Bioinformatics and Data Science

I am passionate about helping people learn to code, especially biologists who are interested in bioinformatics. Below are some of the ways I’ve tried to help make these resources available at UIUC:

Bioinformatics Coffee Hour: This is a weekly, non-judgmental, supportive space for people who are interested in or struggling with bioinformatics at any level.  This group serves two purposes: we enjoy talking about bioinformatics and learning about new techniques, and we are also happy to help with problems that people encounter — especially the ones people commonly encounter when starting out in bioinformatics (e.g., using the terminal, manipulating csv files, submitting jobs to the cluster). Join our slack channel to stay in the loop! As of summer 2019, Angel Rivera-Colón has taken over leadership of this group, but I’m still happy to answer questions about it.

Software Carpentry: Illinois has a very active chapter of SWC, which is a non-profit that offers 2-day workshops targeted at scientists (graduate students, post-docs, professors, staff, etc.) who are interested in learning to code. I organized our first Women in Biology Workshop, which took place in Fall 2017, and since then has happened approximately once per semester. You can stay up to date about SWC workshops by following the CSE events page.

Data Science Across Disciplines was a 2-semester course that ran in ’15-16. It was developed and led by myself, Diana Byrne, Ayla Stein, and Heidi Imker and funded by the Graduate College at the University of Illinois. We led 15 graduate students from a range of academic fields from zero coding to making a tool to help with their own thesis projects. A summary is available here. You can see our students’ final poster presentations. Our curriculum is available online in four parts: 1 2 3 4.