Ideas

Learning from our search history

Origin of the idea Recently the team I work with has had a few new members and I’ve been thinking lately of ways we could try to help them. The team leader was traveling this week, which gave me the opportunity to come up with a new type of session and test it out. That’s the origin of this learning from our search history idea. We tested it today and I’m quite happy with the results so far, so I thought it would be useful to document what we did and share it with others.

What about a lawyer-like app as the minimum help for defendants in immigration cases?

Today I attended the special panel discussion event at JHSPH called “Separated: Children Separation at the Border A Health and Human Rights Perspective”. It got my mind racing and here’s an idea. It’s likely (definitely) incomplete, but maybe it’ll get others to think on related ideas. Image source Panel summary The panel was composed by: Colleen Kraft, President, American Academy of Pediatrics Eric Schwartz, President, Refugee International George Escobar, Chief of Program and Services, CASA de Maryland Paul Spiegel, Director, Center for Humanitarian Health I missed the first 30 minutes or so but I still got to listen to most of it.

An alternative to the Mexico-US wall where the US would gain millions of dollars

tl;dr There is a 600 million to 2 billion USD annual market related to crossing the Mexico-US border. Allow temporary work visas (say 3 years) to take over this market and use the money to boost the US Border Patrol to build a wall of eyes, not a physical wall. President Trump of the United States of America, cc President Peña Nieto of the United Mexican States

What are reasonable work hours and salary expectations for biostats/genomics careers?

My advisor recently asked me to fill a career planning document (he’ll blog about it at some point) that has lots of questions and is being very useful. Trying to fill answer all these questions has gotten me thinking about other important things for the future. Two of them being reasonable expectations for work hours and salary in a biostats/genomics academic career. I find these questions hard to answer and even hard to talk about, and if you know me, I’m a person that asks lots of questions.

Keeping in touch (ENAR2014?) and philosophical questions regarding México's future in genomics

The following text is an email I sent to several of my friends from the LCG undergraduate program I studied. There I talk about keeping in touch, I invite them to ENAR 2014, and also talk about some philosophical questions regarding our future. I’m posting it here because I don’t mind sharing these thoughts and because I don’t have the current email addresses of many former LCG students.Enjoy

What does it take to be a good leader?

Leader: scientific or project In my mind before trying to answer this question I have to define leader. Right now I have two —possibly conflicting— leaders in mind. One is a scientific leader in the sense of a leader in a specific scientific discipline. The other is a leader who can organize and lead projects, either scientific ones (across labs for example) or what I want to call revolutionary projects. With such a grandiose name I am trying to cover the type of projects that can help change a country.

Have you been 'relative stupid'?

I enjoyed reading “The importance of stupidity in scientific research" by Martin A. Schwartz which I learned existed through @hmason and @simplystats. I found the point of how it’s normal to feel stupid in academia and specially in Ph.D. programs to be illuminating. But Schwartz clarifies that there are other kinds of stupid: we don’t do a good enough job of teaching our students how to be productively stupid – that is, if we don’t feel stupid it means we’re not really trying.

Commenting scientific papers

I’ve been thinking about commenting papers in blog posts. I did a few some long time ago, but now I’m thinking of doing this activity more systematically. There are several reasons why I’m thinking of doing this, say for 1 paper a week. It has the obvious advantage of forcing me to read a paper in depth per week. At the same time, I want to learn more from others. See what I like in other papers and maybe avoid some mistakes.

Why aren't all of our graphs interactive?

During the last pre-happy hour seminar, Karl Broman talked about Why aren’t all of our graphs interactive? I didn’t know, but a few years ago Karl worked in the department and clearly promoted beer-drinking and is the heart of the department. I’m a fan of our pre-happy hour seminars since you have a get to listen to good/fun talks over a beer or two. But I’m also a fan of reproducible research and useful graphics.

An Online Bioinformatics Curriculum

Last week I talked about online courses in my JHSPH-Biostat through Coursera post. Now I’m back to comment on An Online Bioinformatics Curriculum by David B. Searls. Sur Herrera pointed out this paper to me, and I have to say that if you are considering learning bioinformatics online it will be very useful to you. David Searls first goes through a history recap of online (free) courses. Notably, in the last year Coursera and other startups offered their first courses.