Case Study


Teaching learning remote

Impact and communities

GEMS has identified a clear and critical niche whose needs have thusfar gone unmet. Educators in the data science community offer educational classes and tutorials, but not aimed at the agri-food sector. It is so hard to find IT professionals who understand the particular needs of this agri-food community. So we are dedicated to upskilling those in the know.

Process and problem solved

There is currently a gap between the need for professionals in ag and food sciences who are skilled in data science and the availability of IT professionals in the workforce. Companies are not able to fill available positions. GEMS is now training both students and company employees who are already in the agri-food sector to learn data science skills.

GEMS Services Used

Hey, I can really do this!

In Spring of 2022, GEMS pioneered the course 'Computing Basics for the Agri-food sector', attracting 17 eager students, many of whom had no familiarity with computers beyond browser searches and word processing software. In 10 weeks of intensive learning, these same individuals mastered the UNIX command line, wrote their own scripts to automate tasks, scheduled jobs on a supercomputer, and submitted changes to a code repository. The testimonials below, collected in anonymous surveys afterwards, speak for themselves.

Sample testimonials

  • I entered a whole new world (to me) with this class. It's been challenging, and great to have some new tools.
  • Short content videos of course materials were SO IMPORTANT for me as a complete newb. Having each week's information broken up into a collection of short videos made specific information easy to find and review.
  • This was a great course. I enjoyed it and learned a lot.  I hope to continue learning how to use Unix as well as to learn R and Python. Great, very friendly and helpful instructor!
  • The instructor was pleasant, unintimidating, and readily available if any help was needed - highly appreciated!
  • While not yet brimming with confidence, I feel I now have the tools to start exploring and practicing. It will take me a lot of that to reach a place where I feel "highly proficient" with computing. I may never get there, but now I'm on my way to improving my skills and no longer feel totally lost in the realm of code.