Nerding Out

It’s 11:30 and I just got home from a gathering with colleagues – a weekly meeting that we have at the Woolwich Arrow. For those not in the know, the Woolwich Arrow (or the Wooly) is one of a group of most excellent pubs located in downtown Guelph.

Of course, our meeting can’t be considered a true meeting since we never gather for the purpose of discussing work or research1. We gather because we want to spend time with each other outside of the work environment in a place where we can stop being academics for a while. And if that place just so happens to include beer and good food – well, then we’d be insane not to meet.

Truly, it’s a most excellent way to spend a Thursday eve.

But that is not the purpose of my post.

I’m writing mainly to say that I’ve been geeking out all dayand I’m stoked because of it. There are two reasons for this:

  1. I had a meeting today with my colleague Dr. Andrew Binns. He’s an engineering Post Doctoral fellow, and the two of us are about to start some pretty cool research together.
  2. I spent the better part of my eve learning how to make R3 communicate with The Twitter.

Reason number 1 is awesome because I’ve spent the better part of a year and a half working with biologists who are slightly math-phobic. That isn’t a problem per se, but it’s nice to know that Andy isn’t. We can talk math together and that is freaking awesome.

Reason number 2 is particularly exciting to me because I should be able to use this feature of R to do a bunch of really cool analyses of real life, real-time data. I won’t get into what those analyses are right now because I don’t want to give away everything, but trust me when I say I have a million things running through my mind right. The next challenge is to figure out which of these things I should tackle first.

I won’t lie. The nerd inside of me is squee’ing out loud.


1 Okay, okay, from time to time we might slip in a little bit of shop-talk.

2 Where all day means any of the time that I wasn’t in meetings.

3 R is a stats programming language that I use almost every day in my research and teaching.


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