DEI Speaker Series: Mars Lee


Drawing the Future: Making Scientific Python More Accessible with Comics

The US-RSE Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Working Group (DEI-WG) is proud to present the next talk in the US-RSE DEI Speaker Series, from Mars Lee.

Date/Time: December 14, 2022 3:00-4:00 ET (12:00-1:00 PT)

Register Now!


Comics are an unexpected but incredibly powerful medium! Through illustrations, story and humor, comics invite under-represented groups into open source software (OSS) and introduce new topics.

This talk will highlight the speaker’s recent comic: “How to Write Alt Text For Scientific Diagrams and Documentation”. By breaking down accessibility concepts into byte-sized pieces, readers learn, laugh, and bring back actionable steps to their own OSS projects.

But how did an illustrator end up in the Scientific Python space in the first place? Find out as the speaker recounts her journey from outsider to collaborator. She lays out the intensely collaborative comic-making process, from discussion with domain experts, translating technical concepts, drawing, and printing.

She also highlights how deliberate community-building and funding of DEI set the ground for her work. Specifically, the structural and cultural changes in the NumPy community funded by the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative (CZI) grants.

Through this give and take, this talk aims for attendees to understand the power of design in OSS. And ultimately, for attendees of all skill sets to start doodling their own comics!

About the Speaker

Mars Lee, Quansight

Mars Lee is a Technical Illustrator at Quansight, where she makes byte-sized comics that explain technical topics. She is part of the NumPy and Open Source Design community. She was also an Early Career Keynote Speaker at the RSE Asia Australia Unconference 2022. You might have seen her rollerskate by, comics in hand, at SciPy 2022. Feel free to connect at or

US-RSE DEI-WG Speaker Series

The US-RSE Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Working Group (DEI-WG) is working to bring to the US-RSE community quarterly visits from RSE professionals with vested interests or research into DEI in the RSE community at large. Our community pledges to continually educate ourselves through research on best practices focused on diversity, equity, and inclusion. The US-RSE is committed to providing an inclusive environment with equitable treatment for all and to promoting and encouraging diversity throughout the RSE community. We encourage everyone to suggest speakers and topics and are open to different formats and timelines of the events. Feedback is much appreciated.