mala::home Davide “+mala” Eynard’s website


2012 publications series

I have recently attended the "Promoting your academic profile on the Web" at USI. It was a good workshop (thanks Lorenzo and Nadzeya!) and allowed me to get an idea about how well I am communicating who I am and what I do to the world. As you might know already, I think this is pretty important if your aim is to make your research (or in general your work) open and accessible to everyone.

The introspection that followed the workshop made me realize how often I put doing stuff before communicating it. I mean, of course I do that when I publish a paper, but too often I do not let others know that the paper I wrote exists! For instance, I realized that as of today I had not updated my publication list with any of the work published in 2012... D'oh :-)

For this reason I have decided not only to update that list, but also to write one post for each new paper, making the abstract and additional material available. In this post, instead, I will keep an updated list of links to this year's publications, so you can just watch this page and see when something new has been posted.

2012 publication series:

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New year, new you

... starting from the blog theme. Of course I have just downloaded a ready made one, otherwise with my taste you would have probably gotten something painful for your eyes ;-)

New year's resolutions? Plenty. But after last year's ones, my  main resolution is no promises :-). And no creativity-killer posts: I'll try to stay far away from those topics I know will stop me from writing instead of  incentivating me. I'll try to make this fun and useful, first of all for me. And if you find something useful here too, well, good for you ;-)

Fist post of the year, first after a long while... And to leave you with some more food for thought than the one you would have just by reading news about my wordpress themes, here you are:

Alon, Uri: "How To Choose a Good Scientific Problem". Molecular cell doi:10.1016/j.molcel.2009.09.013 (volume 35 issue 6 pp.726 - 728).

Here's the abstract:

"Choosing good problems is essential for being a good scientist. But what is a good problem, and how do you choose one? The subject is not usually discussed explicitly within our profession. Scientists are expected to be smart enough to figure it out on their own and through the observation of their teachers. This lack of explicit discussion leaves a vacuum that can lead to approaches such as choosing problems that can give results that merit publication in valued journals, resulting in a job and tenure."

I found the paper very inspiring and I agreed with most of it. Here are few sentences I particularly liked:

  • "A lab is a nurturing environment that aims to maximize the potential of students as scientists and as human beings."
  • "The projects that a particular researcher finds interesting are an expression of a personal filter, a way of perceiving the world. This filter is associated with a set of values: the beliefs of what is good, beautiful, and true versus what is bad, ugly, and false."
  • "... when one can achieve self-expression in science, work becomes revitalizing, self- driven, and laden with personal meaning."

What do you think about it? I think that this self-expression, this possibility of projecting my personal values in my work is one of the main reasons I have chosen to do it. Of course, this is also constraining me somehow: what happens when I work with others? What if there is a clash of values between me and my collaborators? Finally, one last big question arises: how much is this applicable for other job? Is there a chance for everyone to achieve this self-expression or only for someone? What about those who can't?

Ok, enough food for today ;-) One last link, which you might find interesting if you liked this paper too: Uri Alon Lab homepage, where you can find more materials for nurturing scientists.

Take care, have a great 2012!

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I’m Posting every week in 2011!

I’ve decided I want to blog more. Rather than just thinking about doing it, I’m starting right now.  I will be posting on this blog once a week for all of 2011.

I know it won’t be easy, but it might be fun, inspiring, awesome and wonderful. Therefore I’m promising to make use of The DailyPost, and the community of other bloggers with similiar goals, to help me along the way, including asking for help when I need it and encouraging others when I can.

If you already read my blog, I hope you’ll encourage me with comments and likes, and good will along the way.



p.s. Well, copying and pasting this initial post was very easy, let's see how it works with the following ones ;-)


One year of updates

If you know me, you also probably know I sometimes disappear for months and then come back saying "I'm still alive, these are the latest news, from now on you'll receive more regular updates".

Well, this time it's different: I'm still alive, I've got (even too) many news to tell you, but I cannot assure you there will be regular updates. This is due to one of the most important pieces of news I've got to tell you.

Almost one year ago (to be more precise, 10 months and one day ago) I have become a father. This is the best thing that ever happened into my life, and the greatest thing is that it is going to last for a while ;-) Of course life has changed, sometimes becoming better and sometimes worse... but after I got accustomed to it I must say it's ok now ;-) Of course I think you NEVER get accustomed to it, but at least you realize it and start to live with it: it is something like knowing you do not know, you just get accustomed to the fact there's no way to get accustomed to almost anything anymore, as things will always, continuously change. Which is always good news for me.

Ok, nothing really technical here, but I hope that the few readers I have will be happy to know the good news. Other good ones (if you are more interested in the technical updates) are that I haven't been still and I actually have some things to tell you. Of course these require time, so if you are not patient enough to wait for my next update just send me an email (or call me, or invite me for a talk) and we can talk about this in person.

Take care :-)

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New “hacks” series

It all started last winter, when a couple of old friends asked me if I wanted to help in writing articles for an Italian magazine. The zine was targeted at young people willing to learn something more about what is going on inside their computer: some would call them wannabe hackers, I'd prefer to think about them as potential reversers ;-)

Why did I accept this work? The reasons are many, including the deep respect I have for these friends, some nostalgia of good old times, the fact that the magazine has no ads, and finally the right to redistribute my articles online.So here they are, a collection of introductory texts that I hope will be useful for someone. If you are already an expert you will probably find nothing interesting here, but I like to think that few people really are as expert as they think.. ;)

So, how does it work? Well, I don't have much time so I usually write a very short article each month. The original article is always in Italian, so I have to translate it (any help is more than welcome!). I already have a buffer long enough to keep you busy for a while, so here is my plan: one article every other Sunday for some months, then we'll see (yeah, this does not sound like a very detailed plan :)).

Shall we start?

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Site updates

Just a little update on what's goin' on:

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Welcome to mala::home


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