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December, 2012:

Changes in Perspective

An old PhDComics explains the change in perspective which comes with graduating:

phd020802sMy transformation obviously isn’t complete yet though. Lab meetings with pizza sounds like a wonderful idea.

Completion

Over the last couple of years my posts here have really dropped off. It hasn’t been because I ran out of material or lost interest in blogging but simply because more and more of my time and energy have been consumed by a single goal… graduating.

So it gives me great pleasure to report that, as of December 14th (last Friday), I have reached that goal.

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Behold! The lollipop handed to every newly minted Berkeley PhD when their thesis is accepted.

What was my thesis about you ask? Well I still don’t have a good elevator speech, so let me simply say that the first part of my thesis has to do with how plant genomes change over time and the second part demonstrated a new method for learning the function of pieces of DNA which don’t code for proteins but instead determine where and when neighboring genes will be turned on or off.

So what’s next? This whole site traces its origins back to travel posts I put up to let friends and family know how I was doing as I interviewed as various graduate schools. So I suppose there would be a fair bit of┬ásymmetry┬áto shutting it down as I leave grad school, but I don’t want to do that. Now that I’m finished with my PhD, I’m looking forward to rediscovering the things I used to do for fun, and I remember writing updates here used to be a lot of fun.

On a more practical level, what comes next for me is a 2000 mile drive from California to the midwest (with all my worldly possessions packed into the back of my car) to visit family for the holidays. I am suddenly very conscious of the fact I haven’t driven on snow in more than four years. After that it’ll be onward to a post-doc.

If you’ve left an unanswered comment in the last six months or so and are still interested in me getting back to you, let me know.

For now… it is good to be back.

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