June 17, 2021

There is a great line-up of Symposia to look forward to at CSEP 2021 Zooming into the future. We’ve interviewed each presenter to give you a preview of what to expect and how attending will benefit you.

In this feature we talk to Jason Au, (PhD, CSEP-CEP), Assistant Professor in the Department of Kinesiology at the University of Waterloo, who is the presenting the Data science for the modern Exercise Physiology workshop at CSEP 2021. Dr. Au is co-presenting this session with Rosie Twomey (PhD), Baraa Al-Khazraji (PhD), and Ashley Akerman (PhD).

What can CSEP certified members learn from attending your session that they can apply to their practice?

Open science practices aren’t just for academics; they help make tools and resources available for professionals, putting the latest evidence-based findings directly in the hands of practitioners. Exercise physiology is a ripe field that can benefit from these practices, whether that be computational field test toolkits to predict fitness, advanced calculations to determine exercise prescription targets, or availability of raw data to make informed decisions on the latest supplement effects or training responses. In the active component of this symposium, key tools will also be introduced to visualize data – a useful skill to explore trends in training responses, create beautiful data-driven graphics for science communication, and build your technical skillset for career advancement.

What do you think makes this topic and the content unique to the CSEP conference?

**Collect data, copy to Excel, copy to SPSS, [magic happens], copy to graphing software.** Does this sound familiar? Data handling is a core component of research in exercise physiology but we rarely talk about how we can improve best practices and create pathways for consistent data reporting in today’s Modern Era of Science. This symposium is uniquely poised to introduce trainees to working with data in R, a freely-available tool to help manage your data and share results with colleagues. Unlike other data workshops, your tutorial leaders will be your CSEP colleagues and will be providing field-specific datasets (e.g., heart rate responses, CGM, activity data) to demonstrate the power of data science in your area of research. The active component of this symposium is specifically geared towards beginners, so no experience is required to start your data science journey.

What strategies have you learned throughout the course of the pandemic that you believe will make your session engaging in a virtual setting?

This symposium has been created specifically with virtual learning in mind, making use of online platforms to run multiple concurrent tutorial sections filtered by area of interest. Small meetings will allow flexible learning opportunities and engagement to ask questions to experts in your field. Networking time has also been planned to allow collaborative discussions on how open science and custom data solutions can be used to solve day-to-day problems in the lab. To gauge interest in the number and scope of groups, we are asking interested participants to fill out this survey. More details on how to reserve spots in tutorial groups will be coming soon.

CSEP is consistently growing with a diverse community of members, which is reflected in this year’s selection of expert AGM panelists. What does EDI mean to you and why is it important in our field as our organization continues to grow?

Principles of equity, diversity, and inclusion are incredibly important to team composition to make sure different viewpoints get a seat at the table. This is one of the reasons open science principles are so important for our field – ensuring access to information that has historically been locked behind paywalls and the ‘ivory tower’. In training the next generation of physiology scientists and practitioners, it is our responsibility to make research and education accessible to those who are not as privileged, and in doing so, create training environments that better reflect the communities we serve. I’m thrilled to see CSEP supporting these initiatives with the CSEP Scholarship for Persons from Underrepresented Groups and hope to see even more of these opportunities as the organization grows.

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