will compare strengths and weaknesses of design using examples from recent studies. This course will equip the students to start critical thinking about what may be the best design choice for their project.

On completion of this workshop you will be able to:

  • Identify the importance of a feasible plan with appropriate design
  • Recognise how the aims and hypotheses influence choosing the best design
  • Employ the appropriate type of study, sample selection and size
  • Evaluate strengths and weaknesses of a design
  • Assess the best design choice for your project

The Graduate School’s Professional Skills Course Programme has finished for the 2018-19 academic session.  Courses will be available to book at the end of September 2019 for the next academic session (2019-20).

Statistics: Basic Statistics

Tutor: Brett Thomas

This workshop will introduce basic statistical concepts and when and where to use them. The course will be taught as a lecture-based course with audience involvement. This will include group discussion and a worksheet to be gradually completed alongside the lecture to actively apply the concepts learnt to an unseen data set.

On completing this course, you will be better able to,

  • Recognise and gain an understanding of the need for statistics, their appropriate and inappropriate uses and limitations in scientific studies, including the differences between descriptive and inferential statistics
  • Employ and recognise different nomenclature, types of data and understand appropriate metrics when presenting data or interpreting scientific studies
  • Develop the basic skills needed to collect, analyse and present data in concise and appropriate formats depending on the study, including different calculations of averages and variability
  • Assess populational data by drawing conclusions from descriptive statistics on smaller data sets, whilst analysing the limitations of the analysis
  • Identify trends within random data sets through use of standardised mathematical distributions and use this to inform the set-up and interpretation of scientific data collection

Dates

The Graduate School’s Professional Skills Course Programme has finished for the 2018-19 academic session.  Courses will be available to book at the end of September 2019 for the next academic session (2019-20).

Statistics: Introduction to sampling and hypothesis testing

Tutor: Mr. Yuan Qin

This workshop will introduce you to basic statistical concepts and tools. It is a practical session and you will learn which is the best statistical test to apply for different situations.

Note: Pen, paper, and calculator are preferred for attending the tutorial. PC is not mandatory.

On completing this course, you will be better able to

  • Identify different statistical distributions
  • Recognise sampling constrains and variability
  • Employ skills to build confidence intervals
  • Apply correct test statistics for hypothesis testing
  • Assess numerical results to make statistical inferences

Dates

The Graduate School’s Professional Skills Course Programme has finished for the 2018-19 academic session.  Courses will be available to book at the end of September 2019 for the next academic session (2019-20).

Statistics: Regression Modelling

Tutor: Maxwell Munford
Course Level: Level 1

This workshop will combine an informal lecture and practical modelling to explain how to apply regression methods to model data in terms of one or multiple variables. We will discuss how to approach modelling problems and draw conclusions from correlating variables. This workshop will focus on the application and methods for using regression, NOT the theory, and will include a practical session followed by how to interpret and analyse your model. The practical session will require very basic level use of MATLAB, but all necessary scripts will be provided.

On completing this workshop, you will be better able to:

  • Identify the correlation coefficient as a single measure of linear association.
  • Apply linear regression to model a response variable in terms of a single or multiple variables
  • Assess model validity by checking model assumptions.
  • Assess model fitness by comparing the results produced by the model with your data.

Dates

The Graduate School’s Professional Skills Course Programme has finished for the 2018-19 academic session.  Courses will be available to book at the end of September 2019 for the next academic session (2019-20).

 

Statistics: Introduction to R-Programming

Tutors: Anupriya Anupriya

This course is an introduction to R programming from scratch with applications in statistics. Over a 3-hour course, participants will learn: Variables and assignments; Classes and data structures; Logical operations; Control structures; Functions; Importing and cleaning data.

No prior programming knowledge is assumed but knowledge of basic statistical concepts is required. Note that this course is designed for absolute beginners and is thus suitable for students who have no prior knowledge of the statistical software.

On completion of this workshop you will be able to:

  • Identify and use the key components of programming in R.
  • Recognise the strengths and challenges of programming in R.
  • Employ R to perform data analysis
  • Design compact R solutions to programming and statistical challenges.

Dates

The Graduate School’s Professional Skills Course Programme has finished for the 2018-19 academic session.  Courses will be available to book at the end of September 2019 for the next academic session (2019-20).

Statistics: Introduction to Statistics Using SPSS

Tutor: Joseph Eliahoo
Course Level: Level 1

A practical PC-based one day workshop familiarising participants with the SPSS software progressing from data entry to one and two sample tests, one-way ANOVA and linear regression.

On completion of this workshop you will be able to

  • Identify and understand your data in relation to your research projects
  • Recognise the importance of the correct use of statistical methods to your research questions
  • Develop skills in the use of the SPSS statistical software package
  • Apply statistical methodology to various types of data
  • Assess results from the SPSS program then understand how to interpret and present their results.

Dates

  • The Graduate School’s Professional Skills Course Programme has finished for the 2018-19 academic session.  Courses will be available to book at the end of September 2019 for the next academic session (2019-20).