Andrew Zieffler

Academic. Data lover. Statistics enthusiast.

Thesis Season

It is the time of the semester when it seems every graduate student wants to make progress on their milestones, and several oral prelim exams and thesis defenses get crammed into a 1–2 week period. In the spirit of what I call “Thesis Season”, here are some good reads to keep this all in perspective. Luke Burns wrote an inspired piece for McSweeney’s entitled FAQ: The “Snake Fight” Portion of Your Thesis Defense.

Helping the Earth

Over the last few years I have tried to be a better steward of Planet Earth. There are a few specific actions that I have committed to that have actually had an impact on my life on a day-to-day basis. I share them with you in case you want to try them as well. Catalog Choice Catalog Choice is a non-profit organizatin whose mission is “to stop junk mail for good”.

Teaching Statistics Reading/Discussion Group

Laura Le is organizing a reading/discussion group at the University of Minnesota in spring 2020 for anyone interested in teaching statistics. The group will meet Mondays from 4:00pm–5:00pm (location TBD). Here is the tentative plan for what this interest group will entail: Prior to the meeting, read/skim one article related to the topic of the week. During the meeting, discuss the topic/article for the first 30 minutes and video chat with a prominent statistics educator on that topic for the last 30 minutes.

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.