My Experience at the Digital Research Institute 2018

show command line in terminal

This is a guest post by Manuel C. Co Jr., an informatician and Hunter College adjunct faculty, about his experience at the January 2018 Digital Research Institute.

I am fortunate to have been accepted to the week-long GC Digital Research Institute. Following Lisa Rhody’s (@lmrhody) warm greetings, she encouraged participants to draw their research project and to share it with the group. What an icebreaker it was to share with such a diverse cohort representing a wide range of academic programs.

The Digital Fellows patiently guided us through a series of hands-on activities in successive workshops that are built on each other. Below are some of the practical tips gleaned from GC DRI.

  • Usethe ‘tab’ in the command line as a time saver to autocomplete the name of the full directory or folder when the first few letters of the directory or folder name is typed and the ‘tab’ key is pressed. 
  • Keep each row in a table distinct to allow querying and retrieval of data from different tables.
  • Specify the data type before doing data analysis. 
  •  Add, Commit, and Push when using git and GitHub by adding the file to be tracked in our local computer, committing changes by also describing the changes made, and then pushing the local file to the remote directory.
  •   Add comments to remind our future self on what we were trying to accomplish with the subsequent lines of coding.

The core and advanced workshops were intense, but something I looked forward to participating in each day. I gained a deeper appreciation of digital research methods that can support my research interest in population health. In addition, talking to colleagues outside of my discipline has expanded my perspective of looking at a shared topic of interest from a different angle or using a different lens.

A big thanks to the inspiring Lisa Rhody (@lmrhody), the knowledgeable @Digital_Fellows and the wonderful Digital Initiatives Team for making GC DRI a truly remarkable learning experience! The four-day time is definitely well spent and I highly encourage GC students and CUNY faculty to consider taking part in future GC DRI.