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Geographic Information Systems or GIS are specialized technology used for spatial data that require mapping. In our November meetup, R-Ladies Philly member and GIS Specialist Mary Lennon introduced R-Ladies Philly to manipulating and plotting spatial data from our favorite city (Philly!) in our favorite language (R!)! How can we access and store spatial data? First, Mary explained that GIS data can be stored in different formats including Shapefiles, GPX, and GeoJSON.


Shiny is an R Package that combines the computational power of R with the interactivity of the web to enable users to create interactive web apps (and dashboards!) in R. For our October meetup, Dr. Mine Çetinkaya-Rundel led a workshop introducing the basics of building dashboards using Shiny, and a demo on transitioning from dashboards to standalone apps. In case you missed the Meetup, all materials (code! slides! more!) can be found on the github repo Mine created.


In our September meetup hosted at the Penn Dental School, R-Ladies LA founder and recent Philadelphia transplant Dr. Katie Scranton led an interactive workshop on making websites (like this one!) using R and the blogdown package. Overview Katie started off by providing a broad overview of how blogdown works. Blogdown generates websites using Rmarkdown documents, and each blogdown website consists of a single folder of static files. Once created, your blogdown website can then be hosted on any web server to make it ‘live.


Data cleaning is the process of preparing your data for analysis; ensuring that it is technically correct and in the desired format. Data cleaning can often be more time-consuming than the actual analysis! This was our second meetup on the topic. Click here for a recap of our first data cleaning meetup in June. Reshaping data We began with an introduction to reshaping data from Alice. The presentation was based on the DataCamp tutorial Long to Wide Data in R.


Our June meetup Our June meetup was about cleaning data using R. Data cleaning is the process of preparing your data for analysis; ensuring that it is technically correct and in the desired format. Data cleaning can often be more time-consuming than the actual analysis! We were live tweeting the event! Check out some tweets below. Introduction Darina and Katerina provided an introduction to data cleaning, with a focus on the process of ensuring the data is technically correct.



Meet our board members

Darina Chudnovskaya, MSc

Darina is a data analyst at a hospital in the Philadelphia area. She uses R to run statistical tests and build models for epidemiological studies with the goal of developing patient interventions for disease prevention. She grew up in Philadelphia. Darina joined R Ladies Philly to meet other R enthusiasts.

Karla Fettich, PhD

Karla works as Head of Algorithm Development at Orchestrall, where she leads behavioral data analytics efforts and predictive model development for healthcare IT innovation. Currently, Karla uses R to create a new product that uses machine learning and predictive analytics to serve as a companion to nurse aides in their care for the elderly. Originally from Romania, Karla completed her B.A. in social and cognitive psychology at Jacobs University Bremen in Germany, her M.A. in social sciences at the University of Chicago and her Ph.D. in psychology and neuroscience at Temple University in Philadelphia.

Amy Goodwin Davies, PhD

Amy is a linguist-by-training and aspiring data scientist. In particular, she is excited about developing her skills in text mining and natural language processing. Amy completed her PhD in Linguistics at the University of Pennsylvania, where her research focused on the grammatical representations involved with word recognition. Amy is originally from the UK. Before moving to Philadelphia in 2012, she completed her undergraduate studies at the University of Edinburgh.

Katerina Placek, MSc

Katerina is a PhD candidate in Neuroscience at the University of Pennsylvania. She uses R in her research to statistically evaluate genetic risk factors for frontotemporal disease in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and to visualize results. Katerina started an R-Learning group in her lab at the University of Pennsylvania, and was recruited by Alice to help start R-Ladies Philly!

Alice Walsh, PhD

Alice is a computational biologist who works in pharmaceutical drug development and has lived in the Philadelphia area for the last ten years. She uses R to transform biomarker data from patients into useful insights that can help doctors make better decisions. Alice was inspired to start an R-Ladies chapter in Philadelphia after seeing a video of another R-Ladies meetup online.


R-Ladies Philly is fortunate to receive support from several amazing organizations. Contact us to learn more about becoming a sponsor.


Data Camp

R consortium


Reach out by email if would like to help plan, sponsor, or host an event. We welcome volunteers!