CDVS Data Chat
The Center for Data and Visualization Sciences consultants can help with a variety of data projects and related computing problems. We are available (in-person or online) weekdays by appointment or according to our walk-in schedule.
Learn more about our areas of expertise below:
Joel HerndonDirector, Center for Data and Visualization Sciences
I am the Director of the Center for Data and Visualization Sciences and act as a liaison with other data groups at Duke and beyond. Additionally, I serve on the management team of Duke Libraries' digital scholarship space: The Edge: The Ruppert Commons for Research, Technology, and Collaboration. My recent research focuses on how universities and research libraries are responding to a growing demand for data science services and training.
Mark ThomasLibrarian for Economics and GIS and Map Specialist
Expertise: Software (ArcGIS, QGIS, Excel, online mapping tools), economic literature, data sources (all formats), maps
I have been working in the Center for Data and Visualization Sciences since its inception in 2007 and currently serve as the subject librarian for economics and business, geographic information systems (GIS), geography, maps and U.S. federal government documents. I began working at Perkins Library in 1996, and from 1990-1996, I worked as a librarian specializing in government documents and maps at Texas A&M University. I earned a Master of Library and Information Science at the University of Texas at Austin and a B.A. in Economics from Rice University.
Drew KeenerMap and Geospatial Data Specialist
Expertise: Web mapping applications, spatial data analysis, map design, GIS software (ArcGIS Pro and QGIS), Tableau, R.
John LittleData Science Librarian
Expertise: Data science, R, RStudio, Tidyverse, data engineering, tidy data, data scraping, web scraping, data wrangling, data cleaning, text mining, sentiment analysis, APIs, version control (git/GitHub) and reproducibility, R Markdown report rendering including dashboards / slide decks (xaringan) / bookdown / blogdown / distill websites, visualization via ggplot2 and plotly
My current interests are using R, RStudio and the Tidyverse in a practical data science context. Additionally I help people manage data projects from gathering to cleaning, analysis to visualization; helping library users implement new data tools; assist the data-curious explore practical data science solutions.
Eric MonsonData Visualization Analyst
Expertise: Software (Tableau, Python, Adobe Illustrator, Gephi, Git, Matlab, ParaView), broad range of scientific and humanities data and visualization, NoSQL databases, regular expressions, text analysis.
As the Data Visualization Analyst, I help students, faculty and staff with data visualization, organization, and processing for their research. My background is in the experimental sciences, where a PhD in Applied Physics led me to work on fluorescence microscopy, chemical nanosensors, and neuron-glial brain cell signaling. From 2007 until I joined CDVS in 2015, I worked as a Research Scientist here at Duke, collaborating with faculty and graduate students from Math to Computational Biology to Art History, helping them visualize and understand their data. In my current position, I enjoy introducing people to important skills they need but were never trained in, whether that means teaching visual design and communication to Scientists, or helping Humanists incorporate technology into their scholarship.
Jen DarraghResearch Data Management Consultant
Expertise: Software (REDCap, Sharepoint, Open Science Framework (OSF), Piktochart), data management workflows, behavioral, social science and health data resources, restricted-use data acquisition, sensitive data management and data security.
I began working in the Center for Data and Visualization Sciences in 2017. My goal is to provide guidance and assistance to Duke researchers from all disciplines in managing their research data. Research data can be anything from spreadsheets, digital surrogates of primary resources, AV files, to compl
Sophia Lafferty-HessResearch Data Management Consultant
Expertise: Software (Open Science Framework (OSF), Dataverse), data management, data sharing, data curation, digital preservation
I began working in the Center for Data and Visualization Sciences in 2017. I specialize in data management best practices including organizing data, documenting data, citing data, and archiving and sharing data. I have a background working in a social science data archive where I curated data for long-term preservation and reuse. I earned a BA in History and Classical Studies from the University of Arkansas and earned a Master of Science of Information Science and Master of Public Administration from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Ryan DennistonLibrarian for Public Policy and Political Science
Expertise: Software (Stata, R, Microsoft Office and VBA programming, NVivo, ArcGIS), social science literature, data analysis, data sources
I currently serve as the subject librarian for public policy and political science and have since 2015. I received my PhD in sociology from Duke University in 2009 and worked part time for both the Center for Data and Visualization Sciences as an associate in research at the Sanford School from 2009-2015. My principal strengths are locating data sources, organization and analysis of data, and locating academic literature in the social sciences.
Paolo MangiaficoScholarly Communications Strategist
I am the Scholarly Communications Strategist at Duke University, co-director of ScholarWorks, a Center for Scholarly Publishing at Duke University Libraries (scholarworks.duke.edu), and more recently a member of CDVS. I also direct the Triangle Scholarly Communication Institute (trianglesci.org), an annual program funded by the Mellon Foundation that brings together leading thinkers and innovators from many disciplines and backgrounds to solve problems and develop initiatives to advance all forms of scholarly communication.
I work with members of the Duke community to plan and implement programs that promote greater reach and impact for scholarship, including open access to publications and data, and emerging platforms for publishing digital scholarship. My work focuses on how new technologies can be adapted to further the knowledge-sharing mission of research universities, and the intersection between social, economic, and technical systems. I provide consulting and training on issues related to copyright and licensing, publication contracts, metrics and impact, ethical issues in research, and other topics related to the way researchers conduct and share their work.
Lauren NicholsData Visualization Analyst
Expertise: Data wrangling, data visualization, visual science communication (figures, talks, presentations, photography). Software: R, ArcGIS, QGIS, Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop.
I help students, faculty and staff identify the stories they are trying to tell with their data and harness tools to tell compelling stories through data visualization. Prior to joining CDVS in 2023 I spent thirteen years as a researcher and project manager, using tools of bioinformatics, community ecology, and citizen science to study the ecology, evolution and biodiversity of human environments. As part of this work I facilitated collaborations with museums, researchers, teachers, engineers, data scientists, students, artists, Tribal Nations and city planners. Working on interdisciplinary teams and with a diversity of stakeholders highlighted the importance of effective communication.
Our Economics Data Interns are current graduate students in the Duke Economics Department, and specialize especially with questions involving statistical software and econometric analysis.