Wednesday, September 28, 2016

I forgot about self-promotion.

Yesterday at a faculty meeting, we started the meeting by being asked what the most exciting thing going on with us was.

Excited about teaching computing skills
I was pretty stoked because this class I'm teaching - and introduction to research computing topics - has been super-well attended (there's an option to take it for credit, or anyone can show up for a single session). It's a hands-on introduction to computing topics (e.g., SSH, SFTP, HPC, command line scripting, etc), and later it will be more domain-specific topics across different departments at my institution. I've been doing assessments after each class, and getting really constructive feedback, which is awesome. And, attendance has been awesome!

Exciting?! I got this!

I piped up about this being the most exciting thing right now. Then, in an effort to keep it brief so we could get on with the meeting, let the next person go. Short and sweet. Well done, self.

So... everyone else in attendance made sure to highlight multiple current research projects in their lab, and current/pending publications.

Right. Yes. Listening to everyone do this, I realized that is probably what I should have been focusing on too.



In my excitement about how well this computing teaching has been going, I forgot to mention those things that I probably should have. Those things academics value, for self-promotion, even among colleagues. They won't know unless I tell them.

Papers
For example, I should probably have mentioned that the lab has had two publications this month, and another coming out next week:
Narang P and Wilson Sayres MA. 2016. Variable autosomal and X divergence near and far from genes affects estimates of male mutation bias in great apes. Genome Biology and Evolution (accepted).  
Pagani L… Wilson Sayres MA… et al. 2016. Genomic analyses inform on migration events during the peopling of Eurasia. Nature (advanced access online). doi:10.1038/nature19792. 
Webster TH and Wilson Sayres MA. 2016. Sex-biased demography across human populationsCurrent Opinion in Genetics and Development  3(41): 62-71. doi:10.1016/j.gde.2016.08.002 
Data
And, I also didn't mention that we've got some really great RNAseq data back, as part of a collaboration that we're starting to analyze. Seriously, it's the prettiest data I've seen to date, just look at it!! 

It's okay, you can be jealous.
Back to work
I'm really not sure what the best approach is. I *love* talking about my research. I do it incessantly. But, I also get distracted (I'd say, "motivated") by things outside of lab that are going well. For now, I'd better get back to work, so I'll have new science things to talk about the next time someone asks about how things are going. :)

4 comments:

Christopher Coldren said...

You make several valid points about self promotion, and I'm also impressed with the FASTQC plot.

I'm curious, do you know if the q-scores are reduced? As described here? http://www.illumina.com/documents/products/whitepapers/whitepaper_datacompression.pdf

I think it is possible that reduced q-scores would make a "regular good" plot look like an "awesome good" plot.
I don't have direct experience with reduced scores, but I do rely on the subjective aspects of QC plots, and I try to stay uncomfortable with that!

mathbionerd said...

From the plot, there is some binning.

Christopher Coldren said...

It's always tricky! I'm sure that the success or (near success) of this will hinge on experimental design, and not base calling. Charge!

Mark P said...

Yep--correct call on self-promotion, even locally. It's a tough skill for many of us to learn but it pays off. I had a next door neighbor colleague and his wife take me out to lunch and read me the riot act on this when I was a boy....