This page outlines the skills I think one needs to be productive in my lab. My choices reflect my research focus (computational linguistics and applied mathematics) and training (PhD in computational neuroscience and MD specializing in toxicology). You don’t have to know everything here. Someone focusing on linguistics doesn’t need to know about Hilbert or Banach spaces. Whichever parts are most relevant to your project, mastery comes from directed learning and focused persistent practice.
science educates humanity, in the original meaning of the word educates. the pursuit of science is a rewarding calling with purpose and intellectual fulfillment. the business of science is destructive, feeding and empowering a scientifically illiterate administrative class. administrative parasitism is not a uniquely modern concern nor is science’s reliance on someone else to make the money1. galileo lauded his patrons at the beginning of his books, usually for about 40-50 pages. To succeed in modern science one needs luck, grit, talent, intellectual honesty, and realpolitick, in that order.
I strive to create a lab where people join because they are interested and inspired in joining me on a mutual voyage of discovery. I expect those working with me not to misrepresent their talents or interests to get a spot nor to phone anything in. (Phoning in is 90’s argot that means to do a poor job because you didn’t really try. Perhaps in the era of the smart phone everyone is phoning in.) This expectation comes partly because I think interesting things happen when smart creative people are given the time to be freely productive and partly because I don’t have the bandwidth or inclination to micromanage.
My focus is on representing biomedical knowledge in a computable format and on developing tools that use those representation to contextualize (and especially assess the plausibility) of knowledge expressed in unstructured text.
Science relying on commerical success, possibly with a government intermediary, is an issue in economies where capitalists horde money, and, hence, means to accomplish things in that type of economy. That isn’t the only way to do things. It is the way in the US. To do science in the US, we must acknowledge the rules of the game. ↩