One of the expressed needs during the Annual Performance Plan (APP) sessions which transpired earlier this year (April 2019) was for an ‘R’ training course for the Qq staff. An ad hoc group composed of Skit Barile, Kathy Reyes, Jenks Espedido, Gelli Parducho and Tuttay Luna was created to brainstorm on the ‘R’ training needs of the staff. Together with Deng Palomares (Qq Science Director) and Mary Ann Bimbao (Qq Executive Director), they met with the Institute of Statistics of the University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB), led by its Director Dr. Liza Comia, to develop an ‘R’ training program for Qq. Major agreements at the meeting were:
1. Conduct of series of trainings.
- 1st training: basic statistics review and R programming basics (3 days)
- 2nd training: statistical tools (Monte Carlo, Bayesian, boot-strap, etc) (1 week)
- 3rd training: R applications targeted to Qq research needs (understanding CMSY package, spatial applications of R for AquaMaps) (? week)
2. One training module is to be scheduled per month. Training will be done at the Qq’s office, Conference Room, Khush Hall, IRRI. All technical staff will be encouraged to attend except for the 3rd training. The IT group is strongly encouraged to attend.
Rationale: R is a software environment for statistical analysis, computing, and graphical display. Being a freeware with numerous packages and active community of users, it is widely used in research and data analytics. Realizing the need to learn how to use R to aid their research staff, Quantitative Aquatics, Inc. (Q-quatics), in partnership with the Institute of Statistics (INSTAT), is going to organize a training workshop on Statistics in R Programming. The training is proposed to serve the IT and technical staffs of Q-quatics. At the end of the training workshop, the participants are envisioned to learn the basics of statistics and R programming.
The first training session “Training-Workshop on Statistics in R Programming” was held on 15-17 July 2019 at the IRRI Khush Hall conference room (Los Baños, Laguna, Philippines). The 3-day training course was designed to provide the participants with basic knowledge in statistics and programming skills in R, especially in the areas of data manipulation and function construction. A total of 16 staff members completed the course: Armi Torres, Emily Capuli, Isay Abucay, Jeremy Jansalin, Gelli Parducho, Pat Yap, Jenks Espedido, Beth David, Ruby Polido, Selina De Leon, Fayte Sicnawa, Tuttay Luna, Martin Nevado, Jimboy Bactong, Skit Barile, and Maan Bimbao.
“With the training, it will now take us less time to understand things that can be learned on our own through practice.
For non-IT participants like me, we would now be able to better convey requests to programmers.”
– Jeniffer Espedido (Participant), Research Analyst at Qq
“The R training conducted was really helpful to the staff. It allowed the staff to learn at their own pace and
it gave alternative options on how current work can be done. It was also a good introduction to
R for application to future work that may need this program.”
-Patricia Yap (Participant), Research Analyst at Qq