PhDs.org Blog

A comprehensive collection of articles for you to become well versed in the world of science and engineering.

April 24th, 2008

PE for grad students, part 2

This month’s Wired has more on the exercise/cognitive function connection : aerobic exercise helps, weight lifting doesn’t. They also have a rundown on drugs that allegedly enhance cognitive functioning, handy for any who are thinking about emulating the 20% of scientists admitting to using brain-boosting drugs in a recent, informal survey in Nature. The drugs … read more


April 22nd, 2008

PE for grad students?

Do the following strike you as things that graduate students or postdocs excel at? make plans keep track of time keep track of more than one thing at once meaningfully include past knowledge in discussions engage in group dynamics evaluate ideas reflect on our work change our minds and make mid-course and corrections while thinking, … read more


April 20th, 2008

“How Scientific Gains Abroad Pay Off in the U.S.”

An interesting piece in today’s NY Times: http://www.nytimes.com/2008/04/20/technology/20ping.html Quick summary: it’s getting easier for US companies to farm out research tasks to low wage countries. America is becoming a “postscientific society”: our future value-add will be in “product design, marketing and finance” not in scientific innovation. In the short-term at least, higher spending on scientists … read more


April 16th, 2008

Graduate Education at Stanford

Mark Horowitz, Associate Vice Provost for Graduate Education at Stanford, gave a talk at Google a few weeks ago about some of the things Stanford is working on to enhance the quality of its graduate programs. After many years (a decade or more?) of having no senior leadership with responsibility for graduate education at the … read more


February 6th, 2008

Graduate School Guidance

One key data set I used in building the Graduate School Guide was IPEDS, which is put out by the Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics. IPEDS is incredibly useful for this kind of thing: the data set contains a near-complete list of all colleges and universities in the country together with detailed … read more


January 24th, 2008

Pardon the dust

I’ve spent the last 6 weeks of vacation time and weekends sequestered in a secure undisclosed location busily upgrading phds.org. The long-promised upgrade to our graduate school guide is now out, and the whole site has been moved over to a much faster (and hopefully more reliable) server. You should now be seeing a much … read more


December 7th, 2007

Fixing the NIH grant-making process

There’s a piece in this week’s Chronicle about some possible changes in the NIH’s grant-making process. About 6 months ago, the NIH solicited suggestions from the general public for ways to improve the process, and an advisory committee has been sifting through the thousands of ideas they received. The article describes a few broad classes … read more


November 27th, 2007

White House Round Table Views

There were two viewpoints that were in evidence at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy meeting on graduate and postdoctoral education earlier this month. The first view, which was most thoughtfully articulated by Michael Teitelbaum, Vice President of the Sloan Foundation, is that the national discussion on science funding has focused too … read more


November 15th, 2007

White House Roundtable

Peter and I have just returned from “Evolving Demands in Graduate Education, Training and Career Development for Future STEM Professionals,” a workshop hosted by the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. The meeting was in some ways a testament to the potential of young scientists and engineers to influence the community. Sharon Hays, … read more


October 14th, 2007

Breaking radio silence

I’ve been pretty quiet these past few weeks – know that it’s been for good reasons! First, I’ve been head-down, in-the-trenches hacking away at some improvements to the graduate school guide. One limitation of the current site is that it is geared towards people who enroll full-time in doctoral programs. While that audience is important, … read more