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Using PDFs effectively

Ever wonder how to get more out of your PDF files? This short course will show how to optimize PDFs for both search engines and searchers, techniques for handling common problems when creating PDFs and methods for exporting content.

Data wrangling with Microsoft Excel

Do you have texts but need a table? Do you have raw data but need to organize it? This workshop will cover techniques to clean, append, parse and analyze your data using advanced excel features and formulas. Learn simple methods for converting and modifying textual data into a tabular format.

Excel 101

 Introduction to using spreadsheets for beginners or a refresher for the sometime user. Covers basic features and options of Microsoft Excel, including how to organize and navigate tabular data, creating and using simple formulas, formatting worksheets and other helpful tips.

Introduction to Tableau 

Tableau is a fast rising and award-winning visualization software tool in Business Intelligence (BI) and Analytics Platforms.  It helps people see and understand data. In this short course, we will cover the following topics:

• What is Tableau?

• What can Tableau do?

• Why is Tableau so successful in BI in recent years?

The hands-on part will cover how to use Tableau Public, the free version of the software. Specifically, we will use a small set of DMC equipment circulation data as an example. We will cover:

Building and Managing Your Online Profile as an Academic

To reach potential employers, collaborators, students and readers, academics need to establish and maintain a compelling web presence. This hands-on workshop will explore how to develop such a online profile, including:

  • creating a cohesive online presence

  • sketching out an academic website

Getting Started with GitHub

Would you like to better manage software versions and collaborate with other researchers? GitHub is a widely-adopted code repository that supports collaboratively developing software and other text-based projects. This hands-on workshop will introduce participants to the basics of GitHub, such as setting up GitHub, creating a branch, and committing changes. We will also look at a few examples of how researchers are using GitHub. Please bring your laptop!

How to Manage Your Data

Drowning in data? Not sure how to organize and back it up? This hands-on, interactive workshop will share tips for effectively organizing, documenting and storing research data. Participants will walk away with ideas for completing a data inventory and data storage/ backup plan for their own data, as well as tips for writing data management plans (as required by many grant agencies).

Writing an Effective Data Management Plan

Nearly all federal agencies now or will soon require grant applications to include data management plans (DMPs), and many grant panels are placing greater emphasis on these plans in evaluating proposals. How can you write a data management plan that will pass muster with funding agencies and will ensure that your datasets are easy to find, use, preserve and share?

Introduction to Text Analysis

Note: This short course is not offered this semester. If you are interested in taking it, email

By using text analysis tools, we can explore patterns and anomalies across thousands of texts--or in a single document. This hands-on workshop will provide a basic grounding in text analysis, focusing on:

Introduction to Data Visualization and Infographics

Have interest in learning data visualization and infographics? Come to this introductory workshop, which will cover the following topics:

  • What is data visualization? What is infographics?
  • Why do they work?
  • Information design best practices
  • Tools for creating infographics
  • Creating a simple graphics with PowerPoint
  • Visualizing a small set of data with Excel and Google Chart