KAUST Visualization Core Lab

10 September 2019

1:00 pm - 5:00 pm

Instructors: David R. Pugh

Helpers: TBD

General Information

The KAUST Visualization Lab is hosting an Introduction to Conda for (Data) Scientists workshop. Conda is an open source package and environment management system that runs on Windows, macOS and Linux. Conda installs, runs, and updates packages and their dependencies. Conda easily creates, saves, loads, and switches between environments on your local computer. While Conda was created for Python programs it can package and distribute software for any languages such as R, Ruby, Lua, Scala, Java, JavaScript, C/ C++, FORTRAN. This lesson motivates the use of Conda as a development tool for building and sharing project specific software environments that facilitate reproducible (data) science workflows.

This hands-on lesson is part of the Introduction to Data Science Workshop Series being offered by the KAUST Research Computing Core Labs as part of our on-going efforts to build capacity in core data science skills at KAUST. The curriculum of the Introduction to Data Science Workshop Series largely follows the core Software Carpentry curriculum and covers programming in Python, programming in R, shell scripting, version control using Git, and database programming with SQL.

For more information on what Software Carpentry teaches and why, please see their paper "Best Practices for Scientific Computing".

Who: The course is aimed at graduate students (MSc and PhD), Post-docs, faculty and other research staff at KAUST. You don't need to have any previous knowledge of the tools that will be presented at the workshop.

Where: Building 3, level 5, room 5220 (Seaside). Get directions with OpenStreetMap or Google Maps.

When: 10 September 2019. Add to your Google Calendar.

Registration: Register Now!

Course Materials: Introduction to Conda for (Data) Scientists

Requirements: Participants must bring a laptop with a Mac, Linux, or Windows operating system (not a tablet, Chromebook, etc.) that they have administrative privileges on. They should have a few specific software packages installed (listed below).

Code of Conduct: Everyone who participates in Carpentries activities is required to conform to the Code of Conduct. This document also outlines how to report an incident if needed.

Accessibility: We are committed to making this workshop accessible to everybody. The workshop organizers have checked that:

Materials will be provided in advance of the workshop and large-print handouts are available if needed by notifying the organizers in advance. If we can help making learning easier for you (e.g. sign-language interpreters, lactation facilities) please get in touch (using contact details below) and we will attempt to provide them.

Contact: Please email help@vis.kaust.edu.sa for more information.


Please be sure to complete these surveys before and after the workshop.

Pre-workshop Survey

Post-workshop Survey


Before Pre-workshop survey
13:00 Introduction to Conda
14:30 Afternoon break
14:45 Reproducible Software Environments with Conda
16:30 Wrap-up
17:00 END
After Post-workshop survey

We will use this collaborative document for chatting, taking notes, and sharing URLs and bits of code.


Introduction to Conda for (Data) Scientists

  • Getting Started with Conda
  • Working with Environments
  • Sharing Environments
  • Using Packages and Channels
  • Reference...


To participate in the workshop you will need access to the software described below. In addition, you will need an up-to-date web browser.


Python is a popular language for research computing, and great for general-purpose programming as well. While there are many different ways to install Python, we recommend installing the 64-bit Python 3 version of Miniconda.

  1. Open https://docs.conda.io/en/latest/miniconda.html with your web browser.
  2. Download the 64-bit Python 3 installer for Windows.
  3. Install Python 3 using all of the defaults for installation except make sure to check Add Anaconda to my PATH environment variable.
  1. Open https://docs.conda.io/en/latest/miniconda.html with your web browser.
  2. Download the 64-bit Python 3 installer for Linux. The installation requires using the shell. If you aren't comfortable doing the installation yourself stop here and request help at the workshop.
  3. Open a terminal window.
  4. Type
    bash Miniconda3-
    and then press Tab. The name of the file you just downloaded should appear. If it does not, navigate to the folder where you downloaded the file, for example with:
    cd ~/Downloads
    Then, try again.
  5. Press Return. You will follow the text-only prompts. To move through the text, press Spacebar. Type yes and press enter to approve the license. Press enter to approve the default location for the files. Type yes and press enter to prepend Miniconda to your PATH (this makes the Miniconda distribution the default Python).
  6. Close the terminal window.