ACCE Quantitative Skills
Location: the University of York, Biology Department
Dates: Mon 9 April and Tue 10 April 2018
Registration is now OPEN
Facilitator: Colin Beale (email@example.com)
The increasing availability of large datasets covering a broad range of environmental data, from climate and satellite data to bioinformatics databases with Terabytes of valuable information present researchers within the ACCE programme with some fantastic opportunities to tackle new questions of great importance to the study of environmental change. However, to make the most of these data and the datasets we generate ourselves increasingly requires expertise in handling and manipulating datasets. All three ACCE institutions offer courses in the R statistical environment, focussing on data analysis. In reality, however, we often spend more time on data preparation, manipulation or tedious basic analyses than the statistical analyses we want to achieve. Moreover, empirical studies are increasingly supported by sophisticated simulation studies. Both these activities are greatly facilitated by a familiarity with basic programming. In this two-day course, we will learn how to automate tedious, repetitive tasks in R by making use of basic programming. As well as generic programming skills (e.g. data structures, the use of loops and conditionals, etc.) we will learn some specific R tools to make your analyses so much more productive (e.g. writing functions, system calls, string manipulations and low-level data input/output). The first day will consist of a series of short lectures/demonstrations and extended practicals, while the second day will see participants divided into groups to undertake a small research project that involves accessing, formatting and manipulating real datasets to answer genuine research questions of relevance across the ACCE programme.
The programme will be available soon.