Workshops build on each other such that successive workshops use skills developed in earlier ones. All participants attend workshops on core skills, then choose which skills they wish to develop further through advanced workshops.

Workshop Details


During the first session of the DRI, the Digital Fellows will help participants install and configure the software needed for the rest of the week.

Design Briefs

Start thinking about your research from a digital perspective and learn about the digital projects that other participants are undertaking.

Command Line

Introduction to the UNIX command line. Topics covered will include navigating the filesystem, manipulating the environment, executing useful commands, and using pipes to communicate between programs. This session will teach you how to communicate directly with your computer’s operating system using a text-based interface and is a useful first step in learning many other technical skills.


Git is a tool for managing changes to a set of files. It allows users to access open source repositories, recover earlier versions of a project, and collaborate with other contributors. This session will be beneficial to anyone working with data, code, or text.


Python is a programming language that can be used for a wide range of tasks, including collecting and analyzing data in a variety of formats, building web applications, and much more. It is likely the most popular language for academic researchers because of its flexibility and adaptability.

Text Analysis

This session will introduce text analysis with Python both with built-in functions and the The Natural Language Toolkit (NLTK) library. Through attending this session, you will learn how to use Python to analyze large amounts of text (i.e., literary works, social media corpora, etc.) to find word frequencies, collocations, and other patterns invisible from a non-computational perspective. This session is designed for researchers who work with various forms of text-based data.

Time Series & Categorical Data

This session will introduce categorical and time-series analysis using Pandas, which is the Python Data Analysis Library. The session will cover loading data from tables (excel files, csvs), cleaning misformed data such as dates and missing values, filtering data using keywords and logical constraints, computing summary statistics, aggregating data via pivot tables, and visualizing data in various forms such as bar and line plots. This session is for researchers who work with timeseries and tabular data.

HTML, CSS, and Javascript

Modern web pages are created using HTML to control content, CSS to control appearance, and JavaScript to dictate behavior. This session will be helpful for anyone that wants to build on the web.


Databases are invaluable tools for organization and are better than a spreadsheet for working with multiple data sets, asking questions, and adding structure to your data. SQL is a programming language for working with databases. This workshop will introduce you to the basics of SQL, and will include hands-on practice creating databases and tables, importing data, and querying the database.


Special Guest, Steve Romalewski, will lead this session to introduce simple yet powerful ways of displaying spatial information through CartoDB. This session will be of particular interest both to researchers working with spatial information as well as anyone interested in storytelling with maps.

Machine Learning

This session will introduce data preprocessing, dimension reduction, and supervised and unsupervised machine learning using the Python numpy and sklearn machine learning libraries. This session is aimed towards researchers who want to find patterns in their data or use their data to predict a phenomena.

Web Frameworks

Web frameworks are the backbone to developing your own web applications. They make it easier for you to start building a web application without having to reinvent the wheel. This workshop will introduce you to the basic concepts behind web frameworks and get you started building your first web application using the popular Flask Python web framework.

Project Laboratory

Using the information gathered over the previous days of the DRI, participants will work in teams to develop a digital project plan for datasets relevant to their research areas.

Data Management Plans

Data Management Plans (DMPs) are required as part of nearly all grant applications, especially those with a digital component. Data management is a necessary part of digital scholarship, and allows dissemination and reproduction of your work. Stephen Zweibel, Digital Scholarship Librarian, will discuss data management and the writing of Data Management Plans.

CUNY Academic Works

Digital work is never done, but what happens when you’re ready to move on? This workshop will introduce CUNY Academic Works, our open access digital repository, as a place to archive your digital project and make it findable, shareable, and citable. We’ll go over practical steps that will help “package” your project for use by future researchers and discuss the ways that an institutional repository differs from services like GitHub or figshare. Graduate Center students incorporating digital elements in their dissertations or capstones will learn about the Library’s format requirements and procedures for depositing digital work or supplementary data for the degree. Attendees will learn how to think about –and plan for – the long-term research use of their projects from the outset. Some time will also be devoted to scholarly communication “pain points” in digital projects, such as rights + permissions, evaluation, credit, and citation.

Grant & Fellowship Tips

Now that you have a project in mind, how are you going to fund it? Applying for funding, whether it’s a fellowship or a grant, is an improvable skill. Jason Rhody, director of the Digital Culture Program at the Social Science Research Council, will share tips and guidelines for writing applications to fund your research project.

Copyright and Creative Commons Licensing

Copyright law is complex and sometimes intimidating, but it can also be used as tool advance your research. This workshop will introduce participants to copyright and creative commons licensing within the context of digital projects. We’ll discuss effective means of identifying and providing appropriate attribution to creative commons licensed materials, applying the principle of fair use to copyrighted works, and making an informed decision when licensing your own work. Participants are encouraged to arrive with questions and ready to talk through select case studies.

Talking About Your Project in Other Contexts

Presenting your research, your proposals, and your scholarship is an important part of what we do on a regular basis. Now that you’ve started to create your project, how will you describe what you do when you are interviewing for new positions? How will you make it understandable to new audiences? Jennifer Furlong, director of the Office of Professional Development, will lead students in a 50 minute workshop to help shape their public presentation skills when talking about their digital projects and skills.

Digital Project Preservation

In the submitting born-digital components session, Stephen Klein will discuss how preservation could be approached for the different types of born-digital projects, the current limitations of some approaches and some best web development practices to potentially keep in mind when developing your website. No prior knowledge is necessary.

Digital Pedagogy @ CUNY

Come talk to Luke Waltzer, director of the Teaching and Learning Center at the Graduate Center about the current landscape of educational technology. Explore the many ways in which the skills that you’ve developed this week could also help shape your pedagogy.

Twitter API

This session will cover the basics of accessing data via the Twitter API. including specific challenges that arise when working with large, text-based data sets. This session will be beneficial for anyone who wants to collect data from Twitter or other social networks.


Participants will present the results of their Project Laboratory proposals!