Dispatches

Effectively communicating scientific information

How do scientists make effective connections with the public?

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Thought about imperial units

As a European, I’ve never been interested in working with the imperial units. But today I want to talk about a good point I discovered in it.

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New paper out in G3:Genes|Genomes|Genetics!

The recent work of Chuyue Yang, a talent undergraduate (now recently graduated!), and graduate student Adam Hockenberry is now online. This work is a part of a multi-year collaboration with Professor Michael Jewett investigating the mechanisms by which the sequence of messenger-RNA can influence its translation. In this particular work, ...

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post hoc != propter hoc

Lest I scare you away immediately, let me clarify that the topic of this blog is only marginally about the ethics of animal research. Rather, it’s about making a cogent argument. And more specifically, about the sense of nausea I feel when reading terrible arguments from people who should know ...

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Interesting facts about China

It surprises me that there exists so many misconceptions about China, my homeland. Some of them are really hilarious, while others are both funny and annoying. Let’s begin with some famous American Chinese food. Only after I found myself chewing a piece of paper did I realize what the fortune ...

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How much was the Japanese Imperial Palace worth?

With the Japanese Emperor attempting to abdicate the throne this week, it is a good time to reflect on the significance of the event. While not odd historically (the Emperors in Heian Era resigned fairly often), this is the first resignation in the modern era. Whether he will actually be ...

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How I estimate time

How good are you at making short-term predictions about your own future?

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Traveling alone

Don’t be afraid to explore the world by yourself

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Unintended effects of data privacy in healthcare

I would like to draw attention to an instance where I believe the pendulum has swung too far: the Healthcare Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA)

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R v Python: Dawn of Analytics

A fresh yet slightly biased perspective on the recent data science language war.

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The State of Soccer

Can soccer be the new Budweiser?

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The ultimate book about folktales

I’d like to use my first blog post to advertise the ultimate story book – which also happens to be one of the most successful works of information-based science: the Aarne-Thompson index. Briefly, this index tries nothing less than to identify and categorize every folklore tale. Although the first version of the index is more than a hundred years old, it has stayed as a useful tool for folklore research ever since. Parts of the success of the Aarne-Thompson index seem to stem from time-less design decisions for organizing data.

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Environment issue in my hometown

At the end of each day of work, I look up at the vivid blue sky and smell the aroma of the many beautiful flowers as I make my way back to my apartment. Every weekend, I wander around the shore of Lake Michigan and feel the fresh breeze blowing across the lake. I believe that the pleasant natural environment, such as the green plants, the blue sky and lake, and chirping birds, is always the best stress reliever for me. However, whenever I am enjoying these gifts of nature, one question nags at my mind: What has happened to the environment in my hometown during the last 20 years?

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Toward a Social Contract in Data Journalism

In the ongoing saga of American politics, we the voters have seen some pretty improbable things this election cycle. But to many, the starkest instance of the improbable has been Donald Trump’s rise to presumptive nominee for the GOP. But I won’t be talking about the situation in question – instead I want to discuss the state of data journalism in the wake of this campaign season.

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The Impact of Brazil's Crises on Science

Brazil spends about 1% of its GDP on research and development, an amount far below what other countries of similar means invest into science. The economic and political crises has made things even worse for science. Recently, the government proposed several cuts that directly affect the future of research in Brazil.

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The foreCite Index

Check out the foreCite Index, a new bibliometric indicator built from a rigorous framework of the statistics of citations.

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Come to Nicolás Peláez's Public Thesis Presentation on March 11th

Nicolás “Fly-Eye” Peláez clocks up another win for science.

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Peter Winter awarded PhD

Bystanders were left in awe.

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The Problem with Intuition

Today I want to talk about quantum entanglement. No, not the details but the idea of entanglement and how it, and other radical ideas like it, can challenge our intuition.

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No tienes...

Yesterday, the day before Thanksgiving break, was a really quiet morning. I could write about thanksgiving, something about the Spanish perspective, but we had a funny afternoon and I prefer to talk about it. We had lunch around noon and we talked about our annual “Trivia Tournament”. The rules are simple: each of us writes at least five questions; a “referee” mixes the questions into a single PowerPoint and hides the answers. During the tournament, the referee presents the questions and scores the players: one positive if the answer is correct, one negative if the answer is incorrect. There are three winners: who has the most positive points, the most negative points, and the most total points (positive plus negative points).

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