Love Data Week Workshops Feb 10-Feb 14

To celebrate Love Data Week (February 10 – February 14, 2020) the Digital Scholarship Center (DiSC) will be running a series of workshops focusing on getting started with R, python, GIS, text analysis, using secondary data, and managing data projects. The workshops will take place in the DiSC Lab, Room 2701A Fenwick Library. All are welcome to attend these workshops regardless of skill level. Registration is strongly encouraged. Click on the time links below to register.

Working With and Analyzing Secondary Data – Monday, February 10, 1:00 PM and 5:00 PM
Using Voyant for Text Analysis – Tuesday, February 11, 1:00 PM and 5:00 PM
R/Python: How and Why to Get Started – Wednesday, February 12, 1:00 PM and 5:00 PM
OSF 101: Introduction to the Open Science Framework – Thursday, February 13, 1:00 PM and 5:00 PM
Introduction to GIS and Mapping – Friday, February 14 at 1:00 PM

On Monday, February 10 at 1 PM and 5 PM, Wendy Mann will lead a workshop on Working With and Analyzing Secondary Data. She will discuss how to acquire, review, and analyze secondary data. Participants will learn how to prepare this kind of data for analysis and bring it into a statistical package. Reviewing datasets and documentation will also be covered.

Learn how to Use Voyant for Text Analysis on Tuesday, February 11 at 1 PM and 5 PM. Alyssa Fahringer will provide an overview of Voyant, showcase projects that utilize the platform, and discuss use cases. She will walk attendees through how to upload and explore a corpus in Voyant as well as how to embed and export your data.

On Wednesday, February 12 at 1 PM and 5 PM, Debby Kermer will go over How and Why to Get Started with R and Python. She will cover when those languages should be used, what to know about them prior to getting started, and resources for learning them. The final half hour of the workshop will be devoted to answering questions and assisting with software installation and hands-on learning.

Come for an Introduction to the Open Science Framework on Thursday, February 13 at 1 PM and 5 PM. Margaret Lam and Carl Leak will discuss how to navigate and create projects on the Open Science Framework (OSF). Attendees will learn how to reproduce research practices, track activity, and use Templates and Forks in OSF to make new projects.

On Friday, January 14 at 1 PM, Joy Suh will lead an Introduction to GIS and Mapping. Participants will learn the basics of visualizing geographic information and creating maps in a GIS. She will talk about how to understand geospatial data, where to find mapping source data, and how to use ESRI ArcGIS. Additionally, attendees will learn how to read and interpret maps and data, and how to use cartographic principles to create maps for presentations and publications.

Spring 2019 Updates

Welcome Alyssa, Digital Scholarship Consultant!

Alyssa Fahringer started at DiSC as the Digital Scholarship Consultant in early February. Before coming to Mason Libraries, she worked as a Graduate Research Assistant and Digital History Fellow at the Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media from 2014 through 2019 on various digital history projects, including the Papers of the War Department, the September 11 Digital Archive, and Omeka Classic and Omeka S. Alyssa also served as a Project Associate for two digital humanities teaching institutes. She has worked as a public librarian and in Hillman Library at the University of Pittsburgh, in addition to interning at the Library of Virginia. Alyssa has degrees in history and political science from Virginia Commonwealth University, an MLIS from the University of Pittsburgh, and an MA in history from George Mason University. She was accepted into GMU’s history PhD program in 2014, and is currently in the process of completing her dissertation. She is excited to be a part of DiSC and Mason Libraries.

Recap of Recent DiSC Sponsored Events

Carpentry Workshops

DiSC hosted two Carpentries workshops. They were held on December 13-14, 2018, and January 25-26, 2019. Those who attended the Library Carpentry workshop were eligible to sign up for The Carpentries instructor training. Three library staff took advantage of this opportunity and are currently going through the instructor training process. They are: Peggy Griesinger (now at Notre Dame), Debby Kermer, and Wendy Mann.

January’s Data Carpentry workshop covered its Social Sciences curriculum. This workshop was co-sponsored by the Schar School and held at the Arlington Campus. A combination of library staff, Schar School and S-CAR students participated.

Both workshops were at capacity with an average of 40 attendees each day.

We couldn’t have successfully carried out these workshops without the help of our helpers and organizers: Rohan Bidarkota, Peggy Greisinger, Debby Kermer, Margaret Lam, Wendy Mann, Chris Magee, Helen McManus, Andrew Stevens, and Joy Suh.

The December Library Carpentry workshop fee was sponsored by an IMLS grant and attendees included staff from Mason and WRLC Libraries.

Thank you to University Libraries and the Schar School for covering the workshop fee for the Data Carpentry workshop.

DiSC Research Connections

On February 5th, Steven Weinberger, Associate Professor of Linguistics presented, “The Sound of Your Voice: The Speech Accent Archive.” Dr. Weinberger discussed the history of and current state of the speech accent archive.

LaTeX Workshop

On Thursday, March 14, 2019, Professor Stephen Scott from the Department of Computational & Data Sciences taught an introductory workshop on LaTeX, a free document preparation system for high-quality typesetting, to library faculty and staff in the DiSC lab at Fenwick Library. Professor Scott is a proud Mason alum, and he is currently teaching CSI 500: Computational Science Tools as an online course. In the two-hour workshop, Professor Scott presented four weeks’ worth of course content. He gave an overview of LaTeX, which is pronounced «Lah-tech» or «Lay-tech», and showcased the numerous benefits of using LaTeX with hands-on exercises, from incorporating complex mathematical equations into your document to creating a bibliography in a particular citation style. He recommended the book, LaTeX: A Document Preparation System, by Leslie Lamport, as a great resource to learn more about this software system. All who attended enjoyed learning from him and appreciated his thoughtful and candid style of teaching.

More information about LaTeX can be found here: