Series 4 – Talk to Dr. Pauline O’Shaughnessy from the University of Wollongong
By Jianzhou Zhao
Intersect and NCI continue to meet attendees of our digital research training program partnership and seek their feedback. In October, we spoke with Dr Pauline O’Shaughnessy about her learning stories from participating in the NCI/Intersect Training Program. Pauline is a lecturer in Statistics in the School of Mathematics and Applied Statistics at the University of Wollongong. Her research focus is on Data Privacy protection using statistical methods. Pauline raised a very good point when asked about the reasons for attending the training program:
“With the evolution of the computational technologies and pressing need for data analytics skills, researchers tend to fall behind if they do not upskill.”
She attended the Data Manipulation and Visualisation in R & Introduction to Machine Learning using R training workshops and obtained knowledge and skills that are applicable to her research.
Speaking about how impactful the courses, tools, and infrastructure are, Pauline considered our training courses very valuable to High Degree Research students and Early Career Researchers. Pauline said,
“The introductory level High Performance Computing training is very useful and easy to digest, especially for people from a non-computer science background.”
She also appreciated the free access to digital skills training workshops and the fact that it is bridging the gap between basic and advanced programming skills.
“Having free training is definitely a key because we don’t really have the luxury to invest a couple of hundred dollars in learning these research techniques. The NCI/Intersect training offers a systematic way of learning a programming language from scratch, filling the gaps between the basics and the domain-specific skills.”
In terms of training resources online, Pauline found the self-paced courses less engaging and distracting at times, whereas our instructor-led training is preferable because attendees will commit time to learning from a narrative environment.
“I’d rather the video (instructors) tell me what to do on the spot as it’s distraction-free and you focus on what you’ve got and you get very much out of it. As with everything online (self-paced resources), you always had this mentality saying, I have the opportunity (to do it later), but never really come back and read it.”
Pauline also expressed strong interest in attending face-to-face workshops in the future.
This interview and article are jointly prepared by NCI and Intersect.