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Nick Tierney's (mostly) rstats blog

About Me

3 minute read

My name is Nick Tierney. I did my undergrad and honours in Psych, and then took an unconventional turn, and did a PhD in Statistics (under Kerrie Mengersen) in 2018. I now work as a research software engineer with Nick Golding at the Telethon Kids Institute, in Perth, Western Australia. I work on improving and maintaining the greta R package for statistical modelling, and implementing workflows to automate analysis on diseases like COVID19 and malaria.

Previously I was at Monash University (2017-2020), working as a research fellow, then lecturer. I worked with Di Cook in the NUMBAT group, and taught ETC1010, introduction to Data Analysis.

My research focusses on improving data analysis. This includes exploratory data analysis, statistical modelling, diagnostics, and understanding how colour choice can impact decision making.

I believe in free and open source software, and have written several R packages to improve data analysis. These can be seen on my software page. Some R packages I am quite proud of are (visdat) for preliminary exploration of data, and naniar, for improving working with and exploring missing data.

I have also created an optimisation model that identifies and possibly relocates facilities to maximise their coverage on a population, in the R package maxcovr, and am interested in testing if commonly used diagnostics for MCMC methods are used effectively by researchers.

I love the R programming language and how it has transformed my world. I am a proud member of the rOpenSci community, a collective that works to make science open using R. I was the lead organiser of the rOpenSci ozunconf for 2016, 2017, and 2018.

I also co-host a podcast with Saskia Freytag about everything #rstats named “Credibly Curious”.

I am always up for questions about anything to do with R and stats. I was really fortunate to have some really kind people show me the ways of R and statistics, and I want to help people in the same way.

This website exists so I can write about what I do and engage in dialogue with statisticians, programmers, and whoever else is interested.

I am a keen outdoors person, and love hiking and rock climbing. I recently hiked 300K of the Australian Alpine Walking Track, a very rugged adventure, especially when hiking solo.

Over the past years I have MC’d at national and state level climbing competitions, here is a photo of me MCing at the Australian national lead climbing championships in 2015 in Brisbane.

photo of me MCing at the National Lead Climbing Competition

I enjoy photography, and have taken some not-terrible photos of other climbers:

photo of my friend, Neil Jenman, on the submarine boulder in Castle Hill, NZ, underneath the stars

And have also been getting into film photography, which you can follow on my instagram.

I occasionally play guitar, love karaoke, and am a coffee geek.

This website has moved from jekyll to blogdown, and am using a(n increasingly further) tweaked version of Yihui’s, hugo-xmin theme.

Feel free to send me an email at nicholas <dot> tierney {at} [gmail] (dot) com