Session Summary:

When someone asks about essential skills for data careers, I often hear responses like R, Python, and machine learning. However, I argue that creativity is an underrated skill that you can and should practice. In this talk, I want to tell you a story about a project I did to stretch my creative brain and use my favorite tool, R. I designed a quilt in R using generative art ideas. Then I created individual blocks that make up the larger design. I used foundation paper piecing, a method that allows for intricate designs but has geometrical constraints. I hope my talk will entertain and inspire folks to exercise their creative muscles to improve their performance and enjoyment of their day jobs.

Talk materials are available at

Session Details


03:20 PM to 03:40 PM

Cherry Blossom

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Alice Walsh profile pic

Alice Walsh

Pathos, R-Ladies Philly

Alice is a computational biologist who applies data science tools to solve drug development challenges. She is currently VP of Translational Research at Pathos. Alice's prior professional experience includes roles at Janssen and Bristol Myers Squibb, including leading teams that worked on all stages of drug development, from target identification to approval. She is a founding organizer of the Philadelphia chapter of R-Ladies and spends her free time improving her artistic skills through painting, quilting, needlepoint, and other creative pursuits.