First blog and some words

This is the first blog I created after I put my personal website online. This is the second time I’ve built my personal website. Last time, when I built my first one, I was still in graduate school fighting for my dissertation.

It seems like a Déjà vu, but two websites serve as two different purposes. My first website was mainly used for advertising and job hunting. But the purpose to build the second one is different. Since I’ve already had a great job and enjoyed what I have been doing so far, I would like to have a place to write, post, and share my thoughts, things I think are important, knowledge that I’ve learned, and my daily life.

The main idea to build a personal website again is inspired by three smart persons in our industry.

These 3 smart persons either gave an interesting talk at the conference I’ve attended or hugely influences my research and programming study in the past years. They are Yihui Xie, Keith McNulty, and David Robinson.

Therefore, my first blog post is dedicated to thanking them for their help and inspiration. I also wish you who read my blog to be benefited from them too. Here is some brief introduction about them who influence me to build my website most.

Yihui Xie

Yihui Xie

Figure 1: Yihui Xie

Yihui Xie is a software engineer working at RStudio, PBC. He is a well-known celebrity in the R community and a mainstream power of the R innovation since the 2010s. I have learned a lot from his R-package: knitr, Rmarkdown, Tinytex, bookdown, blogdown, xaringan.

You can easily tell his influence on me from this website:

  • This website is created by blogdown, a R package Yihui bulit for webpage
  • Most of my slides are created by his xaringan and Rmarkdown packages
  • A lot of my project tech reports were created by parameterized Rmarkdown/bookdown and Tinytex which I believe are 3 most important R packages for reproducible report

I have also learned his fun personality, his casual life, and interesting things about his son from his blog. Yihui loves writing and this really inspires me to build a place of my own so that I can post interesting things, share things I’ve learned, ink important things in my life so that I won’t forget in the future.

I was fortunate that I met Yihui in person at RStudio:conf 2019. I have to admit that smart people always have natural Charisma.

Keith McNulty

Keith McNulty

Figure 2: Keith McNulty

I’ve admitted that I have never met Keith in person. But this has never stopped me to receive inspirations from him. Keith is my linkedin connection and somehow I’ve learned a lot from my friends and colleagues.

Keith or Dr. McNulty is the global director, People Analytics and Measurement at McKinsey & Company. You may not know him but you definitely know where he works for, right?

Keith is a passionate Psychometrician (see, I found some similarities between him and me) and enthusiast of the data science. He has his personal blog site talking about data science, people analytics. I admit that I’ve learned a lot and sometimes directly borrow his idea to my website, or blog-writings.

David Robinson

David Robinson

Figure 3: David Robinson

Dr. David Robinson is the principal data scientist at Heap. The idea of building a personal website was initially inspired by his keynote talk at RStudio:conf2019. His talk topic is “The unreasonable effectiveness of public work”.

In his talk, Dr. Robinson laid out the reasons that blogging, open source contribution, and other forms of public work are a critical part of a data science career. I was there, 2 rows behind the podium, and started dreaming about build a website of mine.

If you are interested in his talk, here is the video link.

Ou Zhang
Ou Zhang
Research Scientist & Data Scientist

I’m a research scientist, psychometrician, and data scientist, who loves psychometrics, applied statistics, general data science, and programming.