How to prepare for the Workshop on Molecular Evolution

From MolEvol

To provide the best experience, we plan to get started with a short computer lab on the opening night. To get the most out of this lab, and to really prime the pump for the following days, there is some preparation you must do prior to the workshop. Don’t worry, it’s not too much.

Four easy steps to prepare for the best workshop in the world...

Check that you have a laptop that meets the minimum requirements

1. Your laptop must be wireless capable, as there are very few ethernet plugs available.

2. Your power cords should be compatible with US electrical outlets (or bring an appropriate adapter).

3. Power outlets are limited in some areas, so a good battery or spare is helpful.

4. You must know your administrative password for the laptop or otherwise have rights to install new software on the computer. If you have no choice except to bring a locked machine on which you cannot install new software, please e-mail Rachel Williams ( to be sure that the minimum software is preinstalled on the laptop. If you have any questions about what laptops to bring or their capabilities, please e-mail either David Mark Welch ( or Rachel Williams, the lab coordinator ( Also let us know ASAP if you have no possibility of bringing your own laptop.

  • While you are checking you laptop, you might as well go ahead and download and install the software listed here: Downloads

Prepare a single slide that summarizes your research interests

We are planning a fun reception, with food and drink, for the opening night. We will be getting to know each other a little better, and to help that process along we are asking everyone to give a short (1 minute max; strictly enforced) summary of who you are, where you are from, and your research interests.

Please prepare a single slide (PDF format), to accompany your 1-minute presentation and send it to Rachel Williams ( by July 16, 2018.

Complete our UNIX tutorial

You will need to have a very basic familiarity with UNIX commands to work with the class servers, and some programs, during this course. To get you started on this we have prepared the world’s best UNIX tutorial (link to our UNIX tutorial).

Please make sure that you do this tutorial prior to the course. And, please try to practice what you learn a little; just a little preparation in this area will have huge payoffs during the course.

Review the schedule

Please review the Schedule. Click around and explore the topics, the computer labs, and explore the supporting material for the programs that you will be using.

Please note that some of the lectures slides are from last year’s workshop, and will be updated as we approach the workshop date. While we understand that some of you will want to download all the slides at one time; our faculty take pride in keeping their notes updated with late-breaking information, and this means we have to expect some last minute updates and revisions.

Lastly, please look over the computer lab (link to computer lab). We will do this lab as a group, so you do not have to attempt the lab prior to the workshop. However, we will be doing this lab on the opening night, so looking it over prior to arrival will go a long way to getting oriented quickly, and getting the most out of the lab.