OIST Mini Courses

The OIST Mini Courses (previously called "Skill Pills") are a series of extracurricular intensive nanocourses designed for OIST students, taught by volunteer OIST members and open to all.

The Mini Courses provides a platform for any OIST member to propose a specific topic for a course. When the topic is recognised to be valuable for the students and the OIST research community, the Graduate School will gather volunteer teachers and students, and organise the details of the course. The courses will focus on providing to the participants a basic set of practical skills that will be of direct use in the students' research and graduate curriculum.

Target Audience and Teaching Opportunities

The courses are primarily designed around students’ specific needs, both theoretical and experimental, as determined directly by Faculty members and students themselves. OIST students will therefore be the primary target for participants, although once a given topic is decided on and organised, any remaining seats can be filled by members of the OIST community. Participation is voluntary and should be driven by a will to learn above anything else.

Each nanocourse will be taught by volunteers: faculty members, postdocs, students, technician or any admin staff within OIST. With more than 500 researchers among us, OIST is overflowing with knowledge that is begging to be propagated. These minicourses provide a great teaching opportunity to all researchers.

Modus Operandi

The Mini Courses exist within a flexible structure that can adapt to OIST members’ schedules as much as possible. The courses will follow several models, according to the topic of the course. For light topics (e. g. Introduction to LaTeX, or Git) short sessions of a few hours can be organised. For more hands-on topics (DNA Extraction, Arduino...) half or full days are more appropriate. 

The courses will focus as much as possible on problem solving with a hands-on approach so as to make sure that the participants will be walking away with practical tools they know how to use. Of course, a 6 hour experience does not make one an expert, and hard work and perseverance is ultimately left to the participants’ capable hands, but we will always aim to provide a friendly push in the right direction.

Course Evaluation Form

Once you have completed your Mini Course, please provide us with your honest feedback. Your review will remain anonymous and will be only used by the Curriculum and Programs section to improve upon our Mini Course program.  Any information we relay to your instructor regarding this feedback will also be anonymous.

YouTube Channel and Gallery

We try to record as many courses as possible and we upload them unedited on our YouTube Channel.

We also have a few pictures available here.

Current and Future Mini Courses

We list here all the courses that are currently planned. Follow the links below for more information or signing up.

 Mini Courses Date
Coming soon... 2023  
Particle Tracking Simulation Using Ocean Parcels February 7, 8, 9
Effective Visual Communication of Science March 7


Past Courses

We list here past courses. Follow the links to get more information as well as downloading the slides or material of the course.

Mini Courses 2023

 Mini Course Date
Comparative Genomics, Alignment &Annotation January 10, 12, 17, 19, 24, 26, 31, February 2
Control and Computation in Living Systems January 17, 19, 24, 26
Experimental Realization through Analog Electronics January 10, 11, 12, 13, 16

Mini Courses 2022

 Mini Course Date
Mini Course: LabVIEW February 8, 10, 15, 17
Mini Course: Terminal February 7, 9, 14
Mini Course: Jira January 27


Mini Courses 2021

 Mini Course Date
Mini Course: Speeding up MATLAB (by MathWorks) December 17, January 14
Mini Course: COMSOL November 15, 17, 19
Mini Course: Vector Graphics September 28
Mini Course: R Package Development September 27, 30, and October 4
Mini Course: Scientific Computing on AWS September 22, 24, 29 and October 1
Mini Course: Fourier transforms August 30, 31
Mini Course: Photogrammetry for 3D Reconstruction August 25, 27
Mini Course: GPU computing with Julia August 13, 24, 26
Mini Course: MATLAB July 27, 28, August 3, 4
Mini Course: Elm  July 7, 9, 14, 16
Mini Course: Matrix Eigendecomposition June 28, July 1, 5, 8
Mini Course: Algebraic geometry and topology of neural codes June 9, 10, 16, 17
Mini Course: Graphic Design in Science June 7, 10
Mini Course: Asymptote May 18, 25
Mini Course: Zsh April 20
Mini Course: Blender March 23, 25, 30
Mini Course: Graph Theory March 2, 4, 9, 11
Mini Course: Julia March 1, 3, 5
Mini Course: RNA-seq February 8, 10, 15, 17
Mini Course: Intro to Open Quatum Systems January 19, 21, 26, 28

Mini Courses 2020

Mini Courses 2019

 Skill Pill Date
Skill Pill: Zsh December 18
Skill Pill: RNA-seq December 4, 5, 11, 12
Skill Pill: Intro to Cellular Biology November 6, 11 and 13
Skill Pill+: Neural Coding and Brain Computing November 9, 10
Skill Pill: Complex Analysis October 24, 29, 31,  3PM to 5PM
Skill Pill: Keynote October 28 and 30, 10AM-12PM
Skill Pill: LaTeX November, TBD
Skill Pill: Sozi October 2, 3PM to 5PM
Skill Pill: Arduino August 28, 29
Skill Pill: Git August 13, 14, 15, 1PM to 3PM
Skill Pill: Julia July 11, 12, 16, from 10AM to 12PM
Skill Pill: Computational Reproducibility June 27, from 10AM to 12PM
Skill Pill: MATLAB May 13, 15, 20, 22, 1PM to 3PM
Skill Pill: Terminal May 27, 28, June 2 3PM to 5PM
Skill Pill: Intro to Molecular Dynamics May 20, 23, 27
Skill Pill: macOS Tips and Tricks March 21, 10AM to 12PM
Skill Pill: LabVIEW April 16, 18, 23, 25
Skill Pill: Endnote April 19, 1PM to 3PM
Skill Pill: Intro to Programming March 19, 20, 26, 27
Skill Pill: Classical and ab initio Molecular Simulations February 18, 25 and March 4, 2PM-4PM
Skill Pill: Non-Equilibrium Green Functions February 25, 27 and March 6, 6, 10AM-12PM
Skill Pill: Blender February 19, 21, 26 and 28 , 10AM - 12PM
Skill Pill: Beautiful Python January 22 and 24, 10AM - 12PM
Skill Pill: Field Studies of Animals February 1, 10AM - 12PM
Skill Pill: Linear Dynamical Systems February 4 and 6, 3:30PM - 5:30PM
Skill Pill: Vector Calculus Identities January 10, 11, 17 and 18 (non-regular schedule)
Skill Pill: Quantitative Genetics January 10 and 11, 1PM-3PM

Mini Courses 2018

 Skill Pill Date
Skill Pill: Intro to Molecular Biology Methods December 5, 6 and 12, from 1PM to 3PM
Skill Pill+: Evolutionary Genomics December 15 (Saturday) and 16 (Sunday AM)
Skill Pill: Asymptote November 27, 28 and December 4, 1PM - 3PM
Skill Pill: Amira November 22, 27 and 29, 10AM - 12PM
Skill Pill: LaTeX November 6, 7, 13 and 14, from 1 to 3 PM
Skill Pill: Thermodynamics of Open Quantum Systems October 10 and 12, 10AM to 12PM
Skill Pill: Inkscape September 25 and 27, 1PM to 3PM
Skill Pill: Regular Expressions August 28 and 30, 1PM to 3PM
Skill Pill: Hands-on Electronics August 23, 27 and 29, from 1PM to 4 or 5PM
Skill Pill: Git July 10 and 12, 10AM - 12PM
Skill Pill: GIMP June 25 and  28, 1PM - 3PM
Skill Pill: BLAST July 17 and 18, 10AM - 12PM
Skill Pill: Building and Maintaining a CV July 3 and 5, 10AM - 12PM
Skill Pill: Terminal May 22, 24, 28, 10AM to 12PM
Skill Pill: Filmmaking for Scientists May 30, 31, June 6, AM
Skill Pill: 3D Printing May 14, 16, 10AM to 12PM
Skill Pill: Calculus of Variations April 23. 25, 27, 10AM to 12PM
Skill Pill: Teaching Techniques April 17, 19, 10AM to 12PM
Skill Pill: Phylogenetic Reconstruction April 10 (1PM to 3PM) and 12 (1PM to 4PM)
Skill Pill: Intro to Programming March 26, 29, April 2, 5, 1PM to 3PM
Skill Pill: Skill Pill: Android Development April 4, 1PM to 5PM
Skill Pill: LabVIEW March 20, 23, 27, 30, 10AM to 12PM
Skill Pill: Philosophy of Mind Feb 27, Mar 2, 6, 9, 10AM and 11AM to 12PM
Skill Pill: Bayesian statistics  January 18, 19, 25 and 26, 10AM to 12PM
Skill Pill: Visualizing Tomography Data February 6, 8 and 13, 10AM to 12PM

Mini Courses 2017

Skill Pill+: Nanoparticles by Design December 9 (Saturday) 10AM to 6PM
Skill Pill: Super-resolution Microscopy December 6, 7 or 8, 10AM to 12PM
Skill Pill: Electronics for Computational Neuroscience November 18 and 25 (Saturdays)
Skill Pill: Planning Your Scientific Journey Every Wednesday from October 4th to November 1st, 12PM to 1PM
Skill Pill: LaTeX November 6, 7, 13 and 14, 1PM to 3PM
Skill Pill: GPU November 7, 9 and 14, 10AM to 12PM
Skill Pill: Digital Marketing Wednesday October 11, from 10AM to 12PM
Skill Pill: MATLAB October 3, 5, 10 and 12, 10AM~12PM
Skill Pill: Keynote September 27 and 28, 10AM~12PM
Skill Pill: Raspberry Pi Saturday September 9, 10AM to 6PM
Skill Pill: Linux August 22, 24 and 29, 10AM to 12PM
Skill Pill: Python July 31, August 3, 7, 10, 10AM to 12PM
Skill Pill: General Relativity Tuesdays from July 11 to August 29 (2PM)
Skill Pill: Julia July 4, 6, 11 and 13 (5-7PM)
Skill Pill: Intro to Bioinformatics June 17, 24 (Saturdays, 10AM-6PM) + June 16 (3-5PM)
Skill Pill: SolidWorks May 18, 19, 25, 26 (10-12PM) + May 17 (11AM-12PM)
Skill Pill: Calculus May 17, 18, 24, 25 (5-7PM)
Skill Pill: DMRG May 29th and June 1st (1:30PM - 3PM)
Skill Pill: Terminal April 5, 6 and 10 (5-7PM)
Skill Pill: Differential Operators March 23, 27 and 30 (5-7PM)
Skill Pill: Intro to Programming March 18 and 25 (Saturdays, 10AM-6PM)
Skill Pill: Quantum Information 2 February 16, 22, 23 (5-7PM)
Skill Pill: Intro to Neurobiology February 4 and 11 (Saturdays)
Skill Pill: LaTeX January 30, February 2, 6, 9 (5-7PM)

Mini Courses 2016

Skill Pill: C/C++ December 10, 17 (Saturdays)
Skill Pill: Fourier Transforms December 1, 7 and 8 from 5 to 7PM
Skill Pill: Next-gen Sequencing November 17, 19 and 23
Skill Pill: gnuplot November 14 and 21 from 5 to 7PM
Skill Pill: R October 22 and 29 (Saturdays), 10AM to 6PM
Skill Pill: Quantum Information October 17 and 24 (Mondays), 5 to 7PM
Skill Pill: Mathematica September 13, 14, 20 and 21 (Tuesdays and Wednesdays) from 5 to 7PM
Skill Pill: Materials Modeling and Simulation September 10 (Saturday) from 10AM to 6PM
Skill Pill: Keynote September 6 and 7 (Tuesday, Wednesday) from 5 to 7PM
Skill Pill: LabVIEW July 19, 20, 26, 27, August 9, 10, from 5PM to 7PM (Tuesdays and Wednesdays)
Skill Pill: Inkscape July 25th and August 1st, from 1PM to 3PM
Skill Pill: Data Structures and Algorithms with Python July 23rd and 30th (consecutive Saturdays) 
Skill Pill: Database Manipulation June 21st, 23rd, 28th, 30th from 5PM to 7PM
Skill Pill: Intro to Cellular Biology May 14th and 21st, 2016 (Consecutive Saturdays)
Skill Pill: Git June 1st (Wed.) and 2nd (Thur.) from 5PM to 7PM
Skill Pill: Arduino April 16th, from 10AM to 5:30PM (Saturday)
Skill Pill: Presentation Skills April 14th, from 10AM to 5:30 PM (Thursday during Final Fortnight)
Skill Pill: CAD with SOLIDWORKS March 30th, 31st, April 6th, 7th from 1PM to 3PM (weekdays)
Skill Pill: Differential Equations March 26th and 27th, 2016 (Saturday and Sunday)
Skill Pill: Terminal March 16th, 17th, 23rd, 24th from 5PM to 7PM (weekdays)
Skill Pill: Gravitational Waves March 7th, 8th and 10th, 2016, from 4:30PM.
Skill Pill: Statistics February 27th and 28th, 2016 (Saturday and Sunday)
Skill Pill: Programming with Python February 13th and 20th, 2016 (Consecutive Saturdays)
Skill Pill: Matrix Algebra January 30th and 31st, 2016 (Saturday and Sunday)
Skill Pill: LaTeX January 18, 21, 25 and 28, 2016 (From 5PM to 7PM)
Skill Pill: Group Theory January 16th and 23rd, 2016 (Consecutive Saturdays)

Mini Courses 2015

Skill Pill: MATLAB November 28-29th, 2015 (Saturday-Sunday)


Credits and recognition

Because of the unscripted and unaccredited nature of the Mini Courses, participants will not be able to earn OIST credits that contribute to their degree. However, we are confident that the practical skills the students will work towards acquiring will be fully rewarding in their own right.

For teachers, participation will be officially recorded and recognition will be addressed in the most appropriate way possible, such as logging those hours towards the required teaching hours for OIST students, or by issuing official certificates for students, postdocs and faculty. 

Proposing a topic

If you would like to see a custom course organized, contact the Curriculum and Programs Section. We will work with you to open your suggestion to the OIST community to find additional teachers and students. 


For more information, never hesitate to contact the Curriculum and Programs Section.