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The CAC Summer School Series

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The Centre for Advanced Computing (CAC) presents the CAC Summer School Series. A series of free workshops, spanning the course of the summer, specially designed to provide training on the most popular advanced research computing topics. The series has been structured to intelligently flow (one workshop per week) with the intention for you to build your knowledge week after week. Although some workshops include pre-requisites, the series has been designed for you to customize your knowledge journey this summer. You will be required to register individually for each workshop you are interested in.

Please see the workshop schedule below for further detail.

Week 1: Introduction to REDCap

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Date/time: June 3, 2020 from 9:00am-4:00pm (full day, including 1 hour for lunch break)

** Pre-requisites: None

Description: REDCap is a secure web-based data capture tool used to create and manage research databases and surveys. It has built-in functionalities for data importing and exporting, data validation and quality checking, data reporting and basic statistics summarization. This workshop will provide an overview of REDCap, demonstrations of core features and hands-on tutorial exercises.


Week 2: Introduction to Python

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Date/time: June 10, 2020 from 9:00am-4:00pm (full day, including 1 hour for lunch break)

** Pre-requisites: None

Description: This workshop will give you a hands-on introduction to the popular programming language Python. The workshop focuses on the basics of programming and how to apply them in the context of Python. No programming knowledge is required.


Week 3: Data Preparation

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Date/time: June 17, 2020 from 10:00am-1:00pm (1/2 day)

** Pre-requisites: Introduction to Python

Description: This is an introductory workshop to Data Analytics. It starts by introducing the Data Analytics pipeline and its processes. Then, it discusses the different statistical and visualization approaches for conducting Exploratory and Descriptive Analytics on data to answer the question of “What happened in the past?”. The workshop then dives into the art of Data Preparation covering data cleaning, missing values handling, outlier detection and handling, feature transformation and feature engineering.


Week 4: Machine Learning

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Date/time: June 24, 2020 from 9:00am-4:00pm (full day, including 1 hour for lunch break)

** Pre-requisites: Introduction to Python & Data Preparation

Description: This workshop introduces Predictive Analytics to answer the question of “What will happen?”. It discusses when and how to use the different predictive Machine Learning algorithms. The workshop covers algorithms in Supervised Learning (Classification and Regression) such as KNN, Decision Trees, Random Forest, Naïve Bayes, Support Vector Machines, Neural Networks, Logistic and Linear Regression. The workshop also introduces a set of statistical evaluation methods to compare the performance of different algorithms.


Week 5: Virtual Assistants on the Cloud

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Date/time: June 30, 2020 from 9:00am-4:00pm (full day, including 1 hour for lunch break)

** Pre-requisites: None

Description: Virtual assistants, also known as Chatbots, have grown in popularity over the past couple of years. Technology advancements and Artificial Intelligence accomplishments have simplified the seemingly daunting task of creating a virtual assistant. This workshop is an introduction to virtual assistants and their capabilities, using the IBM Watson Assistant platform. The morning will focus on the basics of creating a virtual assistant. In the afternoon, we will explore advanced features and integrate Watson Assistant with other services using Python. For the second half of the day, it is recommended that you have participated in the Week 2, Intro to Python workshop or are familiar with the Python programming language.


Week 6: Introduction to Spark

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Date/time: July 8, 2020 from 9:00am-4:00pm (full day, including 1 hour for lunch break)

** Pre-requisites: Introduction to Python, Data Preparation & Machine Learning

Description: Apache Spark is one of the most popular projects in the Hadoop ecosystem. This workshop provides an overview on the Spark environment, its model and its core data abstractions. It introduces you to the Spark SQL API and Spark Machine Learning Library API.


Week 7: Introduction to High Performance Computing

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Date/time: July 15, 2020 from 9:00am-12:00pm (½ day)

** Pre-requisites: None

Description: This workshop is intended to give a good introduction and overview of the high-performance computing (HPC) tools available at the CAC and how to use them effectively. By the end of this workshop, you will know how to use the UNIX command line to operate a computer, connect to a cluster, write simple shell scripts, submit and manage jobs on a cluster using a scheduler, transfer files, and use software through environment modules.


Week 8: Introduction to Parallel Programming with Python using MPI

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Date/time: July 22, 2020 from 9:00am-4:00pm (full day, including 1 hour for lunch break)

** Pre-requisites: Introduction to Python & Introduction to High-Performance Computing

Description: Parallel programming is key in High Performance Computing. It allows us to run big jobs in a timely manner. In this workshop, you will learn about parallelization, how to write parallel programs, and run them on a parallel system. MPI (Message Passing Interface) will be used in combination with Python.


Our workshops will be hosted utilizing a secure Zoom platform. Zoom Meeting invites and additional workshop preparation details will be emailed to registered attendees prior to your workshop. If you have any questions please contact us, cac.admin@queensu.ca. We look forward to hosting you this summer!

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