2017-11-16 Board Meeting


This initial board was formed first come, first serve, from the pool of existing instructors:

Initial board

  • François Michonneau
  • Miao Sun
  • Brian Stucky
  • Matthew Collins
  • Hao Ye
  • Erica Christensen
  • Kristina Riemer


  • Simona Picardi


Justin Millar, Brian Stucky, Miao Sun, Hao Ye, Erica Christensen, Kristina Riemer, Plato Smith, Simona Picardi (remote)


Marston L136, Thursday 2017-11-16 1:00 - 2:00 pm

  1. Is everyone ok with meetings being open and notes being public?
  2. Discussion & yes/no decision on a multi-week Carpentry workshop next semester
  3. Preliminary workshop schedule for next semester including instructor training and 3 previously discussed workshops. Ethan is willing to discuss purchasing an additional instructor training as well.
  4. Discussion of organizational structures (board, officers, benevolent dictator, etc.)
  5. (Optional) Discussion of mission statement


1. multi-week Carpentry

The weekly workshop idea (DC R materials presented over 6 weeks) is already in progress by the R meetup members - Justin Millar, Ben Toh, and Shawn Taylor. The Carpentry Club (CC) is happy to support this with instructors or other resources but they’ll lead the coordination.

  • Workshop will charge a fee (discussed $46, some CC board members wanted it as low as possible, willing to leave the exact dollar amount and justification for later but there was general agreement to charge something.)
  • Workshop will be DC curriculum and will have attendance and certificates for participants
  • Goal of workshop is to provide more skilled people for R meetups so they can focus on more advanced topics.

2. workshop schedule

Everyone agrees having a schedule fixed in advance is useful. UFII web site is a way to advertise it. Already have some workshops that we’ve talked about:

  • Dev Paudel’s workshop in (I think) plant pathology: Jan 27-28 (Sat and Sun). This would be a good beginning of the semester time. Concerns raised about the weekend though:
    • Less accessible to instructors and attendees with outside obligations
    • Increased likelihood of attrition as people need their weekend and may not be willing to commit time There was discussion of the concept of reserved seats:
    • Should reserved seats be the same price? If a group wants to take space for themselves should they commit more?
    • We shouldn’t be a way for departments to skip the costs of meeting their educational obligations by asking use to do workshops for them.
    • Our personal motivations for volunteering are usually around giving to the UF community, not an individual department or group. Recommendation is to follow up with Dev about these concerns.
  • Plato Smith’s workshop Mar 20-21 (Tues and Wed) This is part of a symposium week being put on by UFII, DSI symposium Sat, Data Symposium Monday, workshop Tues & Wed, UFII Symposium](https://informatics.institute.ufl.edu/seminars-and-events/conferences-and-symposiums/) Thursday.
    • Agreed on supporting this workshop
    • Plato is willing to not reserve seats based on the prior conversation about reservations
  • A 4th workshop (3rd 2-day workshop) There is interest and probably capacity to do one more, Francois suggested doing it after the spring instructor training and there was general agreement. February was a good month.

Proposed Spring workshop schedule:

  1. January 27-28 - ?? Carpentry
  2. March 20-12 - Data Carpentry
  3. February 5-9 - Instructor training this week
  4. February 19-23 - ?? Carpentry

Then we should plan on a workshop the week after exams but that was not discussed much yet.

3. organizational structures

Most are interested in a more flat structure like a board with rotating chair or ad-hoc job assignments. Treasurer is a key role that needs to have someone clearly in charge. Most other decisions to be made are best done collaboratively, not top-down like by a president. Someone needs to run meetings.

Other points

FLREC runs a week-long for credit course in data analysis for movement eccology, they have people come down from UF and elsewhere to take it.

Doing a workshop this summer at FLREC would be a good fit.

Denis Valle tracks stats classes in a Shiny app: https://ufstatscourses.shinyapps.io/shiny_tutorial/

Action Items

  1. Follow up with Dev about his workshop, raise weekend and seat reservation concerns
  2. Contact Ethan & Carpentries to request instructor training in Feb
  3. Create an active instructor list for UF

Next agenda

  1. Finalize pricing, location for weekly workshop so they can advertise at their pace
  2. Discuss organizational structures & plan for voting