Stanford campus photo from above

11/30/2003

New movies

You'll notice a few new movies on the right. These were an artistic creation from watching too many National Geographic documentaries the other night.

Dog culture meets man culture

Often I think of a topic to blog on and then it never quite happens. I thought that was going to be the case with this blog, but then I linked it in with something else, and now it's making it.

I was out for my weekly jog through the park with the dinosaur in it and I noticed that there's something of a dog culture amongst park-goers. Dog owners out with their dogs must meet and greet every other dog owner, and cautiously so since one never knows if the dogs are going to get along or if the dogs are going to suddenly attack each other. I run by one such encounter hearing one dog owner saying, "she's real timid ever since she was bitten a while back." I watch as the timid dog stands frozen as the other dog sniffs it's rear. I notice that I have a reaction to the dogs as well. As I see one approaching I tense up wondering if this is one of the nice dogs or if it might possibly freak out and bite me. I imagine what it might be like to be a mean dog owner. "Oh, yeah, he's actually pretty mean, he just might bite." Would one actually say this? No, probably not.

What I realized recently, having experienced first hand or read about various encounters between men and women in bars or even on the street is that the encounter can be much the same for the woman crossing a man as it was for me running by a dog. The man is unpredictable, often 'sniffs' or barks in appropriately, and is a cause of fear in general.

From snow to 75 degrees F

Yesterday, leaving Marietta, the hills were covered with snow. Today, going to get a Christmas tree, Durham was 75 degrees and sunny. Hmmm.

I had a great time in Marietta for Thanksgiving and even discovered a new reader of my blog. At the annual Marietta High School reunion in the Townhouse I ran into Michael Arnold who admitted that he reads my blog and the Bloggin' Buffalo's blog on a regular basis. I've even made it onto his 'Favorites' bookmark.

Unfortunately, Mike never got Patty's edits of my statement of purpose to me, despite my helping us to 6 straight wins in pool at the Harmar, highlighted by sending the kid who brought his own stick home. Hopefully he'll send the edits by mail or type them up or something.

Finally, read this report of the latest in earth-like worlds.

11/29/2003

Back in Durham

A light touch of snow in Marietta on my last day was quite nice. Just got back, more later.

11/25/2003

Back to Marietta for Turkey Day

Though I won't be partaking of any turkey, I'm looking forward to heading back to Marietta for a few days for Thanksgiving. I'll be heading back tomorrow and then will be in Marietta until Saturday. Fortunately, I've recruited a friend to make the journey north with me. My friend Virginia, a Canadian who I met working at TIP and who is in the clinical psych grad program here will be coming up to Marietta with me.

Oh and also of note is that tomorrow the professor I'm working for and I are submitting an article to the American Journal of Psychiatry on the percentage of schizophrenia patients with a 'cognitive function decrement'. It'll be reviewed and then hopefully published at some point over the next couple months.

11/23/2003

Statement of Purpose: Who knew I'd finally have a purpose?

Ok, I'm down to the final few edits/versions and am looking for any edits, input, comments, etc . . . please email them to me or post.

Statement of Purpose:

At times, an academic experience is strong enough to transform and to spark a desire for intellectual discovery that is as deep and hungry as any other human passion. I am fortunate to have had such an experience.

Two years ago, a lecture by a professor who created a new variety of corn inspired me to find a way to bring this new technology to the market. I formed a team of fellow undergraduates to enter the Duke Startup Challenge, a year-long entrepreneurial competition open to MBA and graduate students as well as undergraduates awarded to the most viable new startup company as judged by panels of venture capitalists and investment bankers. As team leader, I organized the effort to write and present a business plan and financial model, as we became the first team of undergraduates in the history of the Startup Challenge to beat the Fuqua business students and win the $50,000 top prize, one year of office space, and a website. Our company was also named as one of Fortune magazine’s top 14 Startups of the year. In the process, I discovered that the system by which research is funded and new innovations are brought to the market is far from a perfect science. This was a powerful life changing experience that led me to choose a research career studying the direction of innovation in firms and strategic decisions that managers have to make in setting technology and environmental strategy. I developed a passion to study how to facilitate these research and development innovation experiences that drive our economy and society forward.

In order to further my research experience, I took a paid research assistant job in the Duke Medical Center as well as volunteering in the Fuqua School of Business, as Fuqua only offers research funding to current students. In addition, I audited a doctoral course with Dr. Wesley Cohen on the Economics of Technological Innovation. Fortunately, I have had the opportunity to learn many research skills at the Medical Center including a number of statistical techniques using SPSS and SAS. Initially, I worked in the Brain Imaging and Analysis Center, where I learned how to program in MATLAB, working with massive volumes of data. Recently, working with Dr. Richard Keefe, I have trained people in neurocognitive assessment, conducted analyses on an existing database of schizophrenia patients, and co-authored a publication for submission to the American Journal of Psychiatry regarding the percentage of patients with neurocognitive deficits. Through my use of cutting edge neuroimaging technology, I find that a greater impact results from research aiding others in pushing the boundaries of technological innovation.

Gaining the opportunity to do research at Duke’s Fuqua School with Professor Wesley Cohen, Dr. Janet Bercovitz and Dr. Michael Lenox required much perseverance and resolve, but has been well worth the effort as they are undoubtedly world-class researchers in the field of technology strategy and innovation, especially information flows. I am working with Dr. Wesley Cohen on a major empirical project on knowledge flows affecting industrial R&D, R&D productivity, and associated measurement issues. Dr. Janet Bercovitz and I researched how the funding and organization of technology transfer offices affects which researchers disclose information through patents and how often they keep such information secretive. Dr. Lenox and I are currently involved in a study examining the firm and industry conditions under which different mechanisms of stakeholder actions affect environmental improvement. My experiences with these professors has led me to see Fuqua as my first choice for graduate school.

Although research is my first passion, I also love to teach. I have designed an original interdisciplinary curriculum and taught the past three summers at Duke’s Talent Identification Program. This program is designed for academically gifted high school students across the country. A year of graduate school or more is required for instructors. Due to my high performance ratings as teaching assistant, an exception was made and I was hired to teach my own interdisciplinary course as Instructor the past two summers. My course integrated aspects of psychology, philosophy, and the impact of business on society.

My goal is a career in the research and teaching of management. After earning a Ph.D., I plan to apply for a faculty position at a leading university and become an expert known for investigations of strategic issues at the intersection of technology strategy, innovation, and environmental regulation. I recognize that I need to strengthen my foundation in economics and in the quantitative business skills necessary for success in doctoral studies with a heavy research orientation. Fuqua’s doctoral program is the next step towards my achievement of this goal.

My aptitude and talent in interdisciplinary research will be a great advantage to me in this field. My background offers a number of difference lenses from economics to psychology, public policy, social networks, and organizational theory to get a comprehensive picture of how innovation and the diffusion of innovation work. The goal of a Ph.D. in mind, I designed my interdisciplinary undergraduate degree with the help of a panel of Duke faculty, to try to understand the “Aha!” experience of moments of innovation. Through a Ph.D., I will gain more of an economics background and the research skills to conduct empirical analyses of strategic issues concerning the effort to increase the frequency of these innovation experiences. My love of reading across fields will no doubt help in this venture.

I am particularly excited by the prospect of Duke’s program because of the terrific resources on campus and my good rapport with the faculty here concerning our shared research projects and interests. In addition to those I already mentioned, I have talked to many different professors here who expressed interest in working with me including Dr. James Bettman, Dr. Scott Rockart, Dr. Gerardine DeSanctis, and Dr. Tanya Chartrand. Fuqua is my first choice because it is strong in innovation and growing stronger through the efforts of those already here and the addition of faculty members such as Dr. Wesley Cohen. Between Fuqua’s various research centers, the Center for Entrepreneurial Studies, the Center for International Business Education and Research (CIBER), the summer Ph.D. workshop, the Ph.D. consortium, the new computing resources being put into place, and the Nicholas School for the Environment, I feel there are numerous opportunities here for me. After working in research at Duke for two years since obtaining my B.S. here, I am quite comfortable in the Duke environment and am very excited about continuing to do research here.

My teaching skills, proven capacity for rigorous coursework, the analytical capabilities I have gained from doing original research, and my initiative and experience with the Duke Startup Challenge along with my grant writing talent make me a strong candidate to contribute very positively to Fuqua’s program.

11/19/2003

Mom's famous

She made the cover of the Marietta Times yesterday.

Miami

I got back last night from my first industry-sponsored study startup meeting. Our lab was invited down to Miami by Pfizer to train testers on how to administer this neurocognitive test battery called the Brief Assessment of Cognition in Schizophrenia (BACS). Pfizer is running a big multi-site study of it's latest antipsychotic. We flew into Miami and it was beautiful, warm, and the hotel was as fancy as I had imagined. Upon getting there I went for a walk along the beach and then back along the first city block in from the beach. Miami was just as I had imagined, neon signs, nice bodies in bikinis rollerblading down the street. After a windy dinner outside with a view of the ocean, I listened to the professor I work for and the Pfizer doctor in charge of running these studies discuss the marketing wars and complications that go on between these giant pharmaceutical companies. I learned that Eli Lilly, spends about $1 billion on R&D annually, which is more than the entire NIMH budget.

The second day was a full one. It started with breakfast overlooking the ocean. We certified testers from 9am until 7pm. Dinner that night was good and our lab sat around laughing and joking around until about 11pm. At that point I joined the rest of the younger crew in heading out to see the city's nightlife. The girls wanted to go to the Crobar. So we hopped in three taxis and headed there. Little did I know that it would be $20 to get in! Little did any of us know that we'd be the only ones there on a Monday night or that it was Salem cigarettes night! Of note though was the girl hired to dance in a big glass bubble above the dance floor. We left before too long, but not before the management came and made me delete any of my photos that had the Salem logo in them. :) I managed to sneak one though by pressing a button other than delete.

Tuesday morning I bought a Belgian waffle for my last ocean view breakfast, got a deep tissue massage at our hotel spa, courtesy of my boss, and then hopped into the car which took me back to the airport.

And today was just another day at the office . . .

Not bad for a research assistant's life! See the pics from 11/18/03.

11/06/2003

11/05/2003

Someone understands!!

Caring for Your Introvert

The habits and needs of a little-understood group

.....

Do you know someone who needs hours alone every day? Who loves quiet conversations about feelings or ideas, and can give a dynamite presentation to a big audience, but seems awkward in groups and maladroit at small talk? Who has to be dragged to parties and then needs the rest of the day to recuperate? Who growls or scowls or grunts or winces when accosted with pleasantries by people who are just trying to be nice?

If so, do you tell this person he is "too serious," or ask if he is okay? Regard him as aloof, arrogant, rude? Redouble your efforts to draw him out?

If you answered yes to these questions, chances are that you have an introvert on your hands—and that you aren't caring for him properly. Science has learned a good deal in recent years about the habits and requirements of introverts. It has even learned, by means of brain scans, that introverts process information differently from other people (I am not making this up). If you are behind the curve on this important matter, be reassured that you are not alone. Introverts may be common, but they are also among the most misunderstood and aggrieved groups in America, possibly the world.

11/04/2003

A Tear and a Smile

Tear And A Smile
by: Kahlil Gibran (1883 - 1931)

I would not exchange the sorrows of my heart
for the joys of the multitude.
And I would not have the tears that sadness makes
to flow from my every part turn into laughter.
I would that my life remain a tear and a smile.

A tear to purify my heart and give me understanding
of life's secrets and hidden things.
A smile to draw me nigh to the sons of my kind and
to be a symbol of my glorification of the gods.

A tear to unite me with those of broken heart;
a smile to be a sign of my joy in existence.

I would rather that I died in yearning and longing than
that I live weary and despairing.

I want the hunger for love and beauty to be in the
depths of my spirit,for I have seen those who are
satisfied the most wretched of people.
I have heard the sigh of those in yearning and longing,
and it is sweeter than the sweetest melody.

With evening's coming the flower folds her petals
and sleeps, embracingher longing.
At morning's approach she opens her lips to meet
the sun's kiss.

The life of a flower is longing and fulfilment.
A tear and a smile.

The waters of the sea become vapor and rise and come
together and area cloud.

And the cloud floats above the hills and valleys
until it meets the gentle breeze, then falls weeping
to the fields and joins with brooks and rivers to return
to the sea, its home.

The life of clouds is a parting and a meeting.
A tear and a smile.

And so does the spirit become separated from
the greater spirit to move in the world of matter
and pass as a cloud over the mountain of sorrow
and the plains of joy to meet the breeze of death
and return whence it came.

To the ocean of Love and Beauty----to God.


11/01/2003

Halloween

Halloween was fun, I went to a couple parties with Virginia, my clinical psych grad student friend and we had a good time. I dressed as a pimp and her . . . well, you can see the pictures.