2019 Workshops

Data visualisation in R
Make awesome graphics with ggplot2

ggplot2 is one of the most popular R packages, and has helped cement R as a leader in tools/languages for data analysis and visualisation.
This workshop provides an introduction to ggplot2 ( https://ggplot2.tidyverse.org/ ).

The exercises will involve taking provided code examples and modifying them, so no prior knowledge/experience of R is needed (though it will help). The idea is to quickly give you experience and understanding of some really cool use cases of ggplot2, which you can use as a starting point to later go back and fill in the gaps, so we won’t be spending too long on the boring bits.

By the end of this workshop you will:

  • have a basic understanding of the key principles of ggplot2
  • have practised creating different kinds of visualisations
  • know more about the options for making interactive graphics
  • know where to go for more information on all of the topics we cover


  • you will be bringing a laptop (no need to install anything as we’ll be using a cloud-based IDE)
  • you have basic knowledge of general programming concepts (i.e. functions, loops, etc)

Dr Nic Crane

Data Scientist

A doctoral graduate of Lancaster University Nic has been working as a Data Scientist in the private sector for a number of years. Nic is no stranger to communities and is responsible for being a promotional force and member of both R Ladies in Bristol and R Ladies in Lancaster.

Nic is a sought after speaker who is currently designing a course of data modules for those wishing to use R for big data analysis.

Fast Track to Embedded Linux

Are you thinking of using Linux on your next embedded project but not sure where to begin? This one day workshop shows you how it is done. Beginning with a blank development board, you will learn how to bring up Linux and access hardware using GPIO and i2c

In this workshop you will learn how to create a simple Linux-powered device that runs on the popular BeagleBone Black development board. You will find out how to boot the board from a micro SD card, how to configure a Linux kernel for the board and how to create file system images containing a shell and basic utilities. Next, you will cross-compile applications and load them onto the BeagleBone, and see how to access hardware from user code. The final project is to write an application that reads a temperature sensor and displays the result on a local display and also transmits it to the “cloud” (actually, your laptop), thus creating the basis of a “smart thermostat”.

All the software needed for the practicals will be supplied on a bootable USB flash drive, which you can keep for future reference. You should bring along a laptop, and be prepared to change the BIOS settings so that it will boot from the USB flash. Sorry, but we will not be able to support for Macbooks.

You should be familiar with the Linux command-line and should be able to use tools such as “make” and “grep”. You should have a reasonable knowledge of the of the C programming language


Chris Simmonds


Chris Simmonds has been using Linux in embedded systems for almost 20 years. He has been running training courses and workshops in embedded Linux since 2002 and has delivered hundreds of sessions to many well-known companies in the UK, Europe, USA, South America and SE Asia. He is the author of the book “Mastering Embedded Linux Programming”, and is a frequent presenter at open source and embedded conferences, including Embedded Linux Conference and Embedded World. You can see some of his work on the “Inner Penguin” blog at www.2net.co.uk