Empirical Research Workshop Series

The Reed Empirical Research Workshop Series (ERWS) provides a space for the Reed community to learn about quantitative projects happening on and off campus.  For Summer 2020, ERWS runs from the first week of June through mid-August and includes three forms of programming: interactive workshops (Tuesdays 1:30 - 2:30 pm PDT), a seminar series (Thursdays noon - 1:00 pm PDT), and a data book club (Fridays noon - 1:00pm PDT).  All Reed community members are welcome to take part in any ERWS event.  For accessibility requests, including real-time captioning, please contact Lauren Rabe at lrabe@reed.edu, Noelwah Netusil at netusil@reed.edu, or Kelly McConville at mcconville@reed.edu at least one week prior to the event.  Some accommodations may require time for the College to coordinate, and having advance notice will help us to provide seamless access.

Interactive Workshops

These workshops are related to research and professional development.  Workshops are held Tuesdays 1:30 - 2:30 pm PDT via Zoom (unless otherwise specified on the schedule).  We invite Reed community members to join the ERWS Interactive Workshop Google Group for workshop announcements.

The schedule will be updated with additional workshops as the summer progresses. Participants must sign-up for a workshop prior to the event. 

Date Topic Speaker Description Sign Up Sheet
6/2 (1:30 - 2:00) A Quick Introduction to Spatial Analysis Kristin Bott, Associate Director of Instructional Technology Services, Computing & Information Services Maps can provide a useful visual for data storytelling; considering a spatial dimension in your research can enable you to ask new and different questions. In this brief presentation, I will provide an overview of how spatial analysis works, some tools available for mapping and analysis, and some of the types of questions you can approach using spatial methods. (Note: While this is not a workshop, the material presented will likely prove useful for folks using spatial analysis. I will be available beyond the workshop to provide support for projects.) Workshop Sign-Up Form
6/9 A ShortR Introduction to R Jonathan Wells, Visiting Assistant Professor of Statistics The open-source R programming language is a popular tool for analyzing data and creating professional quality statistical graphics, and is a compelling alternative to expensive statistical software. However, the fundamental need to perform calculation via code and the lack of intrinsic user interface make the language daunting for new users, especially those without prior programming experience. In this workshop, participants will be given a gentle introduction to R using the RStudio environment and RMarkdown documents, with emphasis on what the author wished he was told when he was just starting out. All are welcome, no prior programming experience necessary. Workshop Sign-Up Form
6/16 Git and Github through RStudio Andrew Bray, Associate Professor of Statistics Git and GitHub have become essential tools for doing data science in a manner that is collaborative, transparent, and easily reproducible. In this workshop, participants will learn how to keep track of their own work using git, publish it on GitHub, and work on GitHub as part of a team. Prior experience with RStudio is required for this workshop. Workshop Sign-Up Form
6/23 PrettyR Graphics with ggplot2 Jonathan Wells, Visiting Assistant Professor of Statistics The R programming language includes a host of useful functions for visualizing data, and can be used to make quick-and-dirty plots efficiently. But further customizing these graphics can be cumbersome, and obtaining a different visual representation of the same data often requires completely rewriting code. The ggplot2 package resolves these problems by reformulating data visualization using a consistent grammar of graphics, allowing a user to create and modify both simple and complex plots with minimal investment. In this interactive workshop, we’ll explore some features of the powerful ggplot2 package for creating statistical graphics. Attendees should be familiar with R and RStudio, either by way of the previous “A ShortR Introduction to R” workshop, or from other prior experience. Workshop Sign-Up Form
6/30 Rock Your Resume: How to Translate Your Liberal Arts Resume into a Job Hayden Todd and Julia Burrows, Career & Fellowship Advisors, Center for Life Beyond Reed

CLBR will lead a practical hands-on workshop on preparing and polishing your resume, one section at a time. Learning to talk about your Reed education as a great foundation for research opportunities by highlighting your own narrative, experiences, and transferable skills will help you stand out among other applicants for internships, research positions, grad and professional school.

Workshop Sign-Up Form
7/7 Literature Searches

Ann Matsushima Chiu, Social Sciences Librarian

Robin Ford, Science and Accessibility Librarian

Are you at the point of needing to do a literature search for your research project, but just don’t know where to start looking? We get it. Information is abundant and starting a lit review is often an intimidating task. In this workshop, Reed Librarians will demonstrate searching strategies for finding scholarly empirical literature, how to find data, and other database tricks you might not know about (such as cited reference searching). A willingness to learn is all that is required for this workshop. Workshop Sign-Up Form
7/14 An Introduction to Docker Mark Hopkins, Professor of Computer Science You want your science to be reproducible, so you throw your code on to GitHub and call it a day. But is that enough? What happens when the packages you rely on go obsolete, or change their APIs? In this workshop, we will learn about Docker, a technology that allows you to "containerize" your code, which permits your users to download not just your code, but an environment in which the code is guaranteed to be executable. Familiarity with some programming language (whether it be R or Python or other) is required for this workshop. Workshop Sign-Up Form
7/21 Creating Slides with xaringan Kelly McConville, Assistant Professor of Statistics In this workshop, participants will learn to create awesome, R covered slides with xaringan, such as http://mcconville.rbind.io/math241/slidestext. xaringan is an R package that uses R Markdown to build beautiful HTML presentations. Prior experience with R/RStudio and with R Markdown is required for this workshop. Workshop Sign-Up Form
7/28 Grad School Application Essentials Julia Burrows, Career & Fellowship Advisor, Center for Life Beyond Reed In this workshop we will discuss the different components of a successful graduate school application. We will touch on how to find and reach out to prospective graduate advisors, how to request and whom to ask for letters of recommendation, and what should be included in a personal statement. Workshop Sign-Up Form
8/4 Fellowships: How to Find and Fund Your Dreams Shania SironCareer & Fellowship Advisor, Center for Life Beyond Reed Shania Siron, CLBR's liaison with nationally-competitive fellowship foundations, will lead a session on How to Find and Fund Your Dreams. This workshop will cover the basics of both Reed-based funding and national fellowships. Students and alumni will leave the session with a better understanding of the tools and resources to match their research interests with funding, as well as gain awareness of national fellowships they may not know about.  Workshop Sign-Up Form
8/11 Creating a Personal Website with blogdown Kelly McConville, Assistant Professor of Statistics In this workshop, participants will learn to create and deploy their own blogdown site, such as http://mcconville.rbind.io/. blogdown is an R package that uses R Markdown to create content and integrates nicely with RStudio. Having a website is a great way to communicate about yourself, your background and your R work with a broader community. Prior experience with R/RStudio and with R Markdown is required for this workshop. Workshop Sign-Up Form


Seminar Series

The seminar series features talks by Reed faculty, staff and students as well as off-campus speakers from industry and academia.  The seminars are held Thursdays noon - 1:00pm PDT via Zoom.  We invite Reed Community members to join the ERWS Seminar Series Google Group for seminar announcements.

Date Speaker(s) Title
6/4 Reed Faculty and Staff Reed Research Showcase
6/11 Reed Faculty and Staff Reed Research Showcase
6/18 Paul GronkeFounder and Director, Early Voting Information Center and Professor of Political Science, Reed College Election Science, Election Administration, and How Academic Research Helps to Ensure Safe, Secure, and Accessible Elections
6/25 Mark Buckley, Partner and Project Director, ECONorthwest The Role of Data in Economic Decisions for Water Quality Policy: Two Cases

Mike Tamada, Director of Institutional Research and Ellen Kotler, Assistant Director of Institutional Research, Reed College

Reed Institutional Research Website

Institutional Research at Reed
7/16 Carolyn Kousky, Executive Director, Wharton Risk Center, University of Pennsylvania Insurance in a Warming World: Climate Change and Insurance Markets
7/23 Heejun Chang, Professor of Geography, Portland State University Global Change and Flood Resilience in Urban Regions
7/30 Student Researchers Student Research Showcase
8/6 Grant McDermott, Assistant Professor of Economics, University of Oregon Sceptic Priors and Climate Consensus (paper and code)


Student Researchers Student Research Showcase
8/20 Peter Ralph, Associate Professor of Mathematics, and Biology, University of Oregon The 'tree sequence': using genealogies to store, analyze, and interpret large genomic datasets (background reading here)


Data Book Club

For the book club, we are reading and discussing two non-technical books related to data and society.  We will meet weekly on Fridays noon - 1:00pm PDT (feel free to bring your lunch!) via Zoom.  We are starting with Data Feminism (DF), written by Catherine D'Ignazio and Lauren Klein, and will move onto our second book, Automating Inequality: How High-Tech Tools Profile, Police, and Punish the Poor (AI) by Virginia Eubanks, in July.  We invite Reed community members to join the ERWS Book Club Google Group for announcements. 

Date Readings
6/5 DF: Introduction and Chapter One: Bring Back the Bodies
6/12 DF: Chapter Two: On Rational, Scientific, Objective Viewpoints from Mythical, Imaginary, Impossible Standpoints and Chapter Three: “What Gets Counted Counts”
6/19 None, in observance of Juneteenth
6/26 DF: Chapter Four: Unicorns, Janitors, Ninjas, Wizards, and Rock Stars and Chapter Five: The Numbers Don’t Speak for Themselves
7/3 None, in observance of the Fourth of July
7/10 DF: Chapter Six: Show Your Work and Chapter Seven: The Power Chapter
7/17 DF: Chapter Eight: Teach Data Like an Intersectional Feminist! and Conclusion: Now Let’s Multiply and AI: Introduction: Red Flags
7/24 AI: Chapter One: From Poorhouse to Database and Chapter Two: Automating Eligibility in the Heartland
7/31 AI: Chapter Three: High-Tech Homelessness in the City of Angels
8/7 AI: Chapter Four: The Allegheny Algorithm
8/14 AI: Chapter Five: The Digital Poorhouse and Conclusion: Dismantling the Digital Poorhouse


The ERWS is hosted by Kelly McConville, Assistant Professor of Statistics, and Noelwah R. Netusil, Stanley H. Cohn Professor of Economics.  Please contact Lauren Rabe (lrabe@reed.edu) if you have any questions.

Many thanks to the Dean of Faculty for funding the Reed Empirical Research Workshop Series