I have said before that I am a non-traditional student. I had the opportunity to go back to school as an adult to work on my dream of earning a doctoral degree and eventually working as a professor and running a research group of my own. I was, and still am, incredibly lucky, and I will always be very grateful to God, to my wife and to my family for their support and encouragement…
Working in an academic field is awesome! This is one of the few jobs where they pay you to read about what you like, to talk about what you like and where the people who you talk to about it have to listen to you… (:-)…
At the same time, if you do your job well, you educate minds by helping students prepare for the real world in so many ways! My day is not just reading, teaching, grading, writing, designing and doing experiments, supervising research students, attending faculty meetings, attending committee meetings, course coordination…
Wait, where was I?
Oh, ok, I remember!
Among other things, I also serve as an advisor, both to undergraduate and graduate students.
I counsel students in matters anywhere from discussing what courses should they take, and all the way to questions like the proverbial “What do you want to be when I grow up?” I also try to train them to develop study skills and lately, my “thing” is to try to impress upon aspiring premed students that the questions that real life will throw at them will not be multiple choice!
All of this is a privilege and a great responsibility. If you are also a researcher, you contribute to the general body of knowledge of your discipline and who knows? Your discoveries may end up helping humanity…
I had excellent advisors, for which I will be forever grateful. They were great in no small part because they had great mentors too!
When I was writing my PhD dissertation, I started thinking about genealogy. Do not ask me why, I am always thinking about something… I figured that nowadays is easier than ever to find information, and I started researching my scientific genealogy. I obviously knew who was my PhD advisor, and I also knew where did he go for his PhD as well as who was his advisor. From there, it was really fun to go back in time and see who were my scientific ancestors… so, here it is…
Baldscientist’s Scientific Genealogy
Baldscientist (Cornell, 2005)
George Paul Hess (Berkeley, 1953) (My PhD advisor)
Choh Hao Li (Berkeley, 1938) (Dr. Hess’ PhD Advisor)
Thomas Dale Stewart (Berkeley, 1916) (Etc.)
Gilbert Newton Lewis (Harvard, 1899)
Theodore William Richards (1914 Nobel Prize in Chemistry – Harvard, 1888)
Josiah Parsons Cooke (Harvard, 1848)
Benjamin Silliman (Yale, 1796)
James Woodhouse (University of Pennsylvania, 1792)
Benjamin Rush (University of Edinburgh, 1768)
William Cullen (University of Glasgow, 1740)
Andrew Plummer (University of Leiden, 1722)
Herman Boerhaave (University of Leiden, 1690)
Burchard de Volder (University of Leiden, 1669)
Franciscus (dele Boë) Sylvius (University of Basel, 1637)
Jacobus Stupaeus (I just found the name, nothing else . . .)
Picture credit: http://www.mssu.edu