Recent Posts

More Posts

On December 2, 2019, almost 50 data enthusiasts joined R-Ladies Philly for a workshop on machine learning in R. The workshop was led by Trang Le. Trang is a researcher at the University of Pennsylvania who has authored several R packages and applies machine learning to biomedical data. Follow her on twitter and at At a high-level, this workshop covered: Intro to the caret package and why it exists Live demo and exercises using a dataset of beer reviews Trang’s insights into good practices Off to a great start with our machine learning workshop!


On November 04, 2019, RLadies-Philly presented a series of very informative lightning talks ranging from programming tips for reproducible research to full-blown applications of big data in delivering individualized care in medicine. One of the attendees correctly commented later that each of the five lightning talks was very enlightening and could each be extended to a full-length presentation. This blog post provides highlights from the lightning talks. I Can Code Clearly Now - 10 Tips for Formatting R Code Speaker: Jenine K.


Networks, also referred to as graphs in mathematics, model multiple types of relations and processes in physical, social, biological, and information systems. R-Ladies Philly’s October 2019 meetup was a workshop focusing on how to implement network analyses using the R igraph object. The workshop was led by Chun Su, PhD, who is a bioinformatics scientist at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and also a R-ladies Philly co-organizer. The workshop materials are available at rladiesPHL github.


R-Ladies Philadelphia’s September 2019 meetup was on the topic of reporting research using R Markdown. Our speaker was Ramaa Nathan, PhD, a statistican and data scientist with a background in the healthcare and finance industries. Ramaa is a co-organizer of the Data Science Philadelphia (DataPhilly) meetup group. Ramaa’s materials are available here. Welcome #rladies to our meetup! So excited to see everyone and to have Ramaa leading our session on R markdown!


Our July Meetup sought to highlight work and lessons from our community members through a series of short and engaging lightning talks. Important skills for women in data (Rajvi Mehta) Rajvi, a Data Scientist at Vanguard and Philadelphia Chapter Lead of Women in Data, shared her story of becoming a data scientist, and the lessons she learned along the way. She highlighted the following advice: Always seek to update your skill set, because job titles are varied in data science, and it’s a fast paced environment Seek to improve your communication skills, because there is often a need to explain complex statistics to colleagues and clients who have different areas of expertise but who, given the right explanation, could contribute tremendously to the data scientist’s work Seek diversity in teams, as people with diverse backgrounds can bring unique perspectives on solutions, risk, team dynamics, and problem solving approaches Remember that data is not just about the numbers, but it is also about the people behind the data (the end users, the developers implementing data collection systems, the business rules influencing the data being collected, etc.



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 Data Scientist at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia with a background in Linguistics. She completed her PhD in Linguistics at the University of Pennsylvania, where her research focused on the grammatical representations involved with spoken word recognition. Originally from the UK, Amy moved to Philadelphia in 2012.

Chun Su, PhD

Chun is a bioinformatics scientist at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, where she explores the influence of the molecular regulatory architecture on the genetic susceptibility for childhood diseases by analyzing genomics data. She completed her PhD in Biology at the University of Virginia, studying a family of parasitic plants that infect crops in Africa. She uses R extensively for statistical analysis and data visualization in her research. Chun joined R Ladies Philly to learn data science and socialize with local R users.

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.

Jessie Pluto

As a senior analyst at Comcast, Jessie tries to assign value to video programming and predict the impact of specific content loss. She leverages R in her work by building packages and R Markdown documents to automate answers to recurring business questions about video programming and networks. She also uses R in her day-to-day for modeling and data wrangling. Jessie holds a BA in Psychology, a post-grad certification in Applied Statistics from Penn State and is currently working on an MS in Data Science at Drexel.

Board Alumni

Katerina Placek, MSc
Co-Founder and Blog Chair: Jan 2018 - July 2019

Katie Cousins, PhD
Co-Founder: Jan 2018 - July 2018


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


R consortium


Penn Dental

Temple University Center City

Drexel LeBow College of Business

Penn Institute for Urban Research



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