OIST Mini Courses

The OIST Mini Courses are a series of extracurricular intensive short courses designed for the OIST community, taught by volunteer OIST members and open to all.

Mini Courses provide a platform for any OIST member to propose a specific topic for a course. When the topic is seen as having value 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 participants with a basic set of practical skills that will be of direct use in the students' research and also broaden the graduate curriculum.  You may suggest/ request topics here.

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, registration may be open to all members of the OIST community. Participation is voluntary and should be driven by a will to learn above anything else: these are not for credit.

Each minicourse is taught by volunteers: faculty members, postdocs, students, technicians or any admin staff within OIST. OIST is overflowing with knowledge that is begging to be propagated. These minicourses provide a great teaching opportunity to all.  They are also a great way to learn something new while meeting people outside your usual circles.  Please join us as we teach and learn from each other!

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. For more in-depth subjects, series with multiple sessions are organized.  

Mini Courses will focus as much as possible on skill development and 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 needed for mastery 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.


See a few pictures available here.

Current and Future Mini Courses

We list here all the courses that are currently planned or in development (tentative). Follow the links below for more information or signing up, or for tentative topics indicate your interest in teaching or learning with this form.

Mini Courses 2024

 Mini Course Date Details
Introduction to Supersymmetry QFT April 18-late June Taught by Dr. Nick Dorey, TSVP
(Tentative) Data Management   TBD May-July ISO Instructor(s)
(Tentative) Systematic Literature Review & Metaanalysis TBD May-July ISO Instructor(s)
(Tentative) Math Writing in LaTeX TBD May-July ISO Instructor(s)
(Tentative) Data Analysis & Version Control TBD May-July ISO Instructor(s)
(Tentative) Fundamentals of Project Management  TBD June-August ISO Instructor(s)
(Tentative) Intro to Filmmaking TBD Spring - Summer 2024 ISO Instructor(s)

Introduction to Cluster Algebras [potentially to be offered as a Special Topic course]

September - November Dr. Kaveh Mousavand
Introduction to Mapping Class Groups October-November Dr. Xiaobing Sheng
Fundamentals of Team Science 3-4 sessions (90 min each) TBD Dr. Jim Borg
An Introduction to Allen Institute data resources 2-3 sessions (3 hours each) TBD Dr. Jim Borg
Schubert calculus on Grassmannians TBD Dr. Duc-Khanh Nguyen
Your Suggested Topic fill in the webform  

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
Filmmaking for Everyone December 6, 8, 13 from 14:30-17:30
Julia for Open Quantum Systems Nov. 27-29
Asymptotic Symmetries July 31-August 24
Big Geographical Data    June 5-6
Project and Team Management Tools for Academic Research with an Emphasis on Jira and Confluence May 25

Filmmaking for Scientists

March 20, 24, 27
Effective Visual Communication of Science March 7
Particle Tracking Simulation Using Ocean Parcels February 7, 8, 9
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 Course Date
Mini Course: Git November
Mini Course: LaTeX November
Mini Course: Functional Programming November 18, 20, 25, 27
Mini Course: High Molecular Weight DNA Extraction November 12
Mini Course: Terminal November 9, 11, 13
Mini Course: Arduino November 5, 6
Mini Course: in vivo Th Cell Differentiation October 22, 26 ~ 30, November 5
Mini Course: Editing Wikipedia for Scientists October15
Mini Course: R for Reproducible Science September23, 24, 30, October 1
gnuplot August 17, 19, 24
Intro to Programming August 5, 6, 7, 13
Solving "Unsolvable" Differential Equations July 14, 15, 21
Teaching Techniques for Scientists July 20, 22, 27
GraphPad Prism July 21, 28, 29, August 4
Database Manipulation July 7, 10, 14
Intro to Molecular Biology Methods July 6, 8 and 13
Phylogenetic Comparative Methods May 18, 20, 22
3D Printing March 4 and 6
R January 27, 30, March , 6
Fiji February 26 and 27
Graphic Design in Science January 21 and 22, 3-5PM

Mini Courses 2019

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

Mini Courses 2018

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

Mini Courses 2017

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

Mini Courses 2016

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

Mini Courses 2015

 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.