Crafting Kind Tools

When and Where

Monday, April 12, 2021 3:00 pm to 4:00 pm


Alison Hill, RStudio


We are all tool-makers. If you are an educator, your lessons are tools. You make them to be used by students. Students use your lessons to build mental models piece-by-piece, and learn processes step-by-step. If you are a researcher, you design experiments as tools to be used by participants. As a scientist, your analyses are tools used by other researchers to replicate and extend what you did. And finally, if you use software for making any of these tools, you are also using a tool that was crafted by someone else. Is it kind? What makes a tool kind? In this talk, I’ll share ideas and insights I’ve gained while working to make tools for everyday data science communication kinder for users. I’ll discuss some case studies from my work on free and open-source software at RStudio over the past 2.5 years.

Please join the event.

About Alison Hill

Alison Hill is a data scientist, behavioral scientist, and an award-winning educator. Currently, Dr. Hill works to make data science communication easier and more delightful using RStudio’s open-source toolchain. Previously, Alison was an Associate Professor of Pediatrics at Oregon Health & Science University. Her research focused on health-related applications of Natural Language Processing-based methods, and was funded by the National Institutes of Health, the Oregon Clinical and Translational Research Institute, and Autism Speaks. She has written numerous scientific publications on autism and neurodevelopmental disorders and have presented research at over 25 international conferences. Alison has also taught statistics and data science for over 10 years; most recently, she has led advanced workshops on data science communication and machine learning at rstudio::conf, R / Medicine, and R in Pharma. She is also an international keynote speaker, co-developer of the palmerpenguins, distill, and blogdown R packages, and co-author of the book blogdown: Creating Websites with R Markdown.