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INSC 553 Assignment 2: Profile of an Industry

IS 553 Assignment 2 is a profile of the research data services industry.

Data Intensive Summer School, June 30 – July 2, 2014



The Data Intensive Summer School focuses on the skills needed to manage, process and gain insight from large amounts of data. It is targeted at researchers from the physical, biological, economic and social sciences that are beginning to drown in data. We will cover the nuts and bolts of data intensive computing, common tools and software, predictive analytics algorithms, data management and visualization. Given the short duration of the summer school, the emphasis will be on providing a solid foundation that the attendees can use as a starting point for advanced topics of particular relevance to their work.


  • Experience working in a Linux environment
  • Familiarity with relational data base model
  • Examples and assignments will most likely use R, MATLAB and Weka. We do not require experience in these languages or tools, but you should already have an understanding of basic programming concepts (loops, conditionals, functions, arrays, variables, scoping, etc.)


  • Robert Sinkovits, San Diego Supercomputer Center

Topics (tentative)

  • Nuts and bolts of data intensive computing
    • Computer hardware, storage devices and file systems
    • Cloud storage
    • Data compression
    • Networking and data movement
  • Data ManagementIntroduction to R programming
    • Digital libraries and archives
    • Data management plans
    • Access control, integrity and provenance
  • Introduction to Weka
  • Predictive analyticsDealing with missing data
    • Standard algorithms: k-mean clustering, decision trees, SVM
    • Over-fitting and trusting results
  • ETL (Extract, transfer and load)
    • The ETL life cycle
    • ETL tools – from scripts to commercial solutions
  • Non-relational atabases
    • Brief refresher on relational mode
    • Survey of non-relational models and technologies
  • Visualization
    • Presentation of data for maximum insight
    • R and ggplot package

Virtual Summer School courses are delivered simultaneously at multiple locations across the country using high-definition videoconferencing technology.


On June 26 I received a follow-up e-mail with notes from the instructors:


Preparing for the virtual summer school

Several of the instructors have requested that you preinstall software on your laptop. Given the large number of participants and the compressed schedule, we ask that you comply and do this before the start of the summer school.

R Studio (statistical programming language)

Follow “download RStudio Desktop”

WEKA (data mining software)

Follow “Download” link on left hand side of home page

Please download the Stable book 3rd ed. version

Prior knowledge of R is not required, but we do assume that you have some programming experience and familiarity with basic programming concepts (variables, arrays, loops, branching, etc.). You may find it helpful to acquaint yourself with basic R syntax ahead of time.

Reading the first two chapters of the following online introduction is recommended

A basic understanding of relational databases and SQL would also be useful. If you are unfamiliar with the SQL syntax, please consider the following tutorials

I already have R studio; I have never tried Weka.  This is a little bit of added work for the summer, but it looks like a great opportunity to pick up some additional skills, or at least refresh those skills I’ve already acquired.


Embedding Instructional Material Hosted Elsewhere

I’m interested in the instructional material in data curation hosted by ESIP Federation online at <;.

I searched Google for “Online Powerpoint Viewer” and located this: <;.

I think it could be useful for enabling embedded instructional material without using a service like SlideShare, a service that requires one own the material uploaded.

Take the first URL from the ESIP Federation:

Add the URL to Google’s little viewer and you get two pieces of code to choose from:
Link to viewer:
[<a href="">Agency requirements </a>]
Embedded on Web site:
googleapps domain="docs" dir="viewer" query="" width="600" height="780" /
Now I will try the “Embedded on a Web site” code above in the space immediately below the horizontal rule:

This Drupal module <> is something I’d like to try for a Drupal Website; I have a “sandbox” drupal site to play with at  At some point I will explore how to accomplish embedding powerpoint documents in a Drupal Website or perhaps a wiki, such as my OpenWetWare research notebook for technical documentation of Maxent at <>.  If it’s possible to embed a powerpoint presentation on a wiki that is hosted by the same wiki, that could be useful for my IS 599 Practicum Experience work.

Data Management Short Course for Scientists | ESIP Commons

Found a “Data Management Short Course” today that I think is worth checking out:

The ESIP Federation, in cooperation with NOAA, seeks to share the community’s knowledge with scientists who increasingly need to be better data managers, as well as to support workforce development for new data management professionals. Over the next several years, the ESIP Federation expects to evolve training courses which seeks to improve the understanding of scientific data management among scientists, emerging scientists, and data professionals of all sorts.

All courses are available under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 license that allows you to share and adapt the work as long as you cite the work according to the citation provided. Please send feedback upon the courses to

via Data Management Short Course for Scientists | ESIP Commons.