Elegance in science

The world thus exists to the soul to satisfy the desire of beauty. This element I call an ultimate end. No reason can be asked or given why the soul seeks beauty. Beauty, in its largest and profoundest sense, is one expression for the universe.
- Ralph Waldo Emerson ("Beauty" from Nature, published as part of Nature; Addresses and Lectures)

Challenge the Status Quo: Strengths and Limitations of Academic Freedom

Undergraduates of America,

The time to change history is yours. 

It's likely that you've spent most of your life growing up in a bubble. It might be true that, in your hometown, you never knew much about the world around you. You may have wondered about things and desired to learn more, but it might have been difficult for you. You might have felt powerless, oppressed, or weak in any way at some points throughout your life. Now that you're at the university, But the world is exciting, terrifying, and absurd. And that's what makes you human. Take it in stride. 
"Elsipogtog" by Fanny Aaisha

Imposter Syndrome: Noble Humility or Shameful Insecurity?

Read this article in the Indiana Daily Student here....

From the first day of an introductory course in philosophy, psychology, or any field, we are inundated by the daunting knowledge and opportunities of the world. You realize that there's so much to explore and learn. The things you know about the world might be wrong, and the things that you're proud of might seem trivial, irrelevant, or unimportant in the face of the amazing things that others have done. Others might tell you that you're intelligent, hardworking, or diligent, but you feel as though you're not what everyone thinks you are. To make matters worse, socioeconomic and biological factors of the world might cause us to lose sight of what we truly have control over. We might think that we are only doing well because we were born to the right family, the top school, or the best genes. Students of color might feel as though they are recipients of affirmative action. Women might feel as though society should not expect them to believe they are intelligent. It doesn't matter if you're the prince or the pauper, the smartest or the strongest, the highest or the lowest. You wonder, "How did I get here?"

"We are What We Do": The American Dream and Education

Who are we? At the beginning of many of my classes and activities (from kindergarten to college), my teachers sometimes coerce us to introducing ourselves to others. It usually involves telling others your name and a something you do. You can share that you play a sport, an instrument, or a video game; you can tell others about a hobby or a skill; or you can introduce yourself with your job. We see each other as trumpeters, origami enthusiasts, or accountants. We define ourselves by what we do. Why?

How to Make a Beautiful Science Presentation

Now that my internship at the University of Chicago Conte Center for Computational Neuropsychiatric Genomics is over, I'm home in Indiana for a week before heading back to Bloomington for the start of university. During the last week of the internship, I received a great deal of praise for my project presentation. I'm very grateful for the appreciation of those who enjoyed it, and, since I spend a great deal of time putting it together, I'd like to talk about how scientists should make presentations (whether that presentation is a powerpoint, poster, talk, or anything similar).