The volume and variety of data that researchers and students are required to work with continues to grow. In order to work effectively with large datasets, data skills are becoming increasingly important, and can be enormously empowering.
The Department of Information Science of the University of Pretoria, in collaboration with DIRISA, SADiLaR and NeDICC, presents the CODATA-RDA School of Research Data Science. This school is aimed at postgraduate students and early career researchers, and teaches foundational data science skills. The material covered by the programme is fundamental to all areas of research, and thus open to researchers and professionals from all disciplines that deal with significant amounts of research data. The goal is to provide a practical introduction to these topics with some theory and extensive hands-on training.
Topics covered include: – Open Science – Introduction to Unix Shell – Introduction to Git – Open and Collaborative Research – Research Data Management – Data Cleaning – using Open Refine – Data Analysis and Visualisation – using R – Data Intensive Social Science – Author Carpentry – Information Security – Machine Learning and Neural Networks – Research Computational Infrastructure
The Research Office at Wits University and SA QuTI (the South African Quantum Technology Initiative) have successfully raised funds to support the Quantum Initiative, and have extended an invitation to final year students to apply for funding. Students (from any faculty), engaged in a quantum project may apply, and mentorship and/or collaboration with existing quantum hubs is encouraged but is not essential.
The workshop is free and delivered by the Carpentries, co-ordinated locally and affiliated with the South African Centre for Digital Language Resources (SaDiLAR) based at NWU. It will be held online between 9am and 1 pm on Mondays in February, and there are some spaces available. Anyone interested should register on the google form before end of day Thursday this week: https://forms.gle/SvSCVaqVW9BuS3Me9
DARA Big Data (Development in Africa through Radio Astronomy), in partnership with the Office of Astronomy for Development (OAD), IDIA (Inter-University Institute for Data Intensive Astronomy) and SARAO (South African Radio Astronomy Observatory) is hosting a free 3-day Africa Women in Data Science online event. The event will coincide with International Women’s Day 2022 and will also mark the one year anniversary of the publication of the SARAO Women in Data Science report.
The event will take place from 8-10 March 2022, which coincides with International Women’s Day. It aims to increase African women’s participation in the 4th Industrial Revolution (4IR) to build a prosperous, resilient Africa of the future. The integral role of African women for the 4IR will be discussed and various opportunities will be showcased for young women hoping to get into the field of data science.
Africa Women in Data Science is free to attend and will be split into a conference on Day 1 (March 8) and a hackathon on Days 2 and 3 (March 9-10). The conference will feature inspiring female panel discussions, presentations from leading industry experts and question and answer sessions. Day 1 is open to anyone across Africa with a keen interest in data science. To register for the conference, only complete the first section of the registration form.
A webinar on Monday 30 August discussed RDM (research data management) at UWC and Kikapu, our institutional research data repository. Practicing RDM has become an integral part of doing research, and good data management needs to be practiced throughout the research lifecycle. Mark Snyders (UWC Library) and Sarah Schafer (UWC eResearch Office) presented on various aspects of RDM and Kikapu.
Preservation, access and UWC’s digital infrastructure
The findings of an archival planning process soon to be officially published in a White Paper: UWC 2021-25: Revitalising Research Archives at UWC will be presented and discussed in an upcoming webinar.
The Director of eResearch, Prof Mattia Vaccari, will moderate the session, and speakers include Prof Patricia Hayes (NRF SARChI Chair in Visual History and Theory, UWC), Dr Nancy McGovern (Director of Digital Preservation, the MIT Libraries, USA), Dr Valmont Layne (Centre for Humanities Research, UWC), and Dr Anthea Josias (University of Michigan).
UWC’s Division for Postgraduate Studies (DPGS), eResearch Office and Library Research Support & Scholarly Communications hosted a workshop on creating Data Management Plans (DMPs) on 16 August 2021.
Along with UWC’s Research Data Management (RDM) Policy and the Protection of Private Information Act (POPIA), DMPs are central to the research process. The workshop provided an overview of RDM and Data Management Planning, and demonstrated some practical advice on how to craft a DMP.
Data Management Planning is ultimately most useful for the researcher, and it helps achieve the benefits that come with managing and sharing data. Increasingly, funding bodies and publishers mandate the submission of a DMP to ensure that data can be preserved and shared. UWC’s Research Data Management Policy encourages all UWC researchers to submit a data management plan in the course of their research.
South African students are eligible to register to join the next cohort of the African Launchpad initiative (AAL), which offers free nanodegrees through Coursera, edX, and Udacity. The courses include the fields of artificial intelligence, games and applications development and virtual reality.
The initiative was first announced in Egypt in 2018, and is an Africa-wide platform that aims to build capacity of Egyptian and African youth and foster the establishment of sustainable African startups in the area of the advanced ever-changing app and game technologies. AAL works by availing a high-quality, technology-learning online platform through crowd-sourcing top online content developed by prestigious universities and leading companies, and delivered through three leading MOOCs (Coursera, edX, and Udacity). Participants will need to dedicate approximately 10 hours per week throughout the track duration in order to be able to finish in time.
To register, click here, and to find out more details and available learning tracks, click here.