Ashley Jester will assume the position of Assistant Director in the Science and Engineering Resource Group (SERG) on February 1st. In this position she will manage the Terman Engineering Library and the Li and Ma Science Library. The establishment of this position is part of a reorganization of SERG that was conducted in a response to the consolidation of STEM libraries at Stanford. The new Assistant Director position parallels the position held by Julie Sweetkind-Singer in her role as Assistant Director, Geospatial, Cartographic & Science Data Services.
The November issue of the Science Library Newsletter has just been published. The monthly newsletter brings you news you can use from the Robin Li & Melissa Ma Science Library. We announce workshops, seminars, and other events; highlight useful tools and resources; and alert readers to changes in collections and services. Recent articles cover:
Stanford Libraries has dramatically improved our ability to bring software and data analysis training to graduate students and post-docs on Stanford’s campus by signing on for a one-year partnership with the Software Carpentry Foundation.
Last week I spent 3 days at Google for their annual Google Earth Engine Summit, learning about new features and applications of their Google Earth Engine technology. If you haven’t seen Google Earth Engine, I encourage you to go to https://earthengine.google.comand use the signup link to get an account. It’s absolutely free for non-commercial use and it’s capabilities are pretty mind-blowing.
One thing Stanford Libraries knows about running Software Carpentry and Data Carpentry workshops on Stanford’s campus is that workshop demand is high. Case in point: when we invited post-docs for a Data Carpentry workshop on an upcoming weekend this June, we had 120 people interested in the 40 available seats.
That’s some serious demand.
Software and Data Carpentry are sister organizations focused on teaching computing best practices to scientists. The idea is to make research faster, more efficient, and more reproducible by teaching scientists the basics of version control (usually Git), task automation (using the shell), and modular programming (typically in Python, but sometimes R). The two-day, hands-on workshops are taught by volunteer instructors, but workshop hosts are responsible for other costs, like instructor travel and food.
Many researchers rely on open source software for data analysis, but lack of documentation on how to use the software can sometimes be an issue. In these situations, it's up to someone in the community to step up and create better resources to help people learn how to get the most out of these tools.
Stanford biology undergrad Nathan Cho found himself in just this situation recently while working on his honors thesis. Cho's project involved studying how stem cell development in plants affects the timing of the cell cycle, the process by which cells grow and divide. Analysis of his microscopy images required him to use open source software from the Max Plank Institute called MorphoGraphX.
GIS Day is an annual celebration of geospatial technologies, held on the Wednesday of Geography week. The Stanford Geospatial Center uses GIS Day as an opportunity to connect Stanford researchers to the cutting edge of geospatial technologies, services and applications through talks, workshops and other activities. This year, we'll have analysts, developers and scientists from DigitalGlobe, Mapbox, CARTO, NASA, The National Geospatial Intelligence Agency and more, talking about their work to leverage geospatial data and technologies using machine learning, drones, satellite imagery, and historical data!