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This is the website and GitHub repository for the (Tools/Software for) Scientific Computing and Research @ UM Club (SCRUM Club).


The purpose of the SCRUM club is to explore and learn about software/tools for scientific computing and research. A good example of such a tool is R, a free and open-source software environment for statistical computing and graphics. However, we are not only interested in statistical software, but any kind of tool that is part of conducting research. You can see the schedule for topics we have covered in the past and the topics for the upcoming meetings. Additional topics we plan on discussing/covering are mentioned here. All club members are invited to suggest additional topics. In the spirit of open science, emphasis is on software and tools that are free and open-source (but sometimes proprietary software will also be discussed).

The club is open to students at all levels, post-docs, staff, faculty members, researchers, and essentially anybody interested in learning more about software/tools for scientific computing and research. There are no prerequisites for joining the club (except for having an interest in the topics we want to cover). Also, you do not have to be affiliated with Maastricht University to attend – the ‘@ UM’ just refers to the fact that this is where the club is located. Finally, there is no need to sign up or register for this club; just show up as as often as you can!

Meetings take place roughly every two weeks on Wednesdays from 16:30 to 18:00. See the schedule for the dates of the upcoming meetings.

Notes & Philosophy

Not Just an R User Group

We debated whether to start an R User Group in Maastricht (there are already several such groups in the Netherlands, but none in the South). However, we decided to make the purpose of the club more encompassing, as we want to explore other tools/software and topics as well.

A User-Driven Club

The club is not a ‘course’. Decisions about topics, meeting structure, and so on are made jointly by members of the club. We come together to learn from each other. Hence, members can present software/tools based on their experience and we can also invite guests/speakers to give a presentation on a particular topic.

Meeting Structure

In general, 45-60 minutes of a meeting are devoted to presentations. The remaining time is ‘free hacking’ and hangout time where (a) newcomers can examine the materials from previous meetings on their own (and, as needed, with the support from more experienced members), (b) members can explore other topics, and (c) members can just mingle with like-minded individuals.

Since meetings are meant to be ‘hands on’ (i.e., to the extent possible, we will demonstrate, try out, practice with, and play around with the software and tools we discuss), make sure to bring a laptop to the meetings. For the most part, it should not matter whether you use Windows, MacOS, or Linux/Unix, but occasionally software may only work under certain operating systems. We will deal with these issues as they arise.

Open Access

All materials (e.g., code, lecture slides) are openly and freely available via this GitHub repository. That way, members (and those interested in joining the club) can always check and stay up-to-date with what has been covered in previous meetings.