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Research Commons - Workshops for graduate students & postdoctoral fellows

The Research Commons is pleased to offer you a range of workshops. Register for upcoming workshops. Search by date in our workshops calendar.

If you do not see the topic(s) you are interested in and/or would like a specialized workshop for yourself and a group of colleagues, send a request to research-commons@sfu.ca.

SFU values diversity and is committed to inclusion. If you believe you require any disability related accommodations in order to fully access and participate in our workshops and/or events, please contact us directly at library-workshops@sfu.ca. Please contact us as soon as possible as some accommodations will require lead time to arrange (i.e. CART, ASL)

All in a Day - Research Toolkit

This is a suite of workshops for graduate students and postdoctoral fellows taking place at SFU Vancouver on Saturday, February 3, 2018.

Next semester's workshops will be posted soon.

Digital Humanities

Collaboration and Project Management in the Digital Humanities

This two-part workshop is designed to cover some of the pragmatic concerns involved in managing a large-scale digital project. Participants are encouraged to attend both parts, but are welcome to come to one or the other.

Note: The first part will be the first hour; the 2nd part starts on the 2nd hour. Please register and join us for the first part, second part or both parts.

Upcoming Workshops

Dates Location
Wednesday, March 7, 2018 - 1:30pm to 3:30pm Burnaby, Bennett Library, Wosk Seminar Room 7100 (inside Special Collections)

EAL/ESL

Next semester's workshops will be posted soon.

Learning

Next semester's workshops will be posted soon.

Research data management

De-identify data

De-identification enables sharing of data for secondary purposes. Changes may be made to the data and controls can be put in place to manage risk.

This workshop will introduce a risk-based methodology for de-identification that is appropriate for various academic disciplines. Topics include: in/direct identifiers, risk thresholds and measurement, plausible attacks, techniques (generalization, suppression, and subsampling), documentation, equivalence classes, and k-anonymity.

The workshop uses content from an eBook available through SFU Library:

Emam, K. E., & Arbuckle, L. (2013). Anonymizing Health Data: Case Studies and Methods to Get You Started. Sebastopol, CA, USA: O’Reilly Media, Inc. Retrieved from http://proquest.safaribooksonline.com.proxy.lib.sfu.ca/9781449363062

Upcoming Workshops

Dates Location
Wednesday, February 28, 2018 - 11:00am to 12:30pm Burnaby, Bennett Library, Rm 7010, Research Commons

Find Data / Share Data

Are you interested in increasing the visibility of your research? This workshop will help you describe your data for long term access and findability.   As a bonus, we'll also show  you how to find data relevant to your research.

Some of the tools we'll be looking at are DataCite, Abacus, ICPSR and Radar.

Upcoming Workshops

Dates Location
Wednesday, March 14, 2018 - 11:00am to 12:30pm Burnaby, Bennett Library, Rm 7010, Research Commons

Clean data

Do you work with research data in spreadsheets? If so, this workshop is designed for you! We’ll be covering the best practices for Data Organization in Spreadsheets, according to Data Carpentry. Then we’ll look at formatting values, fixing dates, merging/splitting columns, and more. By the end, you’ll be prepared to take your spreadsheets to the next level.

Upcoming Workshops

Dates Location
Wednesday, April 11, 2018 - 11:00am to 12:30pm Burnaby, Bennett Library, Rm 7200

Next semester's workshops will be posted soon.

Research programming

Introduction to Social Network Analysis with R

Social Network Analysis is to visualize and analyze data from a social network like Twitter or Facebook. If you're involved in analytics in any capacity, this course will be a huge help, teaching you how the R SNA and igraph modules works and how to format data for analysis, create graphs, analyze network graphs, and visualize networks.
 
Requirements:
Basic knowledge of R programming, but no knowledge of social network analysis required.

Upcoming Workshops

Dates Location
Thursday, March 15, 2018 - 3:30pm to 5:00pm Burnaby, Bennett Library, Rm 7010, Research Commons

Running Jobs on the Cluster

This is an introductory workshop on how to use Cedar to run simple jobs. We will review how to login to Cedar, what the Login, Interactive, and Compute nodes are; the differences between scratch, project, and home directories; how to submit a batch job; how to monitor your submitted job; and how to install R packages in your home directory.
 
Requirements:
  • If you want to follow this workshop in your computer, please get a Compute Canada account and access to Cedar.
  • Basic understanding of UNIX
 

Upcoming Workshops

Dates Location
Tuesday, March 27, 2018 - 3:00pm to 4:00pm Burnaby, Bennett Library, Rm 7010, Research Commons

Presenting Arch Linux

Is your Operating System Windows, macOS, or a prepackaged linux distribution running "out-of-the box" like Ubuntu and are you curious to hear about Arch Linux?

I will introduce this linux distribution which "focuses on elegance, code correctness, minimalism and simplicity, and expects the user to be willing to make some effort to understand the system's operation" (source). It relies on the KISS principle ("keep it simple, stupid"): no bloatware, nothing installed that you might not want, no hidden complexity. Arch has a beautiful Wiki, so well done that it serves as a reference for many on other linux distributions, and a very helpful community. Obviously, the necessary consequence of its philosophy is that it requires some investment as you will have to set and install everything you need.

If you have always been curious—or maybe even tempted—to make a big jump and go linux, this workshop is for you!

I will present the basic functioning of this OS and some of the tools that can make a workflow on linux really fun.

Note:
  • The workshop is open to all and those interested in playing with Arch are welcome to install it using VirtualBox. This is not necessary and you are welcome to just sit and watch.
 

Upcoming Workshops

Dates Location
Tuesday, April 3, 2018 - 3:30pm to 4:30pm Burnaby, Bennett Library, Rm 7010, Research Commons

Scientific visualization with Plotly

In this one-hour workshop we will take a look at using Plot.ly open-source Python library for scientific visualization. We will start with simple 2D plots, create some interactive geographical maps, and then will move to more advanced 3D plotting and animations in a web browser.

No prior plotting or Python experience is required to attend this workshop.

Requirements:
 

Upcoming Workshops

Dates Location
Tuesday, April 10, 2018 - 3:30pm to 4:30pm Burnaby, Bennett Library, Rm 7010, Research Commons

Handling multiple large files the easy way using Python

This workshop will cover tools and tricks on Python that make navigating large data files easier. Tools include comprehension lists, tables and dictionaries. The tools shared throughout this workshop can make tasks more efficient, particularly when manipulating data from multiple large files and file types.

Requirements:
  •  This workshop assumes knowledge and comfort using for, while and if statements.
  • It also assumes enough comfort with the Python environment such as importing libraries and calling functions within them.
  • Pre-installed software includes Python (Recommended: installing either Anaconda or Miniconda to make this process easier), Excel and a text editor (such as notepad, gedit, notepad++, TextWrangler).
  • Knowledge of Jupyter Notebooks is a plus, but if interested participants do not possess it, we can dedicate the first part of the workshop to getting comfortable with it.
 

Upcoming Workshops

Dates Location
Tuesday, April 24, 2018 - 3:30pm to 4:30pm Burnaby, Bennett Library, Rm 7200

Programming with Python

Python is a popular language for scientific computing, and great for general-purpose programming as well.

This 2-day hands-on workshop will cover basic concepts and tools, including program design, version control, data management, and task automation. This workshop is offered by Software Carpentry, whose mission is to help scientists and engineers get more research done in less time and with less pain by teaching them basic lab skills for scientific computing.

Upcoming Workshops

Dates Location
Wednesday, March 14, 2018 - 9:30am to 4:30pm
Thursday, March 15, 2018 - 9:30am to 4:30pm
Burnaby, SFU's Big Data Hub (Applied Science Building - Flexible Meeting Room ASB 10908)

Research software

Citation Management

Next semester's workshops will be posted soon.

GIS

Advanced GIS I: Tips and Tricks for Handling Spatial and Tabular Data

This workshop will deepen your knowledge of attribute tables. You will learn to add new data in an existing table, import data from an Excel worksheet, join two tables together, convert a list of XY coordinates to a shapefile, and create simple SQL-queries.

Covered in this workshop:

  • Editing an attribute table
  • Importing Excel tables and XY coordinates into ArcMap
  • Formulating queries
  • Table join
  • Formulating queries
  • Generating statistics from an attribute table and summarizing a field
  • Use of the field calculator

Upcoming Workshops

Dates Location
Thursday, March 1, 2018 - 10:30am to 12:30pm Burnaby, Bennett Library, Lab 2105

Georeferencing with ArcMap: Working with Raster Data in ArcGIS

Georeferencing is the process of connecting images (e.g. aerial photographs, scanned historical maps, satellite images) with their geographic locations in a coordinate system so that the images can be used as spatial layers in GIS software. This workshop will teach you the skills needed to georeference images in ArcGIS so that you can view, make queries, and analyze your image-based data with other geographic data.

Upcoming Workshops

Dates Location
Thursday, March 1, 2018 - 3:00pm to 5:00pm Burnaby, Bennett Library, Lab 2105

Advanced GIS II: Vector Analysis in ArcMap

This workshop will provide an introduction to vector analysis, attribute handling, and the formulation of spatial queries.

This workshop will cover:

  • Searching by attribute
  • Making spatial queries
  • Exporting query results to shapefiles

Upcoming Workshops

Dates Location
Thursday, March 15, 2018 - 1:30pm to 3:30pm Burnaby, Bennett Library, Lab 2105

Python

Programming with Python

Python is a popular language for scientific computing, and great for general-purpose programming as well.

This 2-day hands-on workshop will cover basic concepts and tools, including program design, version control, data management, and task automation. This workshop is offered by Software Carpentry, whose mission is to help scientists and engineers get more research done in less time and with less pain by teaching them basic lab skills for scientific computing.

Upcoming Workshops

Dates Location
Wednesday, March 14, 2018 - 9:30am to 4:30pm
Thursday, March 15, 2018 - 9:30am to 4:30pm
Burnaby, SFU's Big Data Hub (Applied Science Building - Flexible Meeting Room ASB 10908)

Qualitative Data Analysis

NVivo Project Time - open laptop lab for qualitative data analysis

Set aside a few hours in your schedule to devote to advancing your work in NVivo. Bring in your project and work away in the company of other NVivo users. During this unstructured time, an NVivo facilitator will be on hand to answer your questions and help you move through any sticking points.  Whether you're just getting started or are quite far along, this is your time. We’ll put on the kettle for tea and coffee, so bring your own mug.

This is a Bring Your Own Laptop session and is suitable for both Mac and Windows users. 

Please sign up so we know you're joining us.

Upcoming Workshops

Dates Location
Wednesday, February 28, 2018 - 12:30pm to 3:00pm Burnaby, Bennett Library, Rm 7010, Research Commons
Wednesday, March 7, 2018 - 12:30pm to 3:00pm Burnaby, Bennett Library, Rm 7010, Research Commons
Wednesday, March 14, 2018 - 12:30pm to 3:00pm Burnaby, Bennett Library, Rm 7010, Research Commons
Wednesday, March 21, 2018 - 12:30pm to 3:00pm Burnaby, Bennett Library, Rm 7010, Research Commons
Wednesday, March 28, 2018 - 12:30pm to 3:00pm Burnaby, Bennett Library, Rm 7010, Research Commons
Wednesday, April 4, 2018 - 12:30pm to 3:00pm Burnaby, Bennett Library, Rm 7010, Research Commons

Making Literature Reviews a Breeze (almost) with NVivo for Mac

This interactive workshop introduces importing and coding of literature review materials and key tools that can be particularly helpful when reviewing literature in your area of research.

Topics covered include: introducing NVivo and setting up a project working with your information identifying themes, topics and ideas and collecting data to support them using tools such as text search query, matrix coding query, and Framework Matrix.

What will you achieve from this course? At the end of this, you will have the knowledge to set up a literature review in NVivo, and begin to work with your information. You will also be able to use NVivo to organize your content and begin to identify themes, topics or ideas.

It is appropriate for those who have had some experience with NVivo or who have taken the Nuts and Bolts of NVivo workshop. For more information about NVivo at SFU, please visit NVivo Software for Research Analysis.

Participants should also have some familiarity with citation management software (Zotero, Mendeley, Refworks, EndNote, etc).

Note: You will need to bring your own Mac laptop, loaded with the latest version of NVivo for Mac.

Upcoming Workshops

Dates Location
Tuesday, March 6, 2018 - 9:30am to 11:30am Burnaby, Bennett Library, Rm 7010, Research Commons

The Nuts and Bolts of NVivo for Windows

NVivo is a qualitative data analysis software program, but what does that mean -- and what does it mean for your research? Find out what NVivo is, when to use it, and how to get started.

In this hands-on introductory workshop, you'll take a tour of the NVivo software environment, using sample data. You’ll be introduced to NVivo’s functions and you’ll leave equipped with the basic info you need to begin working with NVivo. Topics introduced may include importing files and beginning coding.

This workshop is suitable for those with little or no experience using NVivo or other qualitative data analysis software.

Upcoming Workshops

Dates Location
Monday, March 19, 2018 - 2:30pm to 4:00pm Burnaby, Bennett Library, Lab 4009

R (Software)

Introduction to Social Network Analysis with R

Social Network Analysis is to visualize and analyze data from a social network like Twitter or Facebook. If you're involved in analytics in any capacity, this course will be a huge help, teaching you how the R SNA and igraph modules works and how to format data for analysis, create graphs, analyze network graphs, and visualize networks.
 
Requirements:
Basic knowledge of R programming, but no knowledge of social network analysis required.

Upcoming Workshops

Dates Location
Thursday, March 15, 2018 - 3:30pm to 5:00pm Burnaby, Bennett Library, Rm 7010, Research Commons

Statistics

Next semester's workshops will be posted soon.

Visual Analytics

An Introduction to Using Tableau for Data Visualization

Tableau is a data visualization tool that is being used to help analyze data and illustrate the patterns and insights behind them. This interactive workshop will introduce researchers or students to Tableau Public, a free access version of Tableau.

Requirements:

  • No prior experience with Tableau is necessary.
  • Participants will need to bring their own laptop preloaded with the latest version of Tableau Public

Upcoming Workshops

Dates Location
Tuesday, March 13, 2018 - 1:00pm to 3:00pm Burnaby, SFU's Big Data Hub (Applied Science Building - Flexible Meeting Room ASB 10908)

Scholarly communication

Get credit for your work: Distinguish yourself with ORCID

The Open Researcher and Contributor ID (ORCID) provides authors with a unique numeric identifier to distinguish themselves from other researchers and automatically link their professional publications and activities. ORCID iDs persist throughout an author's scholarly career and ensure consistent, reliable attribution of their work.

Bring your laptop: this interactive workshop will cover the basics and benefits of getting started with ORCID. Participants will leave with an ORCID ID and an understanding of how to automatically keep their profile up-to-date. 

 

Upcoming Workshops

Dates Location
Thursday, March 15, 2018 - 12:00pm to 1:00pm Burnaby, Bennett Library, Rm 7010, Research Commons

What's Your Impact?: An Introduction to Measuring the Impact of Your Research Within and Beyond the Academy

Who is looking at your research and how can you measure it? Find out more about research impact – what it is, how to measure it and how to leverage it. This session will help you:

  • understand what is meant by research impact,
  • become familiar with the different types of research impact metrics,
  • know the tools available to calculate research impact.
  • and devise a strategy to increase the impact of your own research activities.

Upcoming Workshops

Dates Location
Thursday, April 19, 2018 - 10:00am to 11:30am Burnaby, Bennett Library, Rm 7010, Research Commons

Writing

Graduate Open Writing Lab: Write Time, Write Space (drop-in)

The Graduate Open Writing Lab is for all graduate students who want the time and a quiet, dedicated space to work on their writing. A Graduate Writing Facilitator will be available for consultations and to answer questions.

Registration not required - please drop in!

Spring Semester 2018 - January 8 to April 9

Burnaby Campus
Graduate Open Writing Lab (Facilitated) - Mondays, 2:00 pm to 4:30 pm, SFU Burnaby, W.A.C. Bennett Library, Research Commons, Rm 7000
(no sessions Feb 12 & Apr 2)

Vancouver Campus
Graduate Open Writing Lab (Facilitated) - Fridays, 11:30 am to 2:30 pm, SFU Vancouver, Harbour Centre - room locations listed below:

Jan 19, Rm 7356
Jan 26, Rm 101
Feb 2, Rm WCC 430
Feb 9, Rm 2235
Feb 16, Rm 7356
Feb 23 to Apr 9, Rm 101

(no session on March 30)

Workshops

Please register for the following writing workshops:

Write Conversations: What's Your Research Question?

It is important to know what your research question is prior to writing your dissertation. Fully understanding what THE question is will help you make conceptual links and focus your reading and research.  How does one come up with a research question? What is a good research question?  Is the research question same thing as a hypothesis?  Join this Write Conversations session to find out.

Upcoming Workshops

Dates Location
Monday, March 5, 2018 - 1:00pm to 2:00pm Burnaby, Bennett Library, Rm 7010, Research Commons

Presentation Skills: Writing and Presenting the Academic Poster

Your poster speaks for you! Learn how to capture your audience's attention, communicate the key aspects of your research and persuade your intended audience to reach out to you.

Upcoming Workshops

Dates Location
Monday, March 12, 2018 - 9:30am to 11:00am Burnaby, Bennett Library, Rm 7200

Write Conversations: Managing Writing Anxiety

Being anxious about academic writing can lead to unhelpful writing habits like avoidance and procrastination. Join us for a discussion on how to make more progress by alleviating writing anxiety!

Upcoming Workshops

Dates Location
Monday, March 26, 2018 - 1:00pm to 2:00pm Burnaby, Bennett Library, Rm 7010, Research Commons

Presentation Skills for Graduate Students

Presenting in graduate school, often in front of an academic audience, can be a very rewarding, but a somewhat anxiety-provoking experience. This interactive workshop will provide practical strategies to plan, organize, and structure a professional presentation that will increase your confidence and have you delivering an engaging presentation. You’ll learn the elements that contribute to an effective presentation and how to facilitate and field questions from your audience.

Upcoming Workshops

Dates Location
Monday, April 9, 2018 - 9:30am to 11:00am Burnaby, Bennett Library, Rm 7010, Research Commons

Lay Language

Lay language is needed in order to convey technical and advanced ideas in ways that are more effective than “dumbing it down”. You may be preparing a grant or fellowship proposal, writing for online purposes or fine tuning your “job talk”— all of which require you to translate your work and research to persons outside of your core field of study.

Upcoming Workshops

Dates Location
Monday, April 9, 2018 - 11:30am to 1:00pm Burnaby, Bennett Library, Rm 7010, Research Commons

Extend your reach: Writing and publishing across disciplines

In this day long workshop, you will learn more effective ways to convey and communicate your research to multiple audiences and colleagues across disciplines. The day begins with a workshop on plain-language writing, including an overview of contexts that promote or strongly encourage plain language. After lunch (included), the emphasis shifts to the publishing process, strategies for assessing potential publication venues, and reaching wider audiences. Approaches to developing your research narrative will also be discussed, with a focus on tools for privacy, social media, and auditing and building your online academic portfolio. You’ll have opportunities to write and share your work with peers, and will take away practical strategies for conveying knowledge to a variety of readerships. 

Included: morning and afternoon coffee/tea with light snacks and lunch; if you have any severe dietary restrictions, please bring your own snacks and lunch

Upcoming Workshops

Dates Location
Wednesday, April 11, 2018 - 10:00am to 3:00pm Burnaby, Bennett Library, Rm 7010, Research Commons

Thesis

Thesis Template and Resources

This demonstration introduces you to the Thesis Submission process and the Thesis Template. It will begin with an introduction to required copyright permissions from the Copyright Office at SFU, followed by a review of the overall submission process (including deadlines and supporting documentation). Additionally, SFU Library's research data specialists will give instruction on how to preserve and, if appropriate, share research data for future uses.

The technical part of the workshop will follow, where you will be walked through the resources on the website and the functionality of the thesis template.

Students are encouraged to bring their own computer and thesis document(s) to work along with the facilitator during the workshop.

Learn how to:

  • request copyright permissions
  • write in the MS Word template-based file
  • format your text using styles
  • bring text in from other documents
  • insert figures, images, and auto-numbered captions
  • generate the Table of Contents, List of Tables, List of Figures, etc.

If you’ve begun writing, send your document to theses@sfu.ca in advance of the workshop; one might be used in demonstrating the Library’s thesis template. After the session, the formatted document will be returned in which the student can continue his/her work.

Upcoming Workshops

Dates Location
Thursday, March 8, 2018 - 1:30pm to 3:30pm Burnaby, Bennett Library, Rm 7010, Research Commons
Thursday, April 12, 2018 - 10:30am to 12:30pm Burnaby, Bennett Library, Rm 7010, Research Commons