SLiM Workshops  

We have developed a tutorial to teach people how to use SLiM. In person, this is a five-day workshop (9 AM to 5 PM), although the taught material fits into four days or a bit more; much of the last day is used as an "open modeling" time when people can work on their own models while getting help from the instructor (me).

Giving these workshops in person is fun and useful; many people find it much easier to learn in that setting, where they can ask questions and get help as needed. Because of the coronavirus pandemic we temporarily shifted away from in-person workshops, and so we made the workshop materials available online here. We are now starting to offer in-person workshops again (for participants who are up to date in their COVID vaccinations). When you complete an in-person workshop you get a completion certificate (which at some institutions can be converted into class credit); unfortunately we are unable to offer certificates to those who complete the workshop online.

First of all, here are some relevant links about the workshops:

Here are the downloadable workshop materials, version 9 for SLiM 4 (164 MB; click to download):

PLEASE DO NOT REPOST THESE MATERIALS ELSEWHERE. They are subject to change — improvements and fixes for problems, and also revisions made to keep them up to date with changes made to SLiM itself. We do not want obsolete versions of these materials circulating online. Instead, please feel free to link to this web page.

The version number is given in the _README.txt file in the download package, so if you ever want to know whether the package you have is up to date, compare the version in your package's _README.txt to the version number given on this page.

The download package contains several things:

  • Slideshows, in the form of *.key.pdf PDF files
  • Slideshow voiceovers, in the form of *.mp3 audio files; play the audio as you view the slides, and advance slides whenever you hear a bing
  • Worksheets, in the form of *.pages.pdf PDF files

Note that several worksheets (#7, #8, #22, #23) have no accompanying slideshow; this is intentional.

It is strongly recommended that you work through all of the lectures and worksheets in order, completing each (lecture, then worksheet) before moving on to the next. They build on each other, and many worksheets establish foundational concepts about SLiM and SLiMgui in addition to teaching the topic they are ostensibly about. Similarly, it is strongly recommended that you do all of the worksheet exercises; skimming may feel like you're learning, but real learning occurs as a result of doing, not just reading. There is no shortcut.

However, there is certainly no need to complete the entire workshop if you just want to get to know the basics of SLiM. The workshop overview page has suggestions for possible stopping points.

Solutions are available for download. If you get stuck, please work hard to answer your own question, through consultation of the solutions and the SLiM manual; I cannot possibly answer every question that arises for every person doing this workshop online. A great idea would be to organize a workshop group: a group of people who will do the workshop together, either in person or through a live video chat. This way everyone can help each other through questions and problems, as well as motivating each other to do the work and making it more fun and social. You might be at the same institution (even the same lab), but you might also find workshop group partners by posting a request on the slim-discuss mailing list (look for a recent request from someone else before you post to start your own group, though, please).

If you are truly stuck, and the solutions, the manual, your workshop group, and Google can't answer your question, feel free to ask on slim-discuss. If you do ask a question on slim-discuss, please supply all of the relevant information, stated as clearly and completely as possible, including — if possible — a full SLiM script that reproduces whatever issue you are asking about.

If you are on SLiM 3.7 and want to do the SLiM workshop using that version, you can download the SLiM Workshop version 8 and the version 8 solutions.

I hope this workshop is helpful for everyone. Happy modeling!