Author: Anya Vostinar

Public Goods Paper Round-Up

By Anya Vostinar on June 16, 2015 in Review / 0 Comments
Public Goods Paper Round-Up

One of the nice things about summer is catching up on everything that got put to the side during the semester, right? It seems like reading literature is always one of the first things to go, so I’ve been spending some time reading a number of papers that I had set aside to be read “sometime” since they’ll definitely feature in a background section in my future. I’m quite interested in the evolution of cooperation, and one type of cooperative “game” is the production and use of public goods. A public good is a product that is useful to an organism, but is for some reason physically outside of the organism’s control and so must be shared with surrounding organisms. In the simplest systems, a “tragedy of the commons” scenario can occur in which organisms that don’t […]

WTF, Evolution?! by Mara Grunbaum {Review}

By Anya Vostinar on April 7, 2015 in Humor / 0 Comments
WTF, Evolution?! by Mara Grunbaum {Review}

Tell me I’m not the only one that gets a painful fascination to read pop science books in my area, please! I think that this bad habit comes from wanting to know what the non-scientists in my life might be reading so that I can battle misconceptions. Perhaps I can even steer them towards the ones that tackle the difficult concepts of evolution without furthering the deeply-rooted misunderstandings the public has these days. WTF, Evolution?! by Mara Grunbaum offered another lure by containing lots of gorgeous photos of creatures that don’t generally show up in picture books. Many of you are probably already familiar with the Tumblr WTF, Evolution?! that the book is based on, but if not, it is definitely a fun place to scroll through and see some really crazy looking creatures!

The Importance of Health for Graduate School

We’re well into the season of prospective graduate students visiting graduate schools and trying to decide where to spend possibly the next five or more years of their lives working pretty darn hard doing something they hopefully love. There are a lot of things to consider when thinking about graduate schools and lists exist that are much more thorough than I could achieve, but one thing that many students probably don’t consider is health insurance (I know I didn’t).

Thoughts from a first semester TA

By Anya Vostinar on March 10, 2015 in Graduate School / 0 Comments

I’ve been lucky in my graduate career to never need to TA to fund myself. However, my advisor made the excellent point that it is important to know whether you like teaching when considering trying to become a professor and I honestly didn’t know whether I did or not. I have to admit that I was pretty intimidated by the idea of TAing at all since we’ve all heard the horror stories of a crazy amount of work and horrible students. Therefore, when asked what my first choice of a class would be, I decided that the intro to programming class that teaches brand new students Python was a safe bet (my undergraduate career was pretty Python heavy). I figured that I should be fairly familiar with all the topics covered and wouldn’t need to brush […]