Nancy Zhu

Nancy Zhu

I am a Masters student in Epidemiology at McGill University. In summer 2017, I did an internship at Health Canada, where I developed several R shiny applications for interactive visualization of the Canada Vigilance Adverse Reaction Database. The experience motivated me to explore more in big data, data visualization and data mining. With open-source communities, there are endless learning opportunities in this field and I am thrilled to be part of the journey!

Mar 15

Open source bioinformatics tools

A brief overview of tools for working with biological data

Bioinformatics is the application of informatics techniques to acquire, store and analyze large and complex biological data. With the rise of data science in every discipline nowadays, bioinformatics can be seen as the data science of biology. Genomes and protein sequences are the most common data in bioinformatics. Many of the open source tools commonly used in data science have extended their capability to include analysis of bioinformatic data such as these.


Apr 26, 2018

Explore messaging patterns on Facebook

Analyzing my Facebook message history with rvest and tidytext

You can download your facebook message history from your personal account, under Settings. Click on Download a copy of your Facebook data. In the zip file, you will get all the photos, messages and posts you have sent in the past. All messages are stored under the folder Message as html files. Each html file is a chat history with a person or group. I parsed the html file with R package rvest and organized the data into a data frame with 3 variables: user, timestamp of a message and message text.


Feb 26, 2018

Visualizing newly approved Canadian drug information

Leveraging R packages to create a dashboard presenting a brief report for newly approved drug substances in Canada

One of the greatest thing about R is the thousands of packages available on CRAN and Github. Without being a pro on programming, this lets you to do pretty cool things thanks to all the hard work done by the community. In this blog post, I’d like to introduce two packages I recently used along with a Shiny dashboard I created using these packages. openfda package: The openfda package provides simple access to OpenFDA API from R.