March 03, 2015

8:14 PM | Brain regions and their functions
[Note: this infographic is intended for use in my online class, The Canine Brain: From Neurons to Behavior, which starts tomorrow (March 3, 2015). Check it out if dog brains interest you, and/or if you're a dog trainer looking for CEUs!]
6:00 PM | My thesis is a cupcake, not a dragon
My twin sister, Anitra Nottingham, finished her masters by research in the Faculty of education at the University of Melbourne last year. She sent me this post when she was towards the end of her project in a moment of clarity… My friend Kevin has a Ph.D. His dissertation is about folklore, which means knows […]

February 28, 2015

11:54 PM | February Favorites
OMG!!! I cannot believe that in February I have posted just 4 times :( I am so sorry everyone for this inconvenience, but this month was terrible for me. I had extra work to do for university, I have finished my dissertation project, I participated at Tomorrow’s Mathematicians Today Conference, and my time-table is horror. But, […]

February 27, 2015

11:18 PM | The Organization and Execution of a Postdoc-Run Symposium
Name: Sarah Mazzilli, PhD, Boston University Date: October 2-3 2014 Locat...
5:51 PM | Do spayed and neutered dogs get cancer more often?
[Note: this post was originally published at the lovely Julie Hecht's Dog Spies blog at Scientific American.]Where I live, in America, it’s taken for granted that responsible owners spay or neuter their dogs. The population of homeless animals is still large enough that risking an unwanted litter is, to many owners, unthinkable. And spay/neuter is just what people do. But two papers were published, in 2013 and 2014, suggesting that these widely accepted surgical procedures may lead […]

February 24, 2015

6:00 PM | Thesis Prison
Family Thesiswhisperer has spent the last month in our hometown of Melbourne. We caught up with many friends and relatives while we were there, some of whom are doing or have just completed doctorates. One friend got pregnant twice during her doctorate and had a longer journey than most. While we raised a glass to […]

February 23, 2015

4:50 PM | The Health Professionals of Crime Scene Clean-ups
Written by Kevin Fullerton. You’ve seen it on the streets, blocked by police tape reading, “POLICE LINE DO NOT CROSS”. Crowds gather around. Blue lights flicker intermittently, on and off. You know something dreadful has happened – but you don’t consider what happens next. After a horrible crime has been committed, the victims are bundled…

February 21, 2015

3:41 PM | Finding the Right Confidence Interval
“Stick to your guns.” “Put your nickel down.” “Stand your ground.” If you’re a medical student, there is an excellent chance you have heard one of these in the course of your training. Confidence is... -- Read more on

February 17, 2015

11:00 PM | Citizen Science: What, Why, and How
This is a post I’ve been intending to write for a long, long time.  It’s a lot easier to write about my day to day life as an ecologist and PhD student.  In fact, any time I turn my computer on to write something that isn’t about me or about my personal research, I get this super intense surge of imposter syndrome.  I’ll stop the unnecessary preamble there for now.  It’s just my attempt to keep my writing in this space authentic, as I think […]
6:00 PM | The Post PhD Blues
This post is written by Brian Flemming, a mathematician working as a Systems Engineer in Edinburgh.  He has recently completed an Engineering Doctorate (EngD) as a mature student at Heriot Watt University, which he found an intensive and enjoyable experience, and which he credits with greatly increasing the effectiveness and authority of his work.  He […]
11:16 AM | AstraZeneca Licences Labguru
We are very pleased and excited to announce that AstraZeneca have licensed Labguru for use in their organization. Scientists will use the Labguru platform across multiple AstraZeneca sites in North America and Europe, replacing and consolidating several legacy systems spanning several scientific disciplines. Its modular web-based system offers an easy means of tracking projects, protocols, biological collections and materials, as well as streamlining collaboration between members of the lab […]

February 16, 2015

10:03 PM | History of Cryptology
These days, Cryptology has became part of my life. Everything because on Saturday I am going to have a small talk about the evolution of Cryptology from the beginning to modern day. It is nothing fancy, just a 20 minutes presentation (find more about this on my post: A Surprise). I liked a lot the […]

February 14, 2015

10:23 PM | Gwen: A butterfly flaps its wings and creates hurricanes
Gwen [1] was Dumbledore [2]. She was a teacher at and founder and leader of Open Alternative School [1] (OAS), where I attended grade school and middle school. We wanted to do what she asked because we trusted her and disappointing her was the worst! She had an ageless quality about her. Her hair had been white, since forever. She almost always wore […]

February 13, 2015

7:47 PM | Mathematics and Love
We are extremely extremely close to 14th February – Valentine’s Day. And I thought that talking or, more precisely, presenting some of the more beautiful and interesting mathematics concepts that have to do with love. 1. Graphs - I will start with this with hearts, but not those boring or to artistic drawings of heart such […]

February 11, 2015

4:02 PM | Chemistry in Labguru - Notes from the Team
Being a web-based company that caters to a specific market lets us roll out useful stuff on a pretty fast timeline. This week, we pushed out an update that lets our researchers add chemical structures and chemical reaction drawings to their experiments. (More here). We're using MarvinJS from ChemAxon, one of the most respected names in the cheminformatics industry. This is the first step on our chemistry roadmap - which we'd like to share with you here: Structure Drawing - Step 1 You are […]

February 10, 2015

6:00 PM | So, you’re starting a PhD?
This month, all around Australia, there will be a whole crop of PhD students starting their degree. It’s an exciting time, but a nerve-wracking one as well. Here’s another post to help you start your journey! This post is by Erika Harris, PhD Candidate. Erika has a Master’s degree in Education, General Education and has […]

February 09, 2015

5:30 PM | Aerosol Transmission of CCHF Virus in a Nosocomial Cluster
This has got to be scary stuff right there. In a paper published in the International Journal of Infectious Diseases, authors contend that it is possible that eight healthcare workers were infected by the CCHF virus while engaged in patient care, and not all of them were in contact with the blood or bodily fluids…
4:44 PM | On Campus…
  So wandering around campus, after a paperwork meeting, in the campus lab, I saw one of my favorite things: something completely unexpected and random. Let’s investigate! Aside: I think this works best if you imagine the pink panther theme in the background or whatever your favorite “sneaking” song is. Pink panther is what I […]
3:10 PM | #50for2015: 1. Being Mortal by Atul Gawande
 I am on a reading project this year, where I try and attempt to read fifty books in the course of the year (more details here) and although I am slightly late in running the contest, I just finished reading my first of the fifty, a masterpiece from Dr. Atul Gawande, the surgeon who wields…

February 07, 2015

6:59 PM | Ashley Zelinskie
I start to enjoy looking for artists that embrace mathematics and show us wonderful mathematical properties through their work. This time I have Ashley Zelinskie. She is an artist based in Brooklyn, N.Y. Her work blurs the lines between art and technology, and spans a variety of media from sculpture to computer programs. After receiving a degree […]
12:43 AM | Part 3 - And Now for Something Completely Different
How We Came to be Here - A Story in Three PartsThis week STS will be sharing stories of coming to careers in STEM fields.  We hope we can offer three different perspectives on finding your career path, navigating higher education, and deciding how and when your journey needs to change.  We’d love to hear any and all of your stories about finding your calling or your struggles/victories if you’re still trying to figure it out right now.  Please share!  It’s […]

February 05, 2015

6:51 PM | ICYMS 3, Student Edition: Get More Out of Your Salts with Bijay Bhattarai
In the past, In Case You Missed Seminar has focused on the achievements of a traveling scholar who recently visited Michigan for a talk. This time, though, we'll take a look at some research done by a second-year student gearing up for their departmental seminar. Bijay Bhattarai is a second-year organic chemistry student in Dr. Pavel Nagorny's research group. Dr. Nagorny's group pursues natural product synthesis with particular emphasis on the chemistry of sugars and other carbohydrates. […]
1:31 AM | Part 2: Money isn’t Everything - or - Breaking up with Science
How We Came to be Here - A Story in Three PartsThis week STS will be sharing stories of coming to careers in STEM fields.  We hope we can offer three different perspectives on finding your career path, navigating higher education, and deciding how and when your journey needs to change.  We’d love to hear any and all of your stories about finding your calling or your struggles/victories if you’re still trying to figure it out right now.  Please share!  It’s […]

February 04, 2015

10:09 PM | Hunger Games and Mathematics
Don’t be surprised, if you have read my post January Favorites, you saw that my favorites books for January are The Hunger Games Trilogy. As promised here are some good mathematical concepts that the books offer us. We just have to open our eyes and enjoy maths. So lets start understanding the concepts. Firstly, I don’t […]
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