Wednesday, July 31, 2013

The Awesomest 7-Year Post-Doc

Reposted from Women in Astronomy

This week a Scientific American Blog Post by Radhika Nagpal, professor of Computer Science at Harvard made a circulation among my academic Facebook friends, and I thought I'd share it with this community.

Her advice on how she "Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Tenure-Track Faculty Life" can be summarized in the below seven things she did in her first seven years of her faculty appointment at Harvard:

  • I decided that this is a 7-year postdoc.
  • I stopped taking advice.
  • I created a “feel-good” email folder.
  • I work fixed hours and in fixed amounts.
  • I try to be the best “whole” person I can.
  • I found real friends.
  • I have fun “now”.

    While I am not sure if her mindset is as easy to adopt in other subject areas (like astronomy) where the alternative/industry options are less plentiful and the transition out of academia is less obvious, I am happy to hear that someone who only works 50 hours a week was able to obtain tenure at Harvard.

    Tuesday, July 23, 2013

    Yammer / Microsoft is Hiring Data Scientists and Engineers

    Are you interested in Big Data?  Do you want to use your analysis, computational, statistical, and communication skills to help transform a tech company?  

    Social media has dramatically changed the way we share and connect with friends and family, and it will have an even more profound impact on the way companies operate. Yammer and Microsoft provide a secure, private social network for your company. Yammer empowers employees to be more productive and successful by enabling them to collaborate easily, make smarter decisions faster, and self-organize into teams to take on any business challenge. It is a way of working that naturally drives business alignment and agility, reduces cycle times, engages employees and improves relationships with customers and partners.

    Reasons this job is awesome:
    Autonomy - You’ll actually own your projects. This means working directly with your customers from beginning to end on all of your projects. 
    Great team - Do you trust every member of your current team to produce killer work? We do. 
    Impact -From project scope to priority to implementation, you have an impact on what and how things get made. You can point to features and say “I helped make that happen.” 

    Day-to-day work varies greatly, but here’s a small sample of things you might do:
    Help internal customers understand relevant data, and how it should impact their decisions. 
    Work with Product and Engineering teams to define criteria and measure success of new features. 
    Help determine priorities by estimating the potential impact of projects. 
    Triage problems with our product using user engagement data. 

    If you are interested in learning more or applying, please contact me or apply at the following links:

    Monday, July 15, 2013

    Grad School Blues

    Reproduced from Women in Astronomy Blog

    A few years back UC Berkeley did a study of the mental health of graduate students.  The results were quite astounding.

    The study found that 67% of graduate students said they had felt hopeless at least once in the last year; 54% felt so depressed they had a hard time functioning; and nearly 10% said they had considered suicide.  Female respondents were more likely to report feeling hopeless, exhausted, sad, depressed, or suicidal. By comparison, an estimated 9.5% of American adults suffer from depressive disorders, according to the National Institute of Mental Health.