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Carpentries at Otago

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posted on 2020-03-10, 04:00 authored by Murray Cadzow, Mik BlackMik Black, Matt Bixley
As part of a strategic initiative from the Division of Health Sciences at the University of Otago, a project was established to increase researchers’ use of “big data” in research projects. The first steps taken in beginning to build this capability were to ramp up both the delivery of Software and Data Carpentry workshops, and the training of local instructors in The Carpentries pedagogy. As part of this initiative, Murray and Matt have been delivering and facilitating Carpentries workshops across the multiple University of Otago campuses (Dunedin, Christchurch, Wellington), developing additional training materials and lessons, and supporting other groups in the use of Carpentries pedagogy for non-Carpentries workshops. In this talk we will discuss some of the impacts this initiative has had on delivering Carpentries workshops, and on the Carpentries community at Otago.

Murray Cadzow is a Teaching Fellow and Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Otago. He is both a Carpentries instructor and instructor trainer. His teaching focus is on delivering digital literacy training to researchers, and the development and support of the local Carpentries community at Otago. His research involves the use of large datasets to investigate the genetic basis of Gout in Māori and Polynesian populations.

Matt Bixley a Carpentries Instructor and Teaching/Research Fellow at the University of Otago. His research background extends from Lab and Field work through Quantitative Genetics and Bioinformatics. Current research is in the use of Machine Learning tools to predict cancer outcomes.

Mik received a BSc(Hons) in statistics from the University of Canterbury, and a MSc (mathematical statistics) and PhD (statistics) from Purdue University. After completing his PhD in 2002, Mik returned to New Zealand to work as a lecturer in the Department of Statistics at the University of Auckland. An ongoing involvement in a number of Dunedinbased collaborative genomics projects resulted in a move to the University of Otago in 2006, where he now leads a research group focused on the development and application of statistical methods for the analysis of data from genomics experiments, with a particular emphasis on human disease. Mik has also been heavily involved in major initiatives designed to put in place sustainable national research infrastructure for NZ: Genomics Aotearoa and NZ Genomics Limited for genomics, digital literacy training via The Carpentries, and NeSI (New Zealand eScience Infrastructure) for high performance computing and eResearch.


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