Tech stack

This course teaches computing and statistics to undergraduates with no background in either. Managing such a course with students from varied backgrounds doing non-trivial computational work is a big technical challenge. This page briefly describes the toolkit choices, and the infrastructure section provides a path forward for instructors who are considering using these tools for their own teaching purposes.

While the recommended tech stack is tall, only a few of the technologies are student facing:

  • RStudio Cloud: RStudio Cloud is a managed cloud instance of the RStudio IDE. We recommend having students access RStudio via RStudio Cloud as opposed to using a local installation. [Read more]
  • GitHub: The use of GitHub also goes a long way to help students visualize and understand the git process which also aids in student buy-in. The web interface allows students to easily view diffs (file changes over time) in files they are collaborating on, keep track of commit histories, and search both the current state as well as the entire history of the code base. Within the classroom GitHub can be thought of as an advanced and flexible learning management system (compared to traditional tools like Blackboard or Sakai). [Read more]
  • Slack: Slack is a versatile communications and collaboration tool. Students are discouraged from using email and, most course communication happens here. Both public (for announcements and general questions) and private (for team communication) channels are used. [Read more]