There has been a lot of discussion lately about whether to be in academia or industry. Some of it I think is a bit unfair to academia. Then I saw this post on Quora asking what Hilary Mason’s contributions were to machine learning, like she hadn’t done anything. It struck me as a bit of academia hating on industry*. I don’t see why one has to be better/worse than the other, as Roger points out, there is no perfect job and it just depends on what you want to do.
I started my professional Twitter account @leekgroup about a year and half ago at the suggestion of a colleague of mine, John Storey (@storeylab). I started using the account to post updates on papers/software my group was publishing. Basically, everything I used to report on my webpage as “News”. I started to give talks where the title slide included my Twitter name, rather than my webpage. It frequently drew the biggest laugh in the talk, and I would get comments like, “Do you really think people care what you are thinking every moment of every day?
The job of the statistician is almost entirely about collaboration. Sure, there’s theoretical work that we can do by ourselves, but most of the impact that we have on science comes from our work with scientists in other fields. Collaboration is also what makes the field of statistics so much fun. So one question I get a lot from people is “how do you find good collaborations”? Or, put another way, how do you find good collaborators?