Building R Skills Using All of Us Data

Diving into the world of data analytics and R programming, especially when exploring the rich datasets of the All of Us Research Program, can be both exciting and daunting. To facilitate this learning journey, HSLS has designed the “Applying Probability and Data with R to All of Us Datasets” self-paced learning module* to act as a perfect complement to the “Introduction to Probability and Data with R” course on Coursera, created by Duke University’s Professor Mine Çetinkaya-Rundel. This module is not just about bridging the gap between foundational R programming and statistical concepts; it’s tailored to specifically illuminate the All of Us coding templates, ensuring that the concepts covered are directly applicable to the real-world data challenges of the database. With the flexibility to engage with just the Duke course, solely our HSLS module, or a combination of both, you can tailor a learning experience that perfectly suits your educational needs and aspirations.

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Featured Class: Graphic Design with Canva

Join us for this class:
Wednesday, April 10, 10:30 a.m.-noon, Online
Taught by Rachel Suppok
Register for Graphic Design with Canva*

Learn how to make attention-getting posters, presentation graphics, and social media posts with Canva, a free online graphic design platform. This hands-on class will show you how to create an account, find free templates and stock photos, upload your own images, and download or print your finished product. Basic elements of design will also be discussed.

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Therapy Dog Visit and More During Finals Week at Falk Library

Blue the therapy dog returns for pets and snuggles at Falk Library on Monday, April 22, from 1 to 2 p.m. When you stop by the library to see Blue, grab some snacks for yourself as well! Granola bars, cookies, and other sweets will be available throughout the week as you finish up semester projects and study for final exams.

If you are coming to the library to study with friends, remember to reserve a group study room up to seven days in advance. Rooms are available with valid Pitt ID for four hours at a time. With your Pitt ID, you are also able to borrow portable power outlets, charging cords, and other technology from the Main Desk.

During finals week, Falk Library will be open regular hours, staying open until midnight from Sunday, April 21 through Thursday, April 25.

A white golden retriever is being petted by three young women in a classroom.
Students visiting with Blue during finals week in December 2023.

Treasures from the Rare Book Room: Welcome back. You belong here!

A book’s subject matter and significance to a medical historical collection are sometimes outshone by the fascinating provenance or story of the material object, the physical copy itself. And such is the case with the work of Edward Stanley, the well-respected surgeon to St. Bartholomew’s Hospital.

The first American edition of Stanley’s “A Treatise on Diseases of the Bones” (Philadelphia, 1849) is a cornerstone of our rheumatism collection. The systematic treatise on bone diseases was anticipated and well received by its 19th-century audience. Falk Library previously owned two copies of this important book. However, in the process of managing collections, one sometimes has to make tough choices. And so, in the late 1970s, the library deduplicated its holdings to make room for new acquisitions. How was it decided which copy should be deaccessioned? Both books had an interesting local provenance. Both were owned and donated to the library by Pitt professors who were instrumental in creating the seed book collection for the School of Medicine in the 19th century. It is difficult now to judge why the selection was made, but at the time, it was the copy from the Dr. Albert G. Walter collection that was chosen for removal from the library. The book then entered the private collectors’ market.

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HSLS Staff News

The HSLS Staff News section includes recent HSLS presentations, publications, staff changes, staff promotions, degrees earned, and more.


Michele Klein-Fedyshin, Research and Clinical Instruction Librarian, and Andrea Ketchum, Research and Instruction Librarian Emerita, won the 2024 Ida and George Eliot Prize from the Medical Library Association. Read more about the authors’ award-winning publication in this issue of the HSLS Update.

Sera Thornton, HSLS Instructional Design Lead, was featured in a University Times article representing the Provost’s Standing Committee on Open Educational Resources, which she chairs. The article discusses the various initiatives at Pitt aimed at increasing textbook affordability.

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