Data Carpentry / R in association with Galaxy Africa 2018

6 April 2018

9:00 - 16:30

Instructors: Caroline F Ajilogba, TBC

Helpers: TBC

General Information

Data Carpentry develops and teaches workshops on the fundamental data skills needed to conduct research. Our mission is to provide researchers high-quality, domain-specific training covering the full lifecycle of data-driven research. Our focus is on the introductory computational skills needed for data management and analysis in all domains of research. Our lessons are domain specific, from life and physical sciences to social science and build on the existing knowledge of learners to enable them to quickly apply skills learned to their own research. Our initial target audience is learners who have little to no prior computational experience. We create a friendly environment for learning to empower researchers and enable data driven discovery. Participants will be encouraged to help one another and to apply what they have learned to their own research problems.

For more information on what we teach and why, please see our paper "Good Enough Practices for Scientific Computing".

Who: The course is aimed at participants of the Galaxy Africa Conference that will take place from 3-5 April 2018 at the University of the Western Cape, Cape Town, South Africa. All graduate students and other researchers participating in the conference are welcome. You don't need to have any previous knowledge of programming in general or the tools that will be presented at the workshop.

Where: South African National Bioinformatics Institute, New Life Sciences Building, 5th Floor, Core 1, University of the Western Cape. Modderdam Road, Bellville, Cape Town, South Africa. Get directions with OpenStreetMap or Google Maps.

When: 6 April 2018. Add to your Google Calendar.

Requirements: Participants must bring a laptop with a Mac, Linux, or Windows operating system (not a tablet, Chromebook, etc.) that they have administrative privileges on. They should have a few specific software packages installed (listed below). They are also required to abide by Data Carpentry's Code of Conduct.

Accessibility: We are committed to making this workshop accessible to everybody. The workshop organizers have checked that:

Materials will be provided in advance of the workshop and large-print handouts are available if needed by notifying the organizers in advance. If we can help making learning easier for you (e.g. sign-language interpreters, lactation facilities) please get in touch (using contact details below) and we will attempt to provide them.

Contact: Please email for more information.

Registration: Please register by completing the online form. Space is limited - first come first serve.

Cost: The workshop is free of cost for participants of the Galaxy Africa Conference 2018.

Funding: The workshop is made possible through support from the Rural Campuses Connection Project II (RCCPII), a DHET project managed by USAF and implemented by TENET.


We will use this collaborative document for chatting, taking notes, and sharing URLs and bits of code.


Introduction to R

  • Intro
  • Starting with Data
  • Aggregating and Analyzing Data with dplyr
  • Data Visualisation in ggplot2
  • Reference...


To participate in a Data Carpentry workshop, you will need access to the software described below. In addition, you will need an up-to-date web browser.

We maintain a list of common issues that occur during installation as a reference for instructors that may be useful on the Configuration Problems and Solutions wiki page.

R and RStudio

R is a programming language that is especially powerful for data exploration, visualization, and statistical analysis. To interact with R, we use RStudio.


Video Tutorial

Install R by downloading and running this .exe file from CRAN. Also, please install the RStudio IDE. Note that if you have separate user and admin accounts, you should run the installers as administrator (right-click on .exe file and select "Run as administrator" instead of double-clicking). Otherwise problems may occur later, for example when installing R packages.


Video Tutorial

Install R by downloading and running this .pkg file from CRAN. Also, please install the RStudio IDE.


You can download the binary files for your distribution from CRAN. Or you can use your package manager (e.g. for Debian/Ubuntu run sudo apt-get install r-base and for Fedora run sudo dnf install R). Also, please install the RStudio IDE.