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Chris Holdgraf
@choldgraf
I think a guide will be useful, especially for some instructors who have no background at all in computing
E.g., I've been writing up a short post on how to do scientific computing in windows
because somebody was confused about people saying "bring up a terminal and type XXX" which didn't work in windows
but it sounds like having some materials for instructors will be almost just as important (at least early on) as material for students...at least if we want to attract instructors who don't already do scientific computing in python
Sam Lau
@SamLau95
gotcha. personally i lean towards helping instructors without background in scientific computing since i think long-term that’ll result in more diversity in terms of courses and students addressed
maybe i’ll just throw up a github page on the dsten org with some info
what are some things that are absolutely necessary for a page like that?
Chris Holdgraf
@choldgraf
that's a good question, I think after the previous and this iteration it'll be clearer what the main pain points are
but it might be worth a brainstorm
either way, we should be documenting what people have questions about
Sam Lau
@SamLau95
agreed
are there some particular topics that would be the best bang for the buck for instructors right now?
Chris Holdgraf
@choldgraf
well, one would be coding in a windows environment :)
the Table tutorial is going to be a useful one
I think that there should also be a page for "so you want to learn about scientific computing in general, check out these tutorials:"
because there's already a lot of great content out there for people wanting to learn python, the shell, numpy/scipy/pandas/etc
and if we can just point people to the right place that would alleviate some of the burden
Sam Lau
@SamLau95
yup
Sam Lau
@SamLau95
hooray! the tutorial is finally pulled into master and up on data8
Chris Holdgraf
@choldgraf
looks really nice - way to go!
Carl Boettiger
@cboettig
@choldgraf @SamLau95 Good points about material being needed for instructors
@choldgraf Re: computing on Windows -- I'm curious: what's the primary reason instructors don't want to work directly on ds8.berkeley.edu and sidestep the install issues?
Carl Boettiger
@cboettig
(particularly for those instructors not coming from a scientific computing perspective)
Carl Boettiger
@cboettig
@henryem @SamLau95 how does table.values('my_column') differ from table.select('my_column')? Is there a reason to use one over the other?
henryem
@henryem
Yeah, they're very different. The first returns an array (the column) and the second returns a table with only the column 'my_column' in it.
Huge source of confusion for students, but can't think of a good way to avoid that :-/
Hmm @SamLau95 what if we had an alias for select called something like subtable_with_columns?
Wonder if it would be easier to teach initially
Then give them the shorter alias later
Chris Holdgraf
@choldgraf
@cboettig I'm not sure why people wouldn't use the ds8 environment...to be honest I don't know much about it yet either. It could just be that people default to doing things on their own computers, but maybe it can be fixed by pushing people towards the ds8.berkeley.edu resources
if somebody wants to point me to a guide on using the online ds8 environment, I can figure it out and then start telling instructors that as necessary
Sam Lau
@SamLau95
@cboettig i personally don’t see much benefit from using a local install other than needing dependencies that aren’t on ds8 (eg. I have some extensions to jupyter installed locally). i imagine it’d be a lot easier for people who don’t want to deal with installation issues to use ds8
@henryem not sure — i feel like having one method name and then switching to another could result in some confusion itself
Carl Boettiger
@cboettig
hmm, Table has no attribute 'value'
henryem
@henryem
Typo? Should be values, not value
Sam Lau
@SamLau95
@choldgraf i was planning to write that up today, will ping you when it’s done
@cboettig try .values instead of value
Carl Boettiger
@cboettig
whoops, thanks!
Carl Boettiger
@cboettig
@choldgraf What kind of guide would be helpful? Basically it's just (1) request account (2) go to ds8.berkeley.edu and log in (3) see Jupyter documentation. I do think it would be worth addressing how to do common things like get data / notebooks / files on and off the ds8 environment. I find Jupyter terminal+Git a good solution for that, but obviously not a good entry-level solution.
Also I'm not clear on how installing dependencies works in the ds8 environment, or in jupyter more generally. For instance, does python have a good system for installing packages without root credentials, or is root access usually needed / assumed (e.g. for pip install to work)?
Sam Lau
@SamLau95

@cboettig i’m writing up an overview of a simple workflow from start to finish:

  1. creating notebooks
  2. uploading notebooks
  3. distribute notebooks to students
  4. students work on notebooks
  5. collect submissions from students

i’m thinking from there we can expand on each step as needed

python does have a system for installing without root credentials http://stackoverflow.com/a/7143496 but it looks like each student will have to run some commands manually

to install globally, right now we have to contact ryan about it. this is unscalable so we’re looking for a better system

Carl Boettiger
@cboettig
Thanks @SamLau95 , an overview of how to do that workflow would be a great thing to have.
Carl Boettiger
@cboettig
hmm, generic Jupyter question: is there an easy way to split a Jupyter notebook into two separate notebooks (preferably without copy-pasting raw .json)?
e.g. a way to select a group of cells, click 'copy cells', and then paste them into a new notebook?
Sam Lau
@SamLau95
not that i know of :(
henryem
@henryem
@cboettig copy the notebook, delete half from each? :-/
Chris Holdgraf
@choldgraf
@cboettig I'm not sure what kind of guide would be useful because I've probably got too much coding experience to have the right perspective. I'll try to pay attention to any pain points that come up and maybe can help out @SamLau95 in building some tutorials.
also @cboettig see this issue on github: ipython/ipython#5746
looks like it's something people are working on, but in the meantime you might just do File->Make a copy and then delete half the cells in the copy