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University of Melbourne

May 04-08, 2015

1:00 pm - 5:00 pm

Instructors: Isabell Kiral-Kornek, Kerry Halupka

Helpers: Aliza Wajih, Anita Ponsaing, Amy Parker Watson, Philippa Karoly, Amy McKernan

Workshop for Women in Science and Engineering

Participants enrolled in this MATLAB workshop will learn how to read in, analyse, and visualise. The mission of the Software Carpentry project is to help researchers be more productive by teaching them basic computing skills. Researchers often spend much of their time wrestling with software, but most are self-taught programmers. As a result, they spend hours doing things that should take minutes, reinvent a lot of wheels, and still don't know if their results are reliable. To tackle this problem, Software Carpentry runs two-day workshops at hundreds of sites around the world. These hands-on workshops cover basic concepts and tools, including program design, version control, data management, and task automation. Participants are be encouraged to help one another and to apply what they have learned to their own research problems.

Who: The workshop is directed at female participants.

Where: Greenwood Theatre and Richard Newton Rooms, Electrical and Electronic Engineering (Building 193) (map).

Requirements: Participants must bring a laptop that (a) has a few specific software packages installed, and (b) is able to connect to the wifi network at the University of Melbourne (see instructions for both below). They are also required to abide by Software Carpentry's Code of Conduct.

Also, please download these four data files before arriving at the workshop:

  1. inflammation-01.csv
  2. inflammation-02.csv
  3. inflammation-03.csv
  4. inflammation-04.csv

Contact: Please mail for more information.


Day 1: Monday 4 May, Greenwood Theatre

13:00-14:30 Introduction, user interface, variables
14:30-15:00 Coffee
15:00-16:30 Reading in and plotting data

Day 2: Tuesday 5 May, Richard Newton Rooms

13:00-14:30 Writing scripts
14:30-15:00 Coffee
15:00-16:30 Writing scripts

Day 3: Wednesday 6 May, Richard Newton Rooms

13:00-14:30 Loops
14:30-15:00 Coffee
15:00-16:30 Loops and functions

Day 4: Friday 8 May, Richard Newton Rooms

13:00-14:30 Functions and conditionals
14:30-15:00 Coffee
15:00-16:30 Conditionals and defensive programming

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


Programming in MATLAB

  • Working with arrays
  • Reading and plotting data
  • Creating and using functions
  • Loops and conditionals
  • Defensive programming
  • Lesson notes...

Version Control with Git

  • Creating a repository
  • Recording changes to files: add, commit, ...
  • Viewing changes: status, diff, ...
  • Working on the web: clone, pull, push, ...
  • Resolving conflicts
  • Reference card...
  • Lesson notes...



Prior to the workshop, University of Melbourne staff/students should ensure that their laptop can connect to UniWireless. Instructions on how to do this and where to get assistance can be found here. Attendees from other Australian universities should find out (from the IT website of their home institution) how to connect to the Eduroam wireless network.


Git is a version control system that lets you track who made changes to what when and has options for easily updating a shared or public version of your code on


Git should be installed on your computer as part of your Bash install (described above).

Mac OS X

For OS X 10.8 and higher, install Git for Mac by downloading and running the installer. After installing Git, there will not be anything in your /Applications folder, as Git is a command line program. For older versions of OS X (10.5-10.7) use the most recent available installer for your OS available here. Use the Leopard installer for 10.5 and the Snow Leopard installer for 10.6-10.7.


If Git is not already available on your machine you can try to install it via your distro's package manager. For Debian/Ubuntu run sudo apt-get install git and for Fedora run sudo yum install git.


MATLAB is a very popular data analysis environment. It's a commercial product, however most universities provide free licences to their staff and students. University of Melbourne people can find instructions on how to install Matlab on their personal laptop here. Participants from other institutions should ask their IT department for assistance.

The instructors at the workshop will be using latest version of Matlab (2014b). Since each new version has a slightly different look and feel (not to mention new functionality that isn't available in previous versions), it's important that participants also install the latest version.

During the installation process, you'll be asked whether you'd like to install any additional toolboxes (e.g. statistics, curve fitting, aerospace... there are many). The only specialised toolbox required to complete the workshop is the parallel computing toolbox, however if there's other toolboxes that look relevant to your research you may wish to install them for future use. Note that it's not a good idea to install all the available toolboxes, as this makes the installation process take much longer (i.e. don't install a toolbox unless you are very likely to use it - you can always install additional toolboxes later on).