How to access and use the computational environment

There are two options. We created a set of Jupyter Notebooks coupled with the Binder service as a way of serving and running the notebooks online in a browser. This relieves both instructors and students of the problems of installing software in different environments and the troubleshooting that this entails. Instead, students and instructors can concentrate on the learning and writing literate code that explores archaeological issues. To launch the ODATE notebooks, please go to the our list of notebooks and hit the launch binder button (after reading the information there). Students can use the built in file manager to download or upload notebooks into the environment.

Alternatively, instructors might want to use the DHBox, which is a linux based computer accessible through a browser. The DHBox has a bit more flexibility, and includes Jupyter notebooks and RStudio by default. The DHBox perists for as long as a month, and so students don’t have to be as mindful of saving their work to their own machines, as perhaps they do with the Binder service. At the DHBox site, students create a new user account. They should select the maximum amount of time available for the box. Each time a person logins, the box will tell them how much time remains for the account. Students can use the built-in file manager to download their work from the box to their own machine.

It is worth noting that any jupyter notebook can be read within either environment (and of course, students can install Jupyter onto their own machines if they so desire). Jupyter notebooks can be written in both python or R. Jupyter notebooks are quickly becoming a standard for ‘literate programming’, where the reflective text and the code are interwoven for the purposes of reproducibility and replicability.