Lab Meeting on 12 September 2019

We didn’t have lab meeting as Kirstie, Yini and Alex were at the Cambridge Neuroscience Symposium on Artificial and Biological Cognition, Sarah and Louise were at the research engineering team away day, Elizabeth was at Cognitive Computational Neuroscience in Berlin, and Malvika and Yo were on (what sounds like) fantastically relaxing holidays.

The group still had lots to share though!

Celebrations and cool things to share

Sarah spent 4 days in Oslo with the Binder/JupyterHub team and had a wonderful time!! She pushed a new feature to the Azure button so that users can now choose between Docker Hub and Azure container registries, and began developing a button for Google Cloud. She enabled HTTPS on Hub23 🚀, her bot made its first automated pull request 🤖, and she practiced her talk for RSE Con in front of the experts 😱.

Ten team members standing in front of a lake smiling at the camera
The Binder and JupyterHub teams in Oslo. Source: Sarah's twitter feed.

I really enjoyed collaborating and working in the same room as people I’ve only previously met online.

When she got back from Norway, Sarah then did a twitter take over of the Research Engineering team’s account to show everyone what a day in the life of a Turing Data Scientist or Research Software Engineer looks like!

We’re all so so proud of the amazing work Sarah is doing for the Binder and Turing Way communities and helping everyone out at the Turing Institute along the way.

Georgia was at the eLife Innovation Sprint last week and found it really inspiring! She also got accepted to give a talk at the Better Science through Better Data 2019 conference in November.

Louise has been really unwell and would like to remind everyone that sometimes it’s better (necessary!) to take more than one day off work. Especially when it would stop you from getting even more ill 🤒 Feel better soon Louise! 🤗

Christina has finished editing her on children’s social care and is now preparing a conference presentation on a totally different topic!! Good luck! 💪

Patricia is making good progress on her good habit forming in Edinburgh by having fruit easily accessible - supported by lovely colleagues 🙌

Yo is climbing sand dunes in Israel and wandering through ancient (3000 to 4000 years old) underground hand-carved water channels under Jerusalem.

Yini is looking forward to attending the Cambridge Neuroscience Symposium. She knows quite a bit about mental health (on Friday afternoon) but the section on robotics is going to be very new! She’s slightly nervous but mostly excited.

Alex really enjoyed the reinforcement learning talks at #ABC2019.

Kirstie has been zooming around the country. She gave a talk on The Turing Way in Edinburgh for the MQ Data Science Meeting (doi 10.5281/zenodo.3402510) and watched some incredible keynote talks from PyCon and SciPy on the train from and to London. Today she ran the early career data blitz at the Cambridge Neuroscience Symposium. She didn’t have to use the buzzer on my phone once! Everyone stayed within their 2 minutes. She was so proud! 😍

The Data Blitz resources are publicly available if anyone wants to run something similar.

Questions we’re thinking about

Georgia would love to hear some feedback on the open science game that her team at the eLife Innovation Sprint created. We’ve booked a room to play it together next week!

Louise is pondering joining Twitter 🙀 The question is how much time it will soak up! She’s wondering if Twitter is a useful way to spend your time or does it become a source of procrastination too easily?

The lab had a few different pieces of advice, from a recommendation to turn off notifications if you want to concentrate, and to remember that it is a directed graph - you can join and listen and you don’t have to tweet until you want to.

As to the time it takes, Patricia said:

I might procrastinate on Twitter, but it connects me to so many inspiring people and is super helpful to rant if you feel frustrated that I feel that makes up for me sometimes wasting a bit of time there.

Christina is looking for researchers and/or speakers in the UK on AI and environment, AI and global inequality or economic inequality, Law, ethics, and innovation or startups, LawTech and the future and limits of automating the law, AI tools and creativity, IP and AI, AI and trade, AI and Defense or AI and ethics and healthcare. If you do, please get in touch! And if you are knowledgeable about health tech then please join the OneHealthTech Speaker Corner so folks can find you and learn from you!

Patricia is wondering about the best ways to feel productive when you’re the newest kid on the team and its hard to see how you’re contributing when you’re mostly reading documentation! (Imposter syndrome is a pain in the butt 😒.) Kirstie recomended taking a rubber duck debugging to creating a fun onboarding schedule for the next person! But mostly, hugs 💖

Yo, Malvika and Berenice Batut want to know what open science/source/access/data/whateverelse thing do you think is absolutely essential for working openly? Kirstie (on brand as usual) suggested that this could be a chapter in The Turing Way and answered that confidence is the most important thing.

Its so unusual to show your work as you go along, but if you’ve ever been on the other side you know how incredibly powerful and helpful it is! So “grasping the nettle” and believing that it will be worth it even if it feels uncomfortable when people tell you to do things that you just haven’t got around to doing yet is the most important thing (in my opinion!)

Yini is wondering about how to come up with a good title for her paper. What suggestions does everyone have to come up with the best one?

Kirstie said that she’s always had someone else make up titles for her papers, grants, everything really! And so her main tip is to have a first attempt and then get lots of feedback on how to improve the title! She also found some useful blog posts and articles:

Ang wonders about how to learn more about cause-effect pairs data. He found it a little strange to detect causal-effect in data with only two variables. Alex pointed him at a few different (and overlapping) frameworks for causal analysis such as structural equation models, graphical models, and counterfactual analysis. He recommended the book “Causality: Models, Reasoning and Interference” by Judea Pearl. (If you don’t want to commit to the book you can read a nice overview by the author. He pointed out that bivariate cause-effect models are often used in time-series data (sometimes called ‘Granger causality’) and recommended a paper by Granger, Huangb and Yang (doi: 10.1016/S1062-9769(00)00042-9, open access version) for a good discussion involving stock prices and exchange rates.

Kirstie and Georgia are wondering where to send the position paper that outlines the goals of the Autistica/Turing Citizen Science project. If anyone has any ideas for a journal that would publish something like a combination of an opinion piece and a review article (saying why the work needs to be done) please let her know.

Alex is looking for recommendations for content aggregators.

Anything else

Whew! Busy busy. We don’t have anything else to share this week. Keep up the amazing work everyone –Kirstie