In our projects we spend a lot of our time coding in order to analyse our data. Kira primarily uses Matlab, and Dori uses Matlab and Python. In fact, what a lot of people may not know when they start their career in Neuroscience, is that these days the ability to code is pretty much an essential. It can save the researcher many hours, and even improve the quality/objectivity of their data analysis.
Why did we want to start this group?
We noticed that many students were joining the school with little previous experience coding, and limited support for learning the new skill. It can be very daunting when you first start, with so much jargon and syntax ahead of you. And as you delve further into the syntax, you may even feel duped – afterall, ‘cellfun’ isn’t as exciting as it’s name suggests!
We want to provide a safe space for people to work on developing their coding skills. Whether that be someone who is just starting, and wants some direction on where to begin; or an experienced coder who wants dedicated time to work on their analysis. People of all abilities are welcome, and we want everyone to feel relaxed and supported.
The aim of this group is to “help people to help themselves“.
What is the format of the session?
There will be an short 30 minute lecture, followed by 1.5 hours for self-directed study with the opportunity to ask other people questions. For the initial 30 minute lecture, we welcome anyone who wants to present. This could be someone who wants to share their knowledge, or someone who is stuck on an analysis problem and wants feedback from the group. The remaining 1.5 hours are meant to allow everyone to work on their own projects. That can be an online coding course, writing their own script, or something else. During this time you are able to ask questions and discuss your code. We will not be providing projects, but are happy to point you to resources where you can find projects to work on.
When are the sessions?
The sessions will be every Wednesday 2-4pm in CRPC seminar room, University of Sussex.
People can attend all or just some of the sessions. It is completely up to you, and what fits your schedule the best.
Starting your own coding club
If anyone is interested in setting up a similar group in their own University or workplace, and would like some ideas please feel free to contact Kira by email on firstname.lastname@example.org.
We want to see as many people coding as possible, and for everyone to get the support they need!