Data Science: Computation and Visualization

Workshop Information

June 11-13, 2018
Grinnell College
Grinnell, Iowa, USA

The workshop will begin at 9:30 a.m. on Monday, June 11, and end at 3:00 p.m. on Wednesday, June 13.

Application Deadline

We will begin reviewing applications and selecting participants on March 31, 2018. Complete the application form in advance of this date for full consideration.

Apply here.

About the Workshop

Sponsored by a grant on data science in the liberal arts made by Iowa’s Roy J. Carver Charitable Trust to Grinnell College, this workshop focuses on incorporating data-based decision making and visualization techniques into courses from all disciplines. We also hope to promote connections among faculty with similar teaching and research interests, and to conceive, vet, and implement curricular materials (syllabi, instructional modules, assignments, and labs) that cultivate in students the skills to organize, filter, analyze, and display data sets of increasing size and complexity. We also hope to foster conversations among participants about the place of these topics in the liberal arts curriculum.

Workshop Audience and Topics

This gathering aims to engage faculty who have an interest to better prepare students in meeting the challenges of formatting, analyzing, and visualizing increasingly complex and large data sets.

The most successful participants have either arrived with a specific topic of interest or have attended as part of a team of 2 or more faculty from the same institution, often with one of the members being someone with experience with statistics. Preference will be given to applicants that fall into either of these groupings.

Workshop Tracks

The 3 day workshop starts at 9:30 a.m. on Monday, June 11 and will have two distinct tracks.

Track 1

The first track is intended for faculty with little or no previous R experience and will provide an introduction to using R and RStudio for data visualization and analysis focusing on:

  • designing and constructing graphics from data
  • data wrangling: operations to get data in the right form for graphics and analysis
  • document creation using R Markdown
  • kick starting a project or case study

Track 2

The second track is intended for faculty with more previous R experience and will:

  • provide a quick review of R and Rstudio, including recently added features in RStudio
  • focus on one-on-one or small group (by discipline) development of case studies
  • introduce additional R skills (data cleaning, web-scraping, summarizing data with models, interactive applications, etc.) as needed to support projects


The workshop will be led by Nick Horton (Professor of Statistics, Amherst College), Danny Kaplan (DeWitt Wallace Professor of Mathematics, Statistics, and Computer Science, Macalester College), and Randy Pruim (Professor of Mathematics and Statistics, Calvin College).

For questions about workshop content, please contact Shonda Kuiper, Grinnell College.


Lodging and Food

Thanks to the generous support of the Roy J. Carver Charitable Trust, the workshop, meals, and housing are covered for workshop participants.

Arrival and Departure

Each participant is responsible for transportation costs. 

The workshop will begin at 9:30 a.m. on Monday, June 11, 2018, and ends at 3  p.m. on Wednesday, June 13, 2018.

Campus maps and directions are available on the Grinnell College website.