Skip to main content Skip to secondary navigation

Past Studios

Main content start

Getting the Most Out of Google Calendar

Curious about how to get started on Google Calendar? Already using Google Calendar, but looking for tips on how to utilize features to streamline your workflow? Come join us for an interactive session on how to utilize different features on Google Calendar to get the most out of the interface to manage your time and stay organized to promote efficiency and productivity. All are welcome to this session whether you’re an undergrad trying to balance all of your assignments and exams or a grad student looking for ways to balance your teaching, research, and course commitments. We will cover the basics of how to get started on Google Calendar in addition to covering features such as creating and using multiple calendars, meaningful color-coding of events, syncing across Office 365 and Google Calendar, using reminders and tasks to integrate your to-do list, and more! To get the most out of the session, we ask that you come to the session with a Google Calendar account already created (you can use your Stanford email account to set one up).

Topics touched: Time management, calendaring, productivity, organization

Zoom Recording


Presented by:
Candice Kim, MD/PhD Student, Lead Learning Consultant & Peer Academic Coach
Presented on:
Wednesday, November 11, 2021 from 1:00 PM - 2:30 PM Pacific Standard Time

Back to Top

Improving Memory Retention: Underlying Principles and Intro to Anki

Ever attended a lecture and completely forgotten the material by the next day? Studied from notes that you don’t even remember taking? Drawn a blank on the details of a paper you had just read? Join this Academic Studio to develop strategies and identify resources that will help improve your memory retention!

Whether you’ve been memorizing statistics for quals, landmarks for an anatomy exam, or words of a new language, you’ve likely come to the realization that rote memorization is challenging. In this Studio, we’ll discuss tips to make that challenge a little less daunting. We’ll define the different types of memory and use an evolutionary context to guide us in answering: how are our brains designed to remember information? In the later portion of the Studio, we’ll discuss one popular program, Anki, that takes advantage of some of these principles. You’ll learn how to set up the software, download pre-existing Anki decks, and how to design your own cards. This Studio is designed for graduate students in all academic disciplines.

Link to download Anki: https://apps.ankiweb.net/

Topics covered: Memory retention and recall, active study strategies, spaced repetition

Zoom Recording


Presented by:
Chris Puntasecca, Medical Student, Lead Learning Consultant & Peer Academic Coach
Presented on:
Tuesday, October 26, 2021 from 11:00 AM - 12:30 PM Pacific Daylight Time

Back to Top

The Great RESET: Identifying & Challenging Academic Thought Distortions (to Embrace YOUR FULL Academic Potential)

Ever had that moment when you get a grade and find yourself saying: “I failed this. I’m a failure at this. What am I even doing here?” Or perhaps, since one assignment went bad, your pending midterms stand no chance, and your graduate school/tenured faculty position/lucrative career dreams are down the drain. Or maybe you can’t move past that one negative comment you received from the students you worked hard TAing for last quarter, and conclude, “I will never get a faculty position.” Or your fellowship application was denied, and you’ve decided there’s no hope for you, that you’re “a complete loser.”  These are just a (very) few examples of how common cognitive thought distortions rear their ugly heads in academia (and beyond!) to negatively impact our ability to function at our best. In this studio, designed for all students, we’ll discuss what these are and why they might arise--as well as provide space for you to practice identifying and using techniques to actively counter them. We’ll also learn about campus resources that may assist you in this (very regular) endeavor. Please note that this is a highly interactive studio with a personal application component, so please come ready both to listen AND engage!

Topics touched: Cognitive Thought Distortions, mental well-being, procrastination, productivity, study habits

Zoom Recording


Presented by:
Jamie Fine, PhD Student, Modern Thought & Literature, Lead Learning Consultant & Peer Academic Coach
Presented on:
Thursday, October 21, 2021 from 12:00 PM - 2:00 PM Pacific Daylight Time

Back to Top

Using Notion for PhD Research

Do you ever struggle to stay on top of all of your PhD research, coursework, and requirements? Wish you better organized your dissertation work? In this Grad Studio, we’ll use a free program for students, Notion, to keep track of and organize every aspect of your PhD. You’ll get familiar with Notion as a software program, evaluate and apply the different tools Notion has to offer, plan, locate, and organize different elements of your PhD work, and clarify PhD goals, from meetings, to research, to literature review. This Grad Studio is geared towards PhD students, though students in thesis-granting degree programs are very welcome. 

Download Notion here.

Topics covered: productivity, planning and organization, dissertation writing

Zoom Recording


Presented by:
Leehi Yona, JD/PhD Student, School of Law & E-IPER, Lead Learning Consultant & Peer Academic Coach
Presented on:
Wednesday, October 13, 2021 from 11:00 AM - 1:00 PM Pacific Daylight Time

Back to Top

Presenting Data Effectively: Creating Plots with Prism

Are you looking to create more sophisticated plots, but aren’t ready to dive into the world of programming languages just yet? Have you collected all the data points, but haven’t found the best way to display them? Join us to develop your data-communication skills and learn to generate high quality plots using Prism. In this Engineering Grad Studio, we will navigate Prism together to create two scatterplots and cover commonly used customizations, such as adding error bars, changing color schemes, formatting axes, and changing marker types. Follow along using our X-Y dataset, or bring your own! Come ready with Prism downloaded and a free trial or license. Download Prism here.

Topics covered: productivity, effective use of visual guides, using tools to assist data analysis

Zoom Recording


Presented by:
Lorelay Mendoza, PhD Student, Civil & Environmental Engineering, Engineering Learning Consultant
Presented on:
Tuesday, May 25, 2021 from 11:00 AM - 12:30 PM Pacific Daylight Time

Back to Top

Collaborative Projects: Getting Started in Git

Have you heard of Git, but don’t really know what it is? Did your adviser just add you to their Git repository, but you’re not sure how to use it? Do you want to learn the basics so that you can start working on a collaborative coding assignment? Join this Engineering Grad Studio to learn the basics of utilizing Git.

Git is the most commonly used version control system that allows for effective collaboration. This tool tracks the changes you make to files and lets you revert to previous versions as necessary, allowing multiple contributors to merge their edits into a single source. Git also gives you access to a wide variety of tools for plotting, graphics, statistics, and more.  These seemingly endless options offer great flexibility, but they can also make getting started in Git seem intimidating. In this Grad Studio, we will cover:

  • How to set up Git on your computer
  • The Git workflow 
  • Basic commands
  • How to manage a project
  • How to set up your project on GitHub 

After this studio, you will be able to hit the ground running with your next collaborative coding project!

Zoom Recording


Presented by:
Hans Hanley, PhD Student, Computer Science, Engineering Learning Consultant
Presented on:
Wednesday, May 19, 2021 from 10:00 AM - 11:30 AM Pacific Daylight Time

Back to Top

Planning your Summer Research: How to Schedule Both Productivity and Fun in the Sun

Do you struggle to stay focused in lab when you’d rather be lounging on a beach? Do you hope to use the summer to finally write that paper, but are worried about burning out by fall? Do you dread turning down invitations from friends just so you can  finish up that literature review? In this Grad Studio, you will learn how to plan out your summer research effectively and schedule both productive time as well as time for relaxation. Through reflective activities, a calendaring refresher specifically designed for graduate students, and a “personal syllabus” approach, you can expect to learn tips and tricks for making your summer research plans efficient and manageable, with time during the Studio dedicated to drafting your own schedule. This studio is open to both masters and doctoral students in all disciplines.

Zoom Recording


Presented by:
Leslie Luqueno, PhD Student, Graduate School of Education, Graduate Learning Consultant
Presented on:
Thursday, May 13, 2021 from 4:30 PM - 6:00 PM Pacific Daylight Time

Back to Top

Documenting Your Research Progress: Maintaining and Organizing Efficient Notes

We all came to graduate school to pursue our love for research and answer that one specific question that will change the world…Little did we know that answering that question is not a direct path. Each day of research brings new methods, new experiments, and new questions that are essential for getting you to the finish line. That is why keeping track of your research progress is vital to you successfully answering questions and telling your research story. Join us to learn effective outlining techniques to organize the information relevant to your research, create systems rooted in concept mapping that enable you to develop deeper connections between your day-to-day work and larger questions at hand, and various annotation approaches to help keep track of successes and setbacks. Bring your current research notes and get ready to do some housekeeping with us!

Zoom Recording


Presented by:
Mekedlawit Setegne, PhD Student, Chemistry, Graduate Learning Consultant
Bryen Irving , PhD Student, Physics, Graduate Learning Consultant
Presented on:
Wednesday, April 28, 2021 from 4:30 PM - 6:00 PM Pacific Daylight Time

Back to Top

Keeping Track of Readings with Annotated Bibliographies

Writing a term paper, qualifying paper, or a dissertation can be stressful—especially when you need to recall the countless articles, reports, and books you have perused during graduate school. Imagine trying to convert the blank screen in front of you into a well-written and thought-out paper when you can’t even remember what you have read and how it relates to your topic. In this Grad Studio, you will learn and practice using a powerful tool to help you conquer your writing tasks in graduate school and beyond: the annotated bibliography. We will discuss the purpose of an annotated bibliography and different approaches you can use to generate one. You will also begin creating your own, so, please bring topics for your term papers, qualifying papers, or your dissertation, along with readings you might use for these tasks.

Zoom Recording


Presented by:
Candice Kim, MD/PhD Student, Schools of Medicine & Education, Graduate Learning Consultant
Rubén A. González , PhD Student, Graduate School of Education, Graduate Learning Consultant
Presented on:
Thursday, April 15, 2021 from 4:00 PM - 6:00 PM Pacific Daylight Time

Back to Top

Preparing for Classroom Cold Calling: Effective Reading Strategies

Does the idea of being cold called in class fill you with dread? Do you do the readings but still feel caught off guard when asked a question? Numerous graduate programs use a method of oral interrogation in the classroom or on exams to stimulate critical thinking, but the process can be intimidating. This Grad Studio will help you organize your reading habits to prepare for class discussions and cold calls.

We will discuss:

  • Active reading methods
  • Types of common questions and how to prepare for them
  • Tips for answering unfamiliar questions.

Bring any of your assigned readings and put these strategies into practice before your next class!

Zoom Recording


Presented by:
Hannah Hunt, JD Student, School of Law, Graduate Learning Consultant
Presented on:
Thursday, April 8, 2021 from 4:00 PM - 5:30 PM Pacific Daylight Time

Back to Top

Presenting Data Effectively: Creating Data Plots in R with ggplot

Learn how to utilize advanced packages in R to wrangle data and create custom plots that perfectly describe your data. 

Do you know the basics of using R, but don’t know all the details about creating custom plots? Do you want to showcase your creativity on assignments and in your research by creating large data visualizations? Join this Engineering Grad Studio to kickstart your next project with R.From environmental science to electrical engineering, students from countless disciplines will likely use R at some point in order to easily crunch numbers and visualize data. But even after learning the basics of R, it’s easy to be intimated by the more advanced options. In this Grad Studio, we will cover:

  • The powerful and flexible R package for data visualization, ggplot2.
  • How to develop beautiful custom visualizations that describe your data with flair.

After this studio, you will be able to hit the ground running with your next data-driven project! This is the second of a 2-part series on making data plots in R. If you have limited or no experience in R, we encourage you to watch the recording of the first part in this series here before attending.

Zoom Recording


Presented by:
Hans Hanley, PhD Student, Computer Science, Engineering Learning Consultant
Presented on:
Wednesday, March 10, 2021 from 4:00 PM - 5:30 PM Pacific Standard Time

Back to Top

Presenting Data Effectively: Introduction to Data Plots in R

Learn ways to effectively use the R programming language as we discuss available packages and methods to wrangle data and create beautiful plots for your graduate work!

Have you been assigned coursework that requires you to use R but you don’t know where to start? Have you tried to plot complex data points with R but you’re not sure how to replicate those beautiful data plots you see in papers? Join this Engineering Grad Studio to kickstart your next project with R.R is a programming language and free software environment for statistical computing and graphics. From environmental science to electrical engineering, countless disciplines require graduate students to use R for data analysis and visualization. However, getting started in R can sometimes be intimidating.In this Grad Studio, we will cover:

  • How to download R and get set up in R Studio
  • The basic commands and packages available
  • How to create your first research graph.

After this studio, you will be able to hit the ground running with your next data-driven project! This is the first in a two-part series on making data plots in R. This event is designed for graduate students who have limited or no experience with R.

Zoom Recording


Presented by:
Hans Hanley, PhD Student, Computer Science, Engineering Learning Consultant
Presented on:
Tuesday, February 25, 2021 from 4:00 PM - 5:30 PM Pacific Standard Time

Back to Top

Using Spreadsheets to Boost Productivity

Stumped by Microsoft Excel in your classes or research? Come to this studio to learn to organize, manage and wrangle those datasets.

Have your STEM classes required Microsoft Excel for their models? Are you having trouble wrangling your research data? This workshop will walk you through exercises to help you organize your research data, manage your time better, and make your datasets feel less imposing.

Specifically, we will cover:

  • Speedy navigation through a workbook
  • Basic functions (sum, average, min/max)
  • Filtering and sorting
  • Advanced/conditional functions (sumifs, countifs, averageifs)
  • Lookups (vlookup and index-match)
  • Text manipulation
  • How to make your Excel graphs look like they didn't come from Excel

All ability levels are welcome. Just make sure to have Microsoft Excel installed before the workshop! Students can download Microsoft Office for free.

Zoom Recording


Presented by:
James Winter, PhD Student, Civil & Environmental Engineering, Graduate Learning Consultant
Alan Cheng, PhD Student, Computer Science, Graduate Learning Consultant
Presented on:
Thursday, February 24, 2021 from 12:00 PM - 2:00 PM Pacific Standard Time

Back to Top

Lit Review Series: Citation Management

Conducting a literature review? Writing a term paper? Trying to keep track of references for your dissertation? Make progress towards your objectives at this Engineering Grad Studio. We’ll cover the basics of paper organization and citations in Zotero while providing tips on how to document what you learn.

Learn to fine tune your lit review process, documenting methods, and organizational techniques using a citation manager. Knowing the current state of knowledge on a topic is an essential skill throughout the research cycle at all academic levels. You’ve read the papers, you know what they say, and perhaps now you’re wondering how you’re going to keep track of them all. In this Grad Studio series, we’ll work together with a citation manager (Zotero) and learn strategies for organizing your reading material, populating in-text citations, and generating a works cited.

Topics covered:

  • Productivity
  • Organization
  • Documenting progress
  • Using tools to assist reading objectives

Zoom Recording


Presented by:
Lorelay Mendoza, PhD Student, Civil & Environmental Engineering, Engineering Learning Consultant
Mekedlawit Setegne, PhD Student, Chemistry, Graduate Learning Consultant
Presented on:
Thursday, February 18, 2021 from 4:00 PM - 5:30 PM Pacific Standard Time

Back to Top

Presenting Data Effectively: A Zoom Primer on Data Visualization for Research

Everyone wants to make an impact with their research data. However, actually condensing and displaying data can be a challenge. Which type of plots do you use? Which software should you create graphs with? How do you even get started?

This studio is designed to give you the basic tools necessary to begin creating graphs to display your research. We will go over the main principles behind creating graphs from different data, what you should consider when choosing a particular type of graph, and some potential software/software commands that you can use to get started. We will specifically go over displaying data using Python, R, and LaTex.

Participants will be expected to actively practice the skills after we present them. We will give students the opportunity to experiment with creating data visualizations on a provided dataset and even give them advice about displaying data that they themselves bring! As the title suggests, this is meant to be a basic primer to ensure all members of the Stanford student body are able to optimize their research experience!

Topics covered: Learn the basics behind how to think about data and the different decisions behind creating effective data visualizations. Includes tips on creating plots in  Python, R, and LaTex.

Zoom Recording


Presented by:
Hans Hanley, PhD Student, Computer Science, Engineering Learning Consultant
Lorelay Mendoza, PhD Student, Civil & Environmental Engineering, Engineering Learning Consultant
Presented on:
Tuesday, November 12, 2020 from 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM Pacific Standard Time

Back to Top

Lit Review Series: Goal-Oriented Reading

Synthesizing prior findings is a core skill throughout the research cycle. Perhaps you’re motivating your research proposal in a written ‘Related Works’ section or a presented qualifying exams, or maybe you’re chasing down sources to substantiate your claims. In this Grad Studio series, we share strategies for goal-oriented reading, techniques for organizing concepts and results, and scaffolds for making measurable progress.

You have a stack of papers to read...eventually. Or maybe you’re already knee-deep in that stack of literature, and it feels like an endless, fruitless task. Tune in to this Grad Studio to refine your literature reading process using goal-oriented strategies and iterative methodologies. Join us during the work session to make targeted progress on your reading objectives, and to connect with fellow students over reading woes and triumphs.

Topics covered: Identifying reading objectives, tailoring reading methods based on reading objective, time- and task-management, productivity  ​

Zoom Recording


Presented by:
Libby Zhang, PhD Student, Electrical Engineering, Engineering Learning Consultant
Guillaume Riesen, PhD Student, Neuroscience, Graduate Learning Consultant
Presented on:
Tuesday, May 12th, 2020 from 10:00 AM - 1:00 PM Pacific Standard Time

Back to Top

Lit Review Series: Synthesis-Driven Reading

So, you’ve read some papers...now what? Think of them as puzzle pieces in a jigsaw puzzle -- how do you construct a cohesive narrative based on prior findings and related work to motivate and justify your particular research direction? Tune in to this Grad Studio to explore note-taking, concept mapping, and other knowledge synthesis techniques and hone in on the methods that work for you. Join us during the work session to focus on drawing connections between previous and proposed work, and articulating your understanding of your readings.

Topics covered: Active reading and note-taking, concept mapping, writing for comprehension, visualizing knowledge

Zoom Recording


Presented by:
Libby Zhang, PhD Student, Electrical Engineering, Engineering Learning Consultant
Guillaume Riesen, PhD Student, Neuroscience, Graduate Learning Consultant
Presented on:
Tuesday, May 26th, 2020 from 10:00 AM - 1:00 PM Pacific Standard Time

Back to Top