Technology Workshops Fall 2019

Technology Workshops Fall 2019

Moodle Basics 

Sept. 6, 2019 Library Electronic Classroom 10:00 am 

 moodle iconFor new or returning faculty: Learn or review the basic operations of Moodle, including adding content of different types; adding special activities such as assignments, discussion forums, and attendance tracking; emailing students; and managing enrollments. RSVP to moodle@vassar.edu. Friday Sept. 6 10am in the Library Classroom.

 

Faculty Open House in the Vassar Innovation Lab

Sept 6, 2019, Vassar Innovation Lab  2-5 pm

What if you could use a laser to cut through solid materials?makerspace door Or fly for miles without leaving the ground? What would you do with these powers? In our maker space, we have the tools to grant you these abilities, but we need your ideas to bring them to life. Come explore the world of maker technology, including laser cutters, 3D printers, drones, virtual reality, and more. Drop in any time after 2:00 on Friday, Sept. 6. (adjacent to the Old Bookstore). 

 

Save Today So History is Not Rewritten Tomorrow 

Sept. 25, 2019,  Library Electronic Classroom 3:30 pm

page not found by Image: Freepik.comAttendees will be encouraged to pick a theme and curate websites that are at risk and relevant to them personally. Student groups are welcome to come and save data that is important to your work. The goal of this workshop is to inform attendees in a very personal and hands-on way the fragility of data and the digital world as you know it. It will provide you with the tools to not only preserve but to also curate a moment in time. 

This workshop will provide an introduction to tools such as Archive-It and will use Google Sheets during the hands-on session. Contact Nicole H. Scalessa, Head of Digital Scholarship and Technology Services for more information, nscalessa@vassar.edu.

 

Into to Campus Audio Resources 

October 9, 2019 Library Electronic Classroom 3:30 pm

Chicago Hall Audio Recording in progressPlanning to record voice or music and you have never done it before? Interested in podcasting? Perhaps you have an interview you need to edit and share? We’ll review free and cross platform tools and review resources for audio production. We’ll conclude by visiting the audio production facilities in the basement of Chicago Hall. Led by Baynard Bailey of Academic Computing Services. Please rsvp to babailey@vassar.edu (suggested but not required).

 

Intro to Adobe Premiere

October 16, 2019 Library Electronic Classroom 3:30 pm

Interested in learning to edit video with a powerful and popular software suite? Come to this hands-on workshop where you will learn to use Adobe Premiere Pro. Led by Baynard Bailey of Academic Computing Services. Please rsvp to babailey@vassar.edu (suggested but not required).

Linux Penguin

 

Intro to Linux Part I

Nov. 1, 2019  Sci Vis Lab, Bridge Building 3:30 pm

Linux is a an open-source operating system that can run on any computing device in the world! Come learn how to get started exploring the Linux world on your very own laptop, or use one of our computers. We’ll learn a brief history of Linux, look at the high-level structure of the operating system, talk about situations in which Linux would be a preferable OS, and start navigating the command line ourselves. We will go over common commands and how to navigate the file system, learn about permissions, shortcuts, and methods of installing software. Led by Chris Gahn of ACS. Please rsvp to chgahn@vassar.edu (suggested but not required)

Intro to Linux Part II

Nov. 8, 2019  Sci Vis Lab, Bridge Building 3:30 pm

Part II of the Intro to Linux Workshop will pick up where Part I left off. We will become more comfortable with navigating the command line, and introduce several new commands and programs. Finally, we will attempt to create our own Shell Script to perform some automated tasks. Led by Chris Gahn of ACS. Please rsvp to chgahn@vassar.edu (suggested but not required).”

 

Intro to Photographic Resources

Nov. 13, 2019 Library Electronic Classroom 3:30 pm

Need to put together your senior portfolio? Want to submit work to galleries or other exhibition calls for entry? Interested in stop-motion animation? Come to this workshop and learn about all the photographic and stop-motion filmmaking resources available to you on campus. Organized by DiSSCo, Led by Amy Laughlin of Academic Computing Services.  Please rsvp to amlaughlin@vassar.edu (suggested but not required).

Start Mapping with QGIS

Nov. 15, 2019 Sci Vis Lab Bridge Building 3:30

QGIS is a free and beginner-friendly way to start mapping with GIS (Geographic Information System). In this workshop we’ll learn how to find spatial data common to historical and social science research, and visualize it with QGIS mapping. No previous experience necessary. Taught by Carolyn Moritz, Digital Technologies Librarian.

 

 

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Technology Workshops Spring 2019

Savvy Research with Zotero

01/30 Wednesday 3:30 pm, Main Library Electronic Classroom 160zotero logo

Learn how to use Zotero to automatically grab citations from web content, organize your research with tags and keywords, collaborate for group work, and configure bibliography exports for print and web tools. Please RSVP to cmoritz@vassar.edu.

Video Editing: Final Cut Pro X 

02/08 Friday 1:00 pm, Main Library Electronic Classroom 160

Final Cut Pro icon, desktop and cameraInterested in learning video editing or recording a narrated presentation? Come to this hands-on workshop where you will learn to use Apple’s powerful but easy to use video editing software. Led by Baynard Bailey of Academic Computing Services, organized by DiSSCo. Please rsvp to babailey@vassar.edu (suggested but not required).

 

Video Editing: Adobe Premiere Pro

02/13 Wednesday 3:30 pm, Main Library Electronic Classroom 160

Interested in learning to edit video with a powerful and popular software suite? Come to this hands-on workshop where you will learn to use Adobe Premiere Pro. Led by Baynard Bailey of Academic Computing Services, organized by DiSSCo. Please rsvp to babailey@vassar.edu (suggested but not required).

 

Intro. to Python

python logo02/15 Friday 3:30 pm, Sci Viz Lab, Bridge Building

A hands-on intro to this popular scripting language. Led by Academic Computing Services’ Chris Gahn, organized by DiSSCo. Please rsvp to chgahn@vassar.edu (suggested but not required).

 

Intro. to R and Data Visualization

02/22 Friday 1:00 pm, Sci Viz Lab, Bridge Building

Basic overview of using R and RStudio for statistical analysis and data visualization. This workshop covers the practice of using R; it does not teach statistical concepts.Led by Carolyn Moritz, Digital Technologies Librarian. Please RSVP to cmoritz@vassar.edu (suggested but not required)

Intro to Digital Drawing 

digital drawing02/20 Wednesday 3:30 pm, Collaboration Studio, Main Library

Interested in drawing digitally or in VR? We will provide a brief overview of digital drawing options on mobile tablets, peripherals and in VR. Try out a number of different devices. Led by Amy Laughlin and Baynard Bailey of Academic Computing Services, organized by DiSSCo. Please rsvp to babailey@vassar.edu (suggested but not required).

 

High-Performance Computing (Cancelled)
03/01 Friday 1:00 pm, Sci Viz Lab, Bridge Building

 

Crafting with Arduinos (E-Sewing Follow-up)  

03/29 Friday 2:00 pm, Collaboration Studio, Main Library

Advanced follow-up to the fall E-Sewing workshop: Have fun making wearable tech with LilyPads and learn to use and program Arduino boards to bring your tech crafts to life. Those who have completed e-sewing projects at the library are encouraged to bring them for this workshop; however, all are welcome! Led by Carolyn Moritz, Digital Technologies Librarian. RSVP to cmoritz@vassar.edu (suggested but not required).

Photographing Your Artwork

photographing artwork04/05 Friday 3:00 pm Taylor Hall 328

Need to put together your senior portfolio? Want to submit work to galleries or other exhibition calls for entry? Come to this workshop and learn how to photograph 2D and 3D artwork. Organized by DiSSCo, Led by Amy Laughlin of Academic Computing Services.  Please rsvp to amlaughlin@vassar.edu (suggested but not required).

Intro. to GIS and Spatial Mapping 

04/10 Wednesday 3:30 pm, SciVis Lab, Bridge BuildingGIS map thumbnail

Need a custom map for a project or assignment? Interested in analyzing patterns, processes, and relationships between different features or phenomena across a geographic area? Geospatial mapping has applications in almost any discipline. Come to this hands-on workshop to make a custom map and learn about the tools and resources available for your own mapping project. Led by Neil Curri, GIS Academic Computing Consultant and Adjunct Instructor. (Image: Mariah Caballero, Biology & Geography ’19)

Introduction to Audio Recording 

04/17 Wednesday 3:30 pm, Collaboration Studio, Main Library

Chicago Hall Audio Recording in progressPlanning to record voice or music and you have never done it before? Come to this hands-on workshop where we’ll practice making recordings with Zoom recorders. We’ll also go over campus resources for audio production and visit the audio studio in Chicago Hall. Led by Baynard Bailey of Academic Computing Services, organized by DiSSCo. Please rsvp to babailey@vassar.edu (suggested but not required).  

Introduction to Audio Editing

04/24 Wednesday 3:30 pm Library Electronic Classroom 160 audacity logo

Interested in podcasting? Perhaps you have an interview you need to edit? Come to this hands-on workshop and learn about campus resources, tips on making good recordings and the basics of editing sound files with Audacity (and a brief overview of Audition, Garageband and Hindenberg).  Led by Baynard Bailey of Academic Computing Services, organized by DiSSCo. Please rsvp to babailey@vassar.edu (suggested but not required).  

VR Stress-Buster 

05/08 Wednesday 3:00 pm, Collaboration Studio, Main Library

vr person with headsetExplore first-hand the potential VR and 360 video have to offer on our various interactive VR devices and 360 video viewers. Brainstorm and discuss ways this can impact teaching and learning. Or just come to relax and have fun!

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Aerial Footage of the Casperkill Creek

In support of the Environmental Studies focus on the Casparkill Watershed, we recorded a flight above the Casparkill Creek, from its source to its mouth in the Hudson River, a distance of about 10 miles. The course was covered by 6 separate flights, as shown below. We also flew a course over the Casparkill’s biggest tributary, the Fonteyn Kill.

Click on a red or green line segment to see a drone video of the corresponding section of the Casperkill Creek, flown north to south. (Click on the yellow line segment to see a drone video of the Fonteyn Kill.)

Casperkill section 1 Casperkill section 2 Casperkill section 3 Casperkill section 4 Casperkill section 5 Casperkill section 6 Fonteyn Kill
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3D Modeling a Thirteenth-Century Dove

The Eucharistic Dove, one of only a few left in existence, is found behind glass in the Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center, making it a difficult piece to investigate closely. Academic Computing Services students, Dylan MacDonald, Zechariah Lee, and Sufyan Abbasi, under the guidance of Amy Laughlin and Professor Andrew Tallon, were put to the task of producing a 3D model that preserves the texture of the Dove for closer inspection.

The model was produced using a technique called photogrammetry, which is the process of stitching together a 3D model based on a sequence of images. The technique combines novel application of computer vision with classical projection mapping that produces stunning results. The software used was Agisoft Photoscan, an industry standard photogrammetry software that allows users to stitch together an orbit of still photos into a 3D model, like so:

As a proof of concept, we began with trying to model a candlestick, donated to us by Professor Tallon, which had similar properties as the Eucharistic Dove in size and luster. Due to the reflective surface of the candlestick, we found that using a green screen was out of the question since the shades of green were reflecting off of the object and projected onto the model. After trying different techniques, we discovered that shooting with a white background in the Loeb photo studio proved to be the best way to eliminate any unwanted reflections in our model.

Once we took photos of all angles of the Dove (over 200 pictures total), we used Adobe Photoshop to mask out the backgrounds and loaded the images into Photoscan. There, a second masking process was done to tell the software the bounds of the object to be generated.

Once Photoscan was finished processing the files, we were left with a .obj file that formed the 3D model of the Dove, a .tif file that dictated the texture, (shown below) and a .mta file that maps the texture to the 3D model.

Next, we loaded the model into Blender, an open source 3D modeling software. Here, we made edits to the generated 3D model, such as filling in the bottom area of the Dove where photos were not available.

Finally, the model was ready to be published on SketchFab, an online publishing platform for 3D models, which allows users to manipulate the model in 3D space and view the model in virtual reality. 

From start to end, the process took about a semester for the initial research and testing, and half a semester for photographing the Dove and making edits to the model. Dylan and Zech worked on masking the Dove in Photoshop and Photoscan and generating the 3D model in Photoscan, and Sufyan worked with Blender to make the edits to the model.

Eucharistic Dove by Vassar College on Sketchfab

We hope that you enjoy the Dove as much as we enjoyed producing the model. If you have a project idea involving 3D modeling and need some help,  please contact Amy Laughlin in Academic Computing Services in CIS.

 

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High-Performance Computing at Vassar

What is HPC?
Have you ever tried to run some code or perform some data analysis on your personal computer, and it ended up taking several hours or even days to finish? Frequently, we interact with data sets or projects that are simply too taxing for a single computer (even a very powerful one) to complete. This happens very frequently in a variety of fields across disciplines. High-Performance Computing (or HPC as it is known) is a field in technology concerned with providing advanced computing resources to researchers in order to speed up their data processing or modeling projects. Typically, these computing resources take the form of what is known as a computing “cluster”, which is really just a fancy name for a large number of computers that are all connected together and process data in unison.

Who can benefit from HPC?
-Students
-Faculty
-Non-Faculty Researchers
-Administrative Staff

HPC at Vassar (on-campus)
Here at Vassar, we have a computing cluster named “Junior” that was built in 2010. Junior has been used by many faculty and students over the years to run countless analyses and simulations for coursework and research in the Sciences and Humanities. The big advantage of using a system like Junior is that it has what’s called a job scheduler program installed. In Junior’s case, the scheduler program is called SLURM. Slurm enables users to submit the code or analysis that they want to run, and then the system will automatically load the required packages and software to complete the job, and output it into a user-specified format. This means that a user can submit a job that might take the system several days to finish, and then go and work on something else while awaiting the results, confident that work is being performed by the automated processes on the computer the whole time.

HPC at Vassar (off-campus/remote)
Here at Vassar, we have access to off-campus HPC resources as well:

  1. Through an agreement with the NSF-supported XSEDE system (The Extreme Science and Engineering Discovery Environment), Vassar researchers are able to apply for computing allocations on a variety of cluster environments that provide abundant libraries of packages, software, compilers, and user interfaces. The best part – It’s completely 100% free for Vassar! Your tax dollars are hard at work creating and maintaining this extensive network of HPC resources for use by all researchers.
  2. Vassar has an agreement with Amazon Web Services (or AWS) to provide for Virtual computing environments hosted in Amazon’s many data centers around the country. While we do pay by the hour for resources through AWS, the scalability and versatility afforded to us through this system are incredibly useful. Computing environments can be built and made accessible to the end-user very quickly and easily by administrators on campus. 
  3. We are exploring additional resources such as Google Cloud, Microsoft Azure, products from IBM, and partnerships with other colleges and universities with more robust computing infrastructure. We are also looking into avenues for the upgrade and/or replacement of Junior.

HPC Projects & Initiatives at Vassar
Many faculty at Vassar have been involved in using HPC in the course of their research and teaching. Courses and projects in BiologyChemistryCognitive Science, Computer Science, Mathematics, and Physics & Astronomy all make use of Junior and other HPC resources for course work and projects.

Just a few of the specific HPC projects underway or already completed include:

  • Chemistry Molecular research by Franco Caruso and Miriam Rossi which utilized Materials Studio in a cluster environment and has resulted in the publication of two successful journal submissions with a third in progress.
  • Biology research on viruses and bacteria using QIIME and other genetic analysis tools on both the local cluster and in AWS by David Esteban.
  • Deep learning research and course work using GPU-enhanced computational systems in the cloud by Joshua de Leeuw
  • Computational Quantum Chemistry research by Leah I. Bendavid on XSEDE.

Find out More!
If you’re interested in learning more about HPC, or getting in touch with other people at Vassar who are using HPC resources, please email Chris Gahn, the ACS Consultant for the Sciences.

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Early Spring Workshop Series 2017

ibook on macbook air, ipad and iphone

iBooks Author Workshop 

Friday Feb 3rd 2:00 pm Main Library Electronic Classroom 160

iBooks Author is a free program that allows anyone to create digital books with illustrations, audio, and interactive glossaries. iBooks can be shared or sold via Apple’s iBooks Store and viewed on any Apple device, or exported to other formats. Hands-on workshop led by Steve Taylor of Academic Computing Services. Open to the campus.

 

Final Cut Pro icon, desktop and camera

Final Cut Pro X

Wednesday Feb 8th 3:30 Library Electronic Classroom 160

Interested in learning editing video or recording a narrated presentation? Come to this hands-on workshop where you will learn to use Apple’s professional but easy to use video editing software. Led by Baynard Bailey and Amy Laughlin of Academic Computing Services. Open to the campus.

wordpress logo

Setting Up a WordPress Site 

Wednesday Feb 15th 3:30 Library Electronic Classroom 160

WordPress is an open source digital publishing platform that is great for building quick and easy websites for orgs, portfolios, research and more. Led by George Witteman of VC++. Open to the campus.

 

Linux Penguin

An Introduction to Linux: World’s Best OS!   

Wednesday Feb 22nd 3:30 Sci Vis Lab, Bridge Building

Linux is a free and open-source operating system used in all sorts of devices. Come and learn about the Bootloader, the Kernel, Daemons and the Shell!  Discover
why Linux runs most of the internet and how it is the one of the most reliable and secure OS’s available. Install it on your own machine! Led by special guest Stefan Crain of The Jahnel Group.

 

Photographing artwork lines

How to Photograph your Artwork

Friday March 3rd 2:00 Taylor Hall 328

Need to put together your senior portfolio? Want to submit work to galleries or other
exhibition calls for entry? Come to this workshop and learn how to photograph 2D and 3D artwork. Led by Amy Laughlin of Academic Computing Services. Open to the campus. Contact: amlaughlin@vassar.edu

 

illustrator environment pencil imac

Poster Making

Wednesday March 8th 3:30 Library Electronic Classroom 160

Need a poster for an academic conference? Want to print a giant poster for your event? Come to this hands-on workshop, learn basic design and how to use Adobe Illustrator to lay out a poster. Learn about campus printing resources. Open to the campus

 

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Computing Workshops Fall 2016

WordPress 101wordpress logo

Wednesday Oct 26 3:30 GIS Lab 
WordPress is an open source digital publishing platform t
hat is great for building quick and easy websites for orgs, portfolios, research and more. Led by George Witteman of VC++ and Academic Computing Services.

High Performance Computing & Amazon Web Services AWS Logo

Friday Nov 4 2:00 Sci Vis Lab

Come and learn about the “why” and “how” of high performance computing and the resources available at Vassar. Specific topics will include an overview of the field of HPC, and an introduction to Amazon Web Services. Led by Academic Computing Services’ Chris Gahn.

Intro to HTML and CSS html css picture

 

Wednesday Nov 9 3:30 -Web Design 101 – I Sci Vis Lab, Bridge Building

Sometimes Tumblr, Squarespace or WordPress just won’t do it! George Witteman of VC++ will walk you through the beginning steps of hand coding a website.

 

Game Design 101
pong-mobile-tablet-game-980x276

Wednesday Nov 16 3:30 Sci Vis Lab, Bridge Building

Ever want to get a taste of making a video game? Thinking of an alternative to another boring paper? Learn the basics of game design by hacking pong! Tom Lum of Indiebrew will lead a hands-on workshop on simple game programming using Love2D.

3d idea to print

3D Printing Open House

 Wednesday Nov 30 3:30  Library Electronic Classroom 160

Curious about 3D Printing? Come to our open house where we’ll discuss and visit campus resources for 3D Printing. Hosted by Amy Laughlin of Academic Computing Services.

Sound Editing with Audacityaudacity logo

 

Wednesday Dec 7 3:30  Library Electronic Classroom 160

Interested in podcasting? Perhaps have an interview you need to edit? Come to this workshop and learn tips on making good recordings and the basics of editing sound files with Audacity. Led by Baynard Bailey of Academic Computing Services.

 

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Make Better Videos with Your Phone or Computer (Free!) – Vimeo Video School

Impressed by Vimeo’s Video School

by Baynard Bailey

I am a long time fan of Vimeo and I’ve used it to share video for a bunch of Vassar projects over the years. (FTR those who don’t know, Vimeo is “a video-sharing community for original creative work and the people who create it”.) I was excited to see that Vimeo has launched a series of videos under the heading of “Vimeo Video School“. The series is really well done, practical, and even entertaining. I have watched and sent out links to a lot of instructional videos over the years and I have to say, this series is as good or better than anything I’ve ever seen (in the genre). Here’s an example from the series “Mastering Mobile Video“:

In addition to the Mobile Video Series (which by the way totally vindicates my ire when I see people shooting their video in portrait mode) they also have these series of lessons:

Video School Lessons

Introducing Windows Movie Maker
For PC people who are new to video editing, this free series is a friendly introduction to Windows Video Maker.

iMovie for Mac
Mac-friendly folk: edit videos without the stress. Easily master iMovie essentials in this free Video School series

Final Cut Pro X
Kick your video editing up a notch (or three) with our premium series focusing on the ins and outs of Final Cut Pro X for Mac. BAM.

Adobe Premier
Brush up on the basics and learn the finer points of Adobe Premiere in this free Video School series.

This is a fun series and makes good use of technology we have in hand or on campus.

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