Misconceptions About Getting a PhD (in biostatistics)

This post is sort of a reflection on my PhD experience, condensed as responses to some major misconceptions I had about a PhD (or misconceptions I’ve heard other people express). I hope you find it to be a useful, or at least interesting, read. Misconception #1: If you enjoy your field and want to study it at a deeper level, you should get a PhD. It’s not exactly that this isn’t true, but I think it’s not an accurate representation of the purpose of your PhD program.

Some Thoughts on Reading Advice Online

As I’ve been brainstorming more “advice” posts for this blog, I thought it might be useful for me to write down some thoughts I have about how to read advice. I try to acknowledge on this blog that my perspective is only a subjective, individual one based on my experiences, but I thought I would elaborate a bit more on why that’s important for you to remember as the reader.

Plotting Your Fitbit Data in R

I use a Fitbit to track some basic health statistics, but sometimes I wished that the plots on the app were displayed slightly differently. In this post, I will give a go at making plots that I think would be useful for me. To do this, I first need to download my data from Fitbit. One way is to export your data manually from Fitbit’s website. Alternatively, they also have an API.

My Thesis Defense

Last week, I successfully defended my thesis! Just like I did with my preliminary oral exam, I will write about my experience here and give some insight into what happens behind-the-scenes. For those who may be unfamiliar, the thesis defense is the third and last major milestone in our PhD program. The first is the written comprehensive exam (taken after your first or second year), the second is the preliminary oral exam (typically taken in your third year), and the third is the thesis defense (typically taken in your fifth year).

Animating the Jolla Theme From the Postcards R Package

Recently, I came across this great tutorial by Connor Rothschild, where he teaches you how to animate the Hugo Academic theme for a blogdown website. Inspired by this post, I wanted to apply similar animations to my personal website, which was built using the postcards R package.1 Below is what the resulting animated theme looked like: If you don’t care about how I implemented this and just want to apply an animated version of the jolla theme (screenshot above), you can install a forked copy of the postcards R package from my repo using the R command remotes::install_github("