Shannon E. Ellis

As an Assistant Teaching Professor in the Cognitive Science department at UCSD, my primary focus is teaching data science and programming to undergraduates in large-enrollment classes. Teaching to and learning from students is the best part of my job! As such, I care deeply about providing my students with a technical education in an inclusive environment. And, while I have a whole lot of students, I do my best to ensure that they all receive the education they want, deserve, and are paying for.

I also love providing programming workshops to individuals/groups interested in learning more about data science and programming. Finally, discussing the work I’ve done to make data science education more inclusive in Baltimore, MD is another favorite pasttime. I look forward to working to make data science more inclusive in my new home city of San Diego, so I am always open to discussing ideas about how to make this possible.


I was a postdoctoral fellow in the biostatistics department at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, where I was fortunate to work with all the wonderful people in Jeff Leek’s group.

During my postdoc, I worked to develop the content for the Cloud-Based Data Science (CBDS), a set of free, online courses to teach the basics of data science to individuls with no background in computing. The eleven course Course Set is available from Leanpub. To supplement CBDS, I also helped to develop and implement CBDS+, an in-person tutoring and job placement program for historically underserved populations in Baltimore City.

I also worked with the data in recount to build predictors capable of accurately predicting critical phenotype information from gene expression, These predictions have been used to improve analyses and better understand expression in humans.

Grad School

I received my Ph.D. in human genetics from the Institute of Genetic Medicine at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. In Dan Arking’s lab I focused on improving our understanding of autism. To do this, I used post-mortem cortical brain samples from autism cases and controls to study alterations in gene expression and methylation.

My Interests

I love analyzing data carefully and teaching others how to do the same! I’m always happy to talk about teaching, data science, all things R (and newly Python), pedagogy, and genetics.

When I’m not busy analyzing data, cursing myself for a bug in my code, or teaching others how to do the same, I am always down to chat about beach volleyball, books, baking, biking, and great podcasts.

For more information, my full CV can be found here.

Shannon Ellis' Github chart