Member Spotlight

Name (pronouns): Ariel Deardorff (she/her/hers)

Department/Division: UCSF Library Data Science Initiative

Years at UCSF: 4

Role in technology: Data Services Librarian

Ariel Deardorff

What technology project(s) have you worked on that you are most proud of?

I am the most proud of helping start the Library’s Data Science Initiative (DSI): ( back in 2015. We teach and provide consultations in data management, programming in R/Python/SQL, bioinformatics, statistics, open science, and reproducibility. Our team now has 4 people and in the past year taught 74 classes to over 1,200 learners! It has been so exciting to be able to connect the UCSF community to the computational and data training that they need, and we have so many ideas for what we can do in this area.

How has technology helped you achieve a goal within your role or department?

As an open science advocate and researcher I have been brushing up on my programming skills to switch more of my data analysis to the R programming language. Even a little bit of programming can help automate tedious tasks or make your analysis more reproducible. Just yesterday I was trying to remember how I created a figure a couple of months ago and I found the R script that I used to transform and visualize the data. I was able to re-run the script and save myself tons of time and frustration! As a beginning programmer one of my goals in the DSI is to convince everyone that they can also learn to program. It can seem intimidating but there are a lot of people here at UCSF available to help and cheer you on.

What’s your favorite aspect of your role at UCSF and why?

I love that I get to work with all kinds of people at UCSF including students, staff, postdocs, and faculty. In a given day I might teach a data sharing class to a group of postdocs, then work with a team of staff on improving campus data policies or infrastructure, and then meet with a faculty member to talk about organizing data in their lab. There is always something new to learn and I find it very energizing.

What’s one ‘fun fact’ about you that not many people know?

Well I would say that I have started sewing my own clothes (see below) but I am so excited about it that I think people know about it!

What do you like to do when you’re not at work?

This past year I have re-discovered my love of sewing. I finished a quilt and have made several tops, a skirt, and even a pair of shorts! I love geeking out about sewing and other crafts so much that I host a monthly Needlecraft meetup ( in the Library’s Makers Lab. If you love to knit, sew, cross-stitch, or embroider, or want to learn any of those you should come to an upcoming meetup.

If you could learn anything what would that be?

I just signed up for a series of cooking classes to improve my kitchen skills. I am pretty good at following recipes, but want to be better at improvising and cooking based on what I have on hand. I hate food waste and want to be one of those people that can create an amazing meal from odds and ends.