The first R/Python study group meetup

The first study group meetup for R and Python for Social Sciences/Humanities took place on 21 July 2021. There were seven participants at the meetup, two interested in learning R and five interested in learning Python. The discussion was lively as everyone talked about what they hope to learn, irrespective of the different mastery levels between everyone. We broke off into two groups (one for R and one for Python), discussing the way forward and how everyone plans to apply the skills they hope to learn.

In the Python room, we made sure everyone was ready to start working through some tutorials, by going through the installation of Anaconda and Jupyter Notebook.

The Jupyter Notebook is an open-source web application that allows you to create and share documents that contain live code, equations, visualizations and narrative text. Uses include: data cleaning and transformation, numerical simulation, statistical modeling, data visualization, machine learning, and much more.

In the R room, we decided to start working through R for Data Science (R4DS) by Hadley Wickham and Garrett Grolemund. R4DS is a free online book which could also be ordered online from Amazon if people prefer a hardcopy. We aim to refer participants to materials that are freely available and under open licenses to ensure no-one is left behind.

When the groups rejoined, everyone had positive feedback, whether it was about the help they received during the discussion or the excitement of hearing about other participants' plans. It is really encouraging to be part of a community where one can learn, discuss and get help while not feeling any pressure to know more than you know. There is no set learning plan or course for these study groups, so you can fall in when there’s a meetup and bring your own data to work on by yourself or/and with other participants! If you’re not sure where to start, we can also help you identify good tutorials or textbooks that will help grow a good R or Python foundation. Be sure to join our next meetup that is scheduled for Wednesday, 4 August 2021 at 10:00-12:00 SAST.

See the previous blogs about the Python study group and the R study group. To get involved or learn more, please join our DHCSSza Slack workspace and let us know that you’re interested in Python and/or R, or directly join the #learning-python or #learning-r channel.

Benito Trollip
Benito Trollip
Researcher: Afrikaans
Biandri Joubert
Biandri Joubert
Law PhD Researcher: SPS measures