Public Bench Project and other Inner Sunset Beauties

Conquer your neighbourhood, conquer your city, conquer your country, and then go after the rest of the world. That’s my mantra.
— Grandmaster Flash

Not so long ago I was reporting about my discovery of the Little Free Libraries around my adoption neighborhood. There are other beauty scatter around that neighborhood.

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To “Google Scholar” or not…

The reality is simple, even if you do not want it, as a researcher you are something of a public figure. You are probably using public funds to do your research, you most probably train peoples (from undergrads to research assistants) and, sometimes, more than you think actually, you will be googled.

For all kinds of reasons you might not want to tell the world openly what kind of research you are doing (which is actually a shame) or even keep people for knowing your “at bat” scores (e.g. is your work actually being cited at all). Let me tell you a secret, unless you have never published anything, Google Scholar will find you… even if you do not want to.

So do not be shy and make your Google Scholar page public!

The new lazy: non-field specific meeting and journal invitations

We came across your contribution entitled <name of your paper here> published in <journal name here> and thought your expertise would be an excellent fit for <name of this unrelated – to your specialty – congress>.

We invite you as speaker at <full name of congress with dates>.

It is becoming a new form of either spamming or phishing (I still haven’t decided yet) or actually maybe a combination of both, especially that most seem to come from meeting organizers on topics that are completely unrelated to my field of expertise for the said meeting. I now received 7-10 of such invitations per week.

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An interesting resource for PhDs, postdocs and early career researchers

I recently came across the following document by Professor Alan M Johnson, which appears to be distributed freely by Elsevier and entitled “Charting a Course for a Successful Research Career: A Guide for Early Career Researchers – 2nd edition“.

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Is the definition of smart going down the drain?

 

There’s these things called books, it’s like television for smart people

Bill Bryson, Movie A Walk in The Woods

 

A few days ago, we watched the movie A Walk in the Woods, bearing some similarities to Wild (a much better movie in my opinion). It, however, had a wonderful exchange which I jotted down immediately and reproduced as the quote above.

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I wish you better work meetings for 2016…

Meetings are toxic

– 37Signals (and a book called Rework)

If you have got the chance to read the book Rework, if might well be of one the best resolution to start the new year.

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An Efficient and Fun iOS E-mail App: Spark by Readdle

Except for a few months of BitNet e-mail on a VAX mainframe server, I have been using the default UNIX mail app for almost 25 years now. Started with a SUN workstation, moved from SunOS to Solaris, Linux RedHat distribution (and a few others) and ended up on OSX. The nice thing about this is that all my e-mail archives transferred easily from one UNIX flavour to the other!

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O Captain! my Captain!

To Jean Pouliot (1958-2015)

Berkeley 1985 (left) and more recently (right)

The title of this post is from a wonderful and powerful poem by Walt Whitman, delivered to a large public by a passionate performance in the movie Dead Poet Society.

It is here dedicated to my PhD thesis co-supervisor whom, through the years, became of a colleague, a co-conspirator in many fruitful scientific projects for which we successfully “tricked” numerous students to undertake them (as we acted as co-supervisors), and more importantly a dear friend.

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Merry Xmas!

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Free library

It is what you read when you don’t have to that determines what you will be when you can’t help it.
― Oscar Wilde

In walking in my new neighborhood in San Francisco, I got to notice something interesting in front of a couple of houses: small tiny houses! Too big to be bird houses and almost the size of doll houses. The second interesting fact of these houses: they have books in it, protected by a glass or plastic door. The third and final interesting element, they all have the same inscription: take a book, leave a book (as in the picture below).

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How many citations are actually a lot of citations?

In a previous blog post, I suggested to my younger colleagues that while they should not care so much about the impact factor of the journals they published in (as long as these journals are well-read in their respective fields of research), they should care quite a lot about these papers being cited, and cited by others not self-cited!

A few months ago, I was listening to the introductory talk of for a prestigious award from our national organization when one statement hit me: a physicist with 2000 or more citations is part of the 1% most cited physicists worldwide. There might have been a bit more to that statement but let’s work with it.

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À tous mes amis et collègues Français…

Mon coeur saigne. Mes pensés sont avec vous.

Cette image, qui circule sur Facebook, est inspirante dans la situation actuelle.

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Semantic Scholar

A new search engine, Semantic Scholar,  is being proposed to the scientific community and it uses artificial intelligence. Right now it is limited to computer science papers according to the website.

Let see how this one evolves!

 

Coming back to life… and on starting a sabbatical year dedicated to scientific research

Well, it has been a long pause but blog posts should be coming at a more regular pace from now on.

For those who might wonder, in between summer vacation and preparing myself, my research group and my family for a sabbatical year in California, I simply did not had the time to update this blog in August and September.

This is my first ever sabbatical (allowed once every 7 years at my university) and since taking my position in 2000 is has been the longest stretch I have ever been at one place. So all in all, this change of environment will, I expect, be energizing!

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WiFi Sync back to Papers with version 3.3.0

Well for those of us who have very large PDF libraries, version 3.3.0 of Papers is bringing back WiFi Sync across devices. Let’s see how good is this version compare to Papers 2.7.

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