This will soon be my new office:
Negotiations are finally completed. The offer has been accepted.
Beginning in 2014 I will joining the University of California, San Diego as a tenure-track Assistant Professor of Computational Cognitive Science in the Department of Cognitive Science and the Neurosciences Graduate Program.
When I started this blog on 2009 December 22, I told my wife "I think I'm gonna start a blog". That's it. I just wanted a place (outside of the bar) to semi-formally exercise my neuroscientific thoughts. A place where I could talk about science freely and openly, using my real identity, to try out weird ideas with fewer restrictions compared to peer-review.
I wanted a place where I could share--in however small a way--the love, joy, and excitement for science and for the job that brings me so much happiness (and its fair share of frustrations...)
At the time I was still working toward finishing my PhD. Now, nearly four years later, I'm still as in love with this career as I was then.
In the intervening years I've written around 150 posts here... about one every 10 days or so. Not a lot but, as I like to say, I'm a "scientist who blogs" not a "science blogger". Subtle, but important, difference.
Since I've been here I've gotten my PhD, did my "startup sabbatical", fulfilled my genetic duties, published a few papers, made brainSCANr, did the zombie brain thing, and did two year-long post-docs, one each at Berkeley and UCSF.
UCSD is part of my academic heritage and the founding home of cognitive science. I am extremely proud to be calling it my new home.
I've made jokes about academia before: the tenure track is fraught with uncertainty, but academic science is where my heart is and I can't wait to begin this new part of my career.
This blog has put me in touch with a lot of new people. One of my favorite things is when people awkwardly come up to me at conferences to tell me they've read a post of mine. On the internet, everyone can hear you scream, but you're never sure if anyone actually gives a shit (as they like to say). So it's nice to know that cool people are interacting with my words sometimes.
I'd like to make that interaction less one-sided. I'm going to need some awesome people to help me set up a lab!
If you're a student reading this and thinking about doing a PhD in cognitive science or neuroscience, or if you're a PhD student finishing up and looking for future post-doc opportunities, shoot me an email or grab me at a conference (I'll be at SfN in San Diego this November). San Diego is an amazing city and UCSD is one of the top cognitive science and neuroscience research facilities in the world.
My pubmed/Google Scholar citations will give you a decent idea about my research, but I've been moving into new worlds of data mining and analytics, and I would be happy to share the drafts of the four(!) papers currently under review.
Check out my CV for some idea of the other "stuff" I do.
So unless you hate amazing weather and working within walking distance of beautiful beaches, consider working with me! Obviously you'll get bonus points for name-dropping my blog; now that I'm a professor I need to cultivate an inflated ego :D
In all seriousness, thanks to everyone who made this academic process seem less uncertain and lonely; and a huge thank you to everyone who contributed to my crowdsourced letter of recommendation. As I told the search committee:
Much of my outreach and education efforts exist in an invisible space where metrics and assessments cannot easily reach. To try and give an index of my extracurricular outreach, education, and science communication efforts I reached out to my digital network of people who read my blog, watch my videos, and follow my writings on twitter and other social networks. I asked them to submit to me a statement of what—if anything—my blogging, public speaking, etc. has meant to them.I received 22 letters in support of my job application; it went over very well. It's impossible for me to honestly express how overwhelmingly awesome it was to get letters and statements from you all.
I'm going to follow this announcement up with a more detailed story about the actual search process for those interested in the fine details.
But look at me still talking when there's Science to do. I've got experiments to run and there is research to be done...