Andrew Zieffler

Academic. Data lover. Statistics enthusiast.

ReproducibiliTEA Journal Club

This semester I took part in the University of Minnesota’s ReproducibiliTEA Journal Club. Reprodicibility is “a grassroots journal club initiative that helps young researchers create local Open Science journal clubs at their universities to discuss diverse issues, papers and ideas about improving science, reproducibility and the Open Science movement.” (Read more at UMN ReproducibiliTEA Chapter (Fall 2019) The University of Minnesota chapter was sponsored by the Minnesota Center for Philosophy of Science (which meant we had food, coffee, and of course, tea each meeting) and followed the model from clubs in UK and Europe described on OSF.

Two Online Articles

The internet is filled with interesting reads. Some thought-provoking, some inspiring, some enlightening, some just plain fun. Over the past few months I came across two that I would like to share with you. Article 1: How Margaret Dayhoff Brought Modern Computing to Biology The first, How Margaret Dayhoff Brought Modern Computing to Biology was published by The Smithsonian and provided a biological sketch of Margaret Dayoff’s early adoption of computation to catalog and analyze biological data, in her case proteins.


In 2017, my wife and I were fed up with the cost of cable television and were considering “cutting the cord”. In addition to cable, we also had Hulu, Netflix, and Amazon Prime, so our hypothesis was that we probably didn’t need cable. Before making the decision to cut cable, I wanted some data to help ensure that I would not be eliminating many of the TV shows that I watched.

Illustrating the Gender Gap in Fiction

Loganberry Books, an independent bookstore in Cleveland, intitiated a social experiment for in March 2019 called Illustrating the Gender Gap in Fiction. This experiment, in honor of Women’s History Month, was decribed as, “a live performance art project where we will shelve the works by men in our LitArts room backwards”. What a cool idea, and very eye-opening. Shelves of backward books emphasize the gender imbalance in literature. This would likely be worse if the experiment was carried out with mathematics, statistics, and computer science books.

Dissertation Writing

Many times I see students get paralyzed by the idea of writing dissertation (or paper). Anne Lamott gives this advice to struggling writers: Thirty years ago, my older brother, who was ten years old at the time, was trying to get a report on birds written that he’d had three months to write. [It] was due the next day. We were out at our family cabin in Bolinas, and he was at the kitchen table close to tears, surrounded by binder paper and pencils and unopened books on birds immobilized by the hugeness of the task ahead.