Jenny Bryan

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Jennifer "Jenny" Bryan
Known forR packages
Academic background
Alma materYale University (B.A.)
University of California, Berkeley (PhD)

Jennifer "Jenny" Bryan is a data scientist and an associate professor of statistics at the University of British Columbia where she developed the Master in Data Science Program. She is a statistician and software engineer at RStudio from Vancouver, Canada and is known for creating open source tools which connect R to Google Sheets and Google Drive.[1][2][3][4]


Bryan earned her Bachelor of Arts in Economics and German literature from Yale University in 1992 and her PhD in Biostatistics from University of California, Berkeley in 2001.[5][6]


As an associate professor of statistics at the University of British Columbia,[7] Bryan worked on biostatistics with a focus on gene expression and microarray data. Notable projects to which she has contributed include the quantification of photomotor responses in larval zebrafish,[8] the development of an assay system in the multicellular animal Caenorhabditis elegans to test genetic interactions causing synthetic lethality in somatic cells,[9] and a novel yeast-based model to search for modifier genes involved in cystic fibrosis.[10] Beyond biostatistics, Bryan has also contributed to medoids-based clustering methods.[11] Her general science contributions include a manifesto published in PLOS One on good practices for scientific computing[12] and an introduction to the Git version control system[13] for research data analysis.[14][15][16]

Bryan's teaching activities at UBC included development of the Master of Data Science Program[17] and new materials for the STAT 545 course.[18] Under Bryan's direction, the STAT 545 course became notable as an early example of a data science course taught in a statistics program. It is also notable for its focus on teaching using modern R packages, Git and GitHub, its extensive sharing of teaching materials openly online, and its strong emphasis on practical data cleaning, exploration, and visualization skills, rather than algorithms and theory.[15] As of late 2016 Bryan is on leave from her UBC position and is working at RStudio with a team led by Hadley Wickham.[3]

Bryan has had experience with S and R since 1996.[1][7] She is known for her open source contributions in R.[19] Influential contributions include the use of Lego[20] and the concept of data rectangling[21] for explaining programming concepts,[22][23] reproducible research,[24] and advice on project and workflow organisation.[25][26][27]

Bryan is well known for her work on efficient methods of working in spreadsheets, and the connection between R and spreadsheet software such as Excel and Google Sheets.[4] She is the primary developer of the R package googlesheets, that connects R to the Google Sheets service,[28] and googledrive, an R package for interfacing between R and Google Drive.

Bryan is known for her work in teaching, her contributions to R packages, and her involvement with the leadership committee at rOpenSci.[29][30] She is also part of the R Foundation Forwards task force and a member of the editorial board of BMC Bioinformatics.[30][31] Previously, she worked as an Associate at the Boston Consulting Group in Boston, MA.[6]

Personal life[edit]

Bryan lives with her husband, three children, and dog, Toby.[1][31][32]


  1. ^ a b c O'Briant, Kelly. ".rprofile: Jenny Bryan". rOpenSci. Retrieved 4 February 2018.
  2. ^ "GitHub profile of Jennifer (Jenny) Bryan". GitHub. Retrieved 4 February 2018.
  3. ^ a b Machlis, Sharon (2016-11-30). "What's up with RStudio's 2 high-profile hires?". Computer World. Retrieved 19 February 2018.
  4. ^ a b Hofmann, Heike; VanderPlas, Susan (19 December 2017). "All of This Has Happened Before. All of This Will Happen Again: Data Science". Journal of Computational and Graphical Statistics. 26 (4): 775–778. doi:10.1080/10618600.2017.1385474. S2CID 126170766.
  5. ^ Bryan, Jenny. Happy Git and GitHub for the useR. Retrieved 4 February 2018.
  6. ^ a b "Jennifer Bryan homepage". Retrieved 4 February 2018.
  7. ^ a b Happy Git and GitHub for the useR. Retrieved 4 February 2018.
  8. ^ Jenkins, Jeremy L; Urban, Laszlo (2010). "Fishing for neuroactive compounds". Nature Chemical Biology. 6 (3): 172–173. doi:10.1038/nchembio.320. ISSN 1552-4469. PMID 20154663.
  9. ^ "InCytes from MBC, December 2009". Molecular Biology of the Cell. 20 (24): 5037–5038. 2009-12-15. doi:10.1091/mbc.z09-00-0024. ISSN 1059-1524. PMC 2793281.
  10. ^ Blondel, Marc (2012-12-27). "Flirting with CFTR modifier genes at happy hour". Genome Medicine. 4 (12): 98. doi:10.1186/gm399. ISSN 1756-994X. PMC 3580438. PMID 23270638.
  11. ^ Van der Laan, Mark (2003). "A new partitioning around medoids algorithm". Journal of Statistical Computation and Simulation. 73 (8): 575–584. doi:10.1080/0094965031000136012. S2CID 17437463.
  12. ^ Wilson, Greg; Bryan, Jennifer; Cranston, Karen; Kitzes, Justin; Nederbragt, Lex; Teal, Tracy K. (2017-06-22). "Good enough practices in scientific computing". PLOS Computational Biology. 13 (6): e1005510. Bibcode:2017PLSCB..13E5510W. doi:10.1371/journal.pcbi.1005510. ISSN 1553-7358. PMC 5480810. PMID 28640806.
  13. ^ Bryan, Jenny (2018). "Excuse me, do you have a moment to talk about version control?". The American Statistician. 72: 20–27. doi:10.1080/00031305.2017.1399928. S2CID 125821034.
  14. ^ Baumer, Benjamin S. (2018). "Lessons From Between the White Lines for Isolated Data Scientists". The American Statistician. 72 (1): 66–71. doi:10.1080/00031305.2017.1375985. S2CID 126280044.
  15. ^ a b Marwick, Ben; Boettiger, Carl; Mullen, Lincoln (29 September 2017). "Packaging Data Analytical Work Reproducibly Using R (and Friends)". The American Statistician. 72 (1): 80–88. doi:10.1080/00031305.2017.1375986. S2CID 125412832.
  16. ^ McNamara, Amelia; Horton, Nicholas J.; Baumer, Benjamin S. (19 December 2017). "Greater Data Science at Baccalaureate Institutions". Journal of Computational and Graphical Statistics. 26 (4): 781–783. arXiv:1710.08728. Bibcode:2017arXiv171008728M. doi:10.1080/10618600.2017.1386568. S2CID 88522819.
  17. ^ Zhou, Helen (2016-02-29). "New Master of Data Science coming to UBC". The Ubyssey.
  18. ^ Bryan, Jenny (2018). "Data wrangling, exploration, and analysis with R". Archived from the original on 24 February 2018. Retrieved 20 March 2018.
  19. ^ Julia Carie Wong (2016-02-12). "Women considered better coders- but only if they hide their gender". The Guardian.
  20. ^ Bryan, Jenny (2016). "Data Rectangling (Talk presented at PLOTCON 2016)".
  21. ^ Boettiger., Carl (Dec 11, 2017). "Data Rectangling with jq". Boettiger Group. Retrieved 20 March 2018.
  22. ^ Leek, Jeff (2016-12-20). "A non-comprehensive list of awesome things other people did in 2016". Simply Stats. Retrieved 20 March 2018.
  23. ^ "EARL Boston Revisited". Mango Business Solutions. 5 Dec 2016. Retrieved 20 March 2018.
  24. ^ Kitzes, Justin (2018). The practice of reproducible research : case studies and lessons from the data-intensive sciences. Oakland, California: University of California Press. ISBN 9780520294752.
  25. ^ "Project-oriented workflow". Tidyverse Blog. 2017. Retrieved 20 March 2018.
  26. ^ Smith, David (2 January 2018). "Do you have bad R habits? Here's how to identify and fix them". Revolutions: Daily news about using open source R for big data analysis, predictive modeling, data science, and visualization since 2008. Retrieved 20 March 2018.
  27. ^ Layton, Richard (19 November 2015). "Influences of Reproducible Reporting on Work Flow". Chance. 28 (4): 60–64. doi:10.1080/09332480.2015.1120133. S2CID 61249336.
  28. ^ de Vries, Andrie (2 September 2015). "Using the googlesheets package to work with Google Sheets". Revolutions: Daily news about using open source R for big data analysis, predictive modeling, data science, and visualization since 2008. Retrieved 20 March 2018.
  29. ^ "rOpenSci: Meet Our Team".
  30. ^ a b "Jenny Bryan's CV" (PDF). Retrieved 4 February 2018.
  31. ^ a b Middleton, Atakohu (2017-12-15). "StatsChat Jenny Bryan: "You need a huge tolerance for ambiguity"". StatsChat. Retrieved 4 February 2018.
  32. ^ Robinson, Emily. "Does a tweet count as a citation? His name is Toby". Twitter. Retrieved 15 October 2018.

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