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Oklahoma State University

OSU Building Better Science with Software Carpentry

Tue, March 22, 2016
Business class

The Oklahoma State University Library and High Performance Computing Center (HPCC) have come together to make the work of Oklahoma researchers faster and easier. The partners have brought a program called Software Carpentry to the campus.

Software Carpentry is presented as intensive workshops that cover program design, version control, and task automation. It helps researchers, particularly in STEM fields, be more productive and makes their work more reliable by teaching them basic coding.

Nicole Sump-Crethar, head of Library Discovery Resources and Digital Services, is one of the first certified trainers at OSU.

“It’s easier than people might initially think,” Sump-Crethar said. “Our goal isn’t to make you a master coder; our goal is to give you the skills to automate tasks within your research.”

The HPCC provides supercomputing services and computational science expertise to the campus. Dana Brunson, Director of the OSU High Performance Computing Center and Assistant Vice President for Research Cyberinfrastructure, identified the need to bring Software Carpentry to OSU.

“When we held our first workshop last May, we had more registrations than we could accommodate within a couple hours of announcing it,” Brunson said. “It was clear there was significant need for this at OSU.”

OSU is now an institutional member of the Software Carpentry Foundation, which means the university can host unlimited Software Carpentry workshops and can train up to 20 new instructors each year. Workshops for faculty and students are already on the calendar, and the team hopes to have 10 certified instructors by the end of the year.

“Having local instructors will help us not only fulfill the demand for training here at OSU but also at institutions around the state,” Brunson said.

To learn more about Software Carpentry and the kinds of workshops the OSU Library and HPCC are bringing to campus and the state, visit http://software-carpentry.org/.