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Teaching data science with puzzles

useR! 2019 slides

rstudio::conf 2019, slides, video

Of the many coding puzzles on the web, few focus on the programming skills needed for handling untidy data. During my summer internship at RStudio, I worked with Jenny Bryan to develop a series of data science puzzles known as the "Tidies of March." These puzzles isolate data wrangling tasks into bite-sized pieces to nurture core data science skills such as importing, reshaping, and summarizing data. We also provide access to puzzles and puzzle data directly in R through an accompanying Tidies of March package. I will show how this package models best practices for both data wrangling and project management.

If you'd like to take a closer look at the sandwiches example from the talk, check out the sandwiches folder in this repo.

Additional resources

Packages mentioned in my talk:

  • usethis - a workflow package: it automates repetitive tasks that arise during project setup and development, both for R packages and non-package projects
  • testthat - to make testing fun
  • testrmd - test chunks for RMarkdown
  • reprex - render bits of R code for sharing, e.g., on GitHub or StackOverflow
  • rmarkdown - create reproducible text and analyses

Thank yous

A big thanks to the Tidyverse team, fellow interns, and RStudio folks for a fun & interesting summer!

Also thanks to Maria Novosolov, Alex Slavenko, Alex Hayes, Steven Chong, and Julien Brun for their comments and support in early versions of this talk!