Introduction to Spreadsheets and Quorum Studio

Get comfortable with Quorum studio and how to use spreadsheets

Introduction to Quorum Studio

In this session, our goal is to get up and running with Quorum Studio. We expect everyone to come in with Quorum Studio installed. The goal is to go over how we use and navigate this technology.

In areas like data science, we often have to obtain or create data in one form or another. There are many ways to do this, from simple spreadsheets, to databases, to cloud applications that store snippets of information on computers around the globe. Throughout this professional development, we are going to start with an important first step: creating and using spreadsheets.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Students will be able to convert a spreadsheet to a CSV file.
  2. Students will be able to create a Quorum Studio project and run a program
  3. Students will understand what hotkeys are available in Quorum Studio

Create and Save a CSV file (15 minutes)

As a first task, we are going to create a spreadsheet that Quorum can load, which requires using a format called Comma Separated Value (CSV). While computer science often names things somewhat poorly, in this case the name of the file is what it sounds like: data separated by a comma. We can make these by hand, but it is much easier to use Excel, Google Sheets, Numbers, or any number of other applications.

This is an example of what a CSV may look like:

daniel, seattle, purple, rocky road
brandon, las vegas, blue, vanilla
brianna, san francisco, black, oreo
rebecca, reno, gold, chocolate
kristine, washington dc, lilac, birthday cake

This CSV example has 5 rows and 4 columns, which each entry has been separated by commas. The contents of this data are arbitrary, however it is important to recognize what a common CSV file may look like. When we think of columns and rows in this context, notice that names like kristine or rebecca are text, not numbers, and that Quorum uses the fact that there is text in the columns to make decisions about how to process our data.

Next, we are going to build ourselves a spreadsheet, using any tool convenient for us. As a first version, add a header row to the top row of the spreadsheet with at least two columns. In each column, add numbers of your choosing to each column. The goal here is not to use real data, but to make sure we understand the relationship between what we type in the spreadsheet and what a spreadsheet application puts on our hard drive. Once we are happy with our spreadsheet, save it as a CSV file and open the file it made in a text editor and look at it. This is what Quorum will load when you write programs. We will use this spreadsheet, which you can modify as much as you wish, and others, throughout the week.

Introduce Quorum Studio (30 minutes)

In this section, we are going to discuss Quorum Studio, all of the buttons and controls within it, and how you create and run programs. The goal is to create the equivalent of a Hello, World style program and to understand a collection of the most common features you or students use when coding.

Quorum Studio Hotkeys (15 minutes)

As one final section, we are going to go over a myriad of hotkeys we can use when programming by looking at the hotkey guide on the Quorum website. These keys are optional, but provide fast access to features, in addition to ease of use for accessibility. We recommend memorizing a few of the most common ones, bare minimum the ones for running and stopping programs, in addition to navigation. The reason for this is that, when we program, it can be helpful to do a small amount of up front memorization on things like hotkeys, as it makes it easier for us as we learn other things.

Next Tutorial

In the next tutorial, we will discuss Introduction to Programming, which describes General Quorum Programming Introduction.