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Past Grad Studios

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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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