Finish and publish20 Sep 2011
Roger pointed us to this Amstat news profile of statisticians including one on Francesca Dominici. Francesca has used her statistics skills to become a top environmental scientist. She had this advice for young [academic] statisticians:
First, I would say find a good mentor in or outside the department. Prioritize, manage your time, and identify the projects you would like to lead. Focus the most productive time of day on those projects. Take ownership of projects. The biggest danger is getting pulled in very different directions; focus on one main project. Finish everything you start. Always publish. Even if it is not revolutionary, publish.
I think this is great advice. And I want to add to the last two sentences. If you are smart and it took you time to figure out the solution to a problem you find interesting, chances are others will want to read about it. So follow Francesca’s advice: finish and publish. Remember Voltaire’s quote “perfection is the enemy of the good”.