Big website update!

Lots of new papers http://bit.ly/uALb9y and software http://bit.ly/suMLg1


New paper on brain gene expression dynamics in Nature!



Graduate student data analysis inspired by a high-school teacher


(Source: simplystatistics)


Simply Statistics Post:

Roger on finding good collaborators.


Leek group research on the genomics of trauma appears in the Philadelphia Inquirer http://bit.ly/pC43Bg


Double KS package available from BioC!

Link:http://bit.ly/qPmHeO Paper: http://bit.ly/rbBxJS


simplystatistics data scientist R function:

“Data scientist” is one of the buzzwords in the running for rebranding applied statistics mixed with some computing. David Champagne, over at Revolution Analytics, described the skills for being a data scientist with a Venn Diagram. Just for fun, I wrote a little R function for determining…

Tags: R fun DIY

Submitting scientific papers is too time consuming

Over at our blog Simply Statistics, why submitting papers is too time consuming: simplystatistics:

As an academic who does a lot of research for a living, I spend a lot of my time writing and submitting papers. Before my time, this process involved sending multiple physical copies of a paper by snail mail to the editorial office. New technology has changed this process. Now to submit a paper you generally have to: (1) find a Microsoft Word or Latex template for the journal and use it for your paper and (2) upload the manuscript and figures (usually separately). This is a big improvement over snail mail submission! But it still takes a huge amount of time. Some simple changes would give academics back huge blocks of time to focus on teaching and research. 

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Getting email responses from busy people


I’ve had the good fortune of working with some really smart and successful people during my career. As a young person, one problem with working with really successful people is that they get a ton of email. Some only see the subject lines on their phone before deleting them. 

I’ve picked up a few tricks for getting email responses from important/successful people:  

The SI Rules

  1. Try to send no more than one email a day. 
  2. Emails should be 3 sentences or less. Better if you can get the whole email in the subject line. 
  3. If you need information, ask yes or no questions whenever possible. Never ask a question that requires a full sentence response.
  4. When something is time sensitive, state the action you will take if you don’t get a response by a time you specify. 
  5. Be as specific as you can while conforming to the length requirements. 
  6. Bonus: include obvious keywords people can use to search for your email. 

Anecdotally, SI emails have a 10-fold higher response probability. The rules are designed around the fact that busy people who get lots of email love checking things off their list. SI emails are easy to check off! That will make them happy and get you a response. 

It takes more work on your end when writing an SI email. You often need to think more carefully about what to ask, how to phrase it succinctly, and how to minimize the number of emails you write. A surprising side effect of applying SI principles is that I often figure out answers to my questions on my own. I have to decide which questions to include in my SI emails and they have to be yes/no answers, so I end up taking care of simple questions on my own. 

Here are examples of SI emails just to get you started: 

Example 1

Subject: Is my response to reviewer 2 ok with you?

Body: I’ve attached the paper/responses to referees.

Example 2

Subject: Can you send my letter of recommendation to john.doe@someplace.com?


Keywords = recommendation, Jeff, John Doe.

Example 3

Subject: I revised the draft to include your suggestions about simulations and language

Revisions attached. Let me know if you have any problems, otherwise I’ll submit Monday at 2pm. 


A post over at our new blog, Simply Statistics, on meetings. No talk Thursdays, I’m a fan!


In this TED talk Jason Fried explains why work doesn’t happen at work. He describes the evils of meetings. Meetings are particularly disruptive for applied statisticians, especially for those of us that hack data files, explore data for systematic errors, get inspiration from visual inspection,…

Tags: Advice