Saturday, October 11, 2014

Time to restart the blogging

There are several reasons to blog. One is that I have recently started a new job as a college professor (yay!!!), which supposedly should provide me with a never-ending stream of new exciting things to say to the world. I am still to figure out how to blog about them though. All I can think about these days is teaching: methodology, practice, syllabi, activities, homeworks, etc. etc. But in my head all these questions are very much linked to those 2 particular courses I'm teaching now, and I can't blog about courses themselves, you see, as it would not be professional. So I now need to develop some "translation mechanisms", to generalize and anonymize whatever thoughts I have, to make them suitable for broadcasting. It will take some time probably, but I'd better start now.

Another reason to blog is that students started googling me up, and so I need to keep my sites updated. That's a downside of blogging under a real name: in a situation like that you can't just stop blogging, as people will continue googling you anyway. And then they would read your opinions from some 3 or 5 years ago: opinions you don't necessarily endorse anymore. So the only way to ensure that your internet presence doesn't embarrass you too much is to update it regularly.

Finally, I start to feel somewhat scientifically-lonely. For the first time in years I have people around with whom I can discuss botany, ornithology and physics, but I now have almost nobody to discuss ion channels and neural networks with. It's not quite likely that blogging would necessarily help with this issue directly, yet it wold be nice to feel a part of some virtual academic community that extends beyond the limits of the campus.

We'll see how it goes!

2 comments:

  1. Congrats on the faculty job... I'd be curious where you placed yourself on the CIF graph
    http://khakhalin.blogspot.com/2012/11/cumulative-impact-factor-benchmarking.html
    And whether the application process changed your view of it at all

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    Replies
    1. Thanks!

      As for the CIF plot, I'm still ridiculously low on it. My adjusted CIF (according to the methodology of that old post) is about 15 maybe, and on top of that I had 2 papers in manuscript heavily advertised in the job talk, with CIF of some 10-15 more. So not nearly 100, but rather 30 at best.

      But here's the thing: all PIs on the plot work in top-notch research universities, while I applied almost entirely to teaching colleges, and got an offer from a liberal arts college. Therefore I'm not even sure whether my case refutes or supports this old plot. For selective liberal arts colleges publications are also important, but your papers are not nearly the only factor they take into consideration.

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