academics, as seen from vegreville. it can be cold here. and it is flat.

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What the hell have I been doing this (academic) year?

  • Manuscripts accepted: 2
  • Manuscripts under review: 1
  • Revise and resubmits to do: 3
  • Working papers: 3
  • New projects: 2
  • Conference presentations: 2
  • Seminars given: 1
  • PhD students in progress: 5
  • PhD students completed: 0
  • Other students supervised: 2
  • Courses taught: 0
  • Courses scheduled: 4
  • Referee reports to write: 2
  • Referee reports completed: 17
  • Committees: 3
  • Angry co-authors: 0
  • Angry students: ?

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Sunday, April 16, 2006

This site looks worthwhile


A blog about simplicity. Found through presentation zen

when I was in graduate school, I always wanted my work to be simple. And I sure try to teach students that my field is simple, but not easy.

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link | posted by vegreville at 9:14 PM | 0 comments

Monday, April 03, 2006


This will be my last post at  I have decided to move my posting to  Please visit me there. The wordpress software is easier to use, the site looks nicer, and I can even use tags for my posts to keep myself organized.

I have now been doing this for about 3 months.  It has been very helpful to have some place to record my random thoughts about being an academic.  I am kind of surprised how useful it has been.  Sometimes just writing things down can get me going on other writing.

Now, back to my evening refereeing. 

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link | posted by vegreville at 9:30 PM | 0 comments

Friday, March 31, 2006

I don't like this idea

It seems that it is going to be more expensive for foreign students to go to university in the US:


A communication from Senator Feinstein's office about this provision reads:

The immigration bill creates a new student visa category for foreign students who will pursue an education here in science, engineering, mathematics, and technology -- fields in great need of graduates in this country.

Senator Feinstein's amendment doubles the application fee from $1,000 to $2,000 and the additional money will be pumped into scholarships and job training for Americans; as well as to combat fraud in the student visa program.

I don't like this plan. Why make it harder for talented foreign students to enter the US? What is the empirical evidence-how many stay and contribute to the US economy? .

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link | posted by vegreville at 11:23 PM | 0 comments

Thursday, March 30, 2006


I downloaded a new blog editor: Quman, and am going to see how well it works. 

The first real day of spring here; a glorious day.  The students were content, they laughed at my jokes in class, and they seem to be understanding the material.  What more can I ask for?

I even enjoying reading working papers today, and I am learning a new technique that may be useful in future research.

I have the urge to purchase some new office supplies or a new office gadget.  But soon.  Real soon.

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link | posted by vegreville at 10:20 PM | 0 comments

Tuesday, March 28, 2006


I wrote about being first or second: here.

I should clarify what I meant. When you are in a race, its better to be first (ie, I bet that the first person who walked on the moon got most of the glory, etc.). But I meant that sometimes one paper has an idea and it does not catch on. The second paper that has that idea might use it in a slightly different way, but it's the second paper that seems to get the cites. Sometimes the papers are years apart.

There is an obvious statistical problem with this---I remember such cases because the second paper shows up in print in a good journal, meaning that the work passed some sort of hurdle. Many other 'second papers' probably never make it to a top journal anyway.

I am still puzzled, though.

link | posted by vegreville at 5:37 PM | 0 comments

Monday, March 27, 2006

Is it better to be first or second

with the new idea, model, or technique? I used to think first, but now I am convinced that second might be best. Consider the first MP3 players (Rio?, IRiver?) vs. Apple. I also see it in academic research. Some literatures in my field began with one paper, but it is the second paper that gets the cites--formally in writing and informally in seminars, discussions, and so on. Why does it work that way? There surely are some interesting statistical issues to be dealt with in thinking about the issue.

link | posted by vegreville at 9:30 AM | 1 comments

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Of course

I paid for the big beer and airport food today. *ouch*

It's always funny when I talk to my relatives who don't travel for work, since business travel seems so glamorous to them. I simply have no credibility when I tell them that the hotel in X is pretty much like the hotel in Y, and that most of the time, all I see is the room, the conference room, the hotel bar, and bad late night TV. And why the heck do I always stay up late? I never, ever learn.

link | posted by vegreville at 11:08 PM | 1 comments