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Regular expressions are a powerful and standardized way of representing patterns in text using special symbols and syntax. A core part of many programming languages, search engines, text editors, and other commonly-used software, regular expressions have a surprisingly wide array of uses, from efficiently finding strings of text in large data sets, to easily formatting complex documents, to quickly replacing many small everyday tasks that might otherwise require writing shell scripts or other programs.

This hands-on workshop introduces regular expressions (regex) from the ground up.

Learning objectives

At the end of this workshop, you will be able to:

  1. Understand basic regex syntax
  2. Apply regex syntax in common applications
  3. Understand when it might be appropriate to use regex
  4. Analyze your own workflows and adapt regex solutions to support them


0:00 Welcome and using Zoom
0:05 Introduction
0:15 What regular expressions are (and aren’t)
0:45 Basic syntax
1:05 Finding and replacing text
1:30 Wrap-up and Discussion


  • Please download the repository zip file here. We will be using the data in the repository during the workshop.