The first six years of faculty life

Written by: C. Titus Brown

Primary Source: Living in an Ivory Basement

Inspired by Sarah Bisbing’s excellent post on her first year as a faculty member, here are the questions I remember asking myself during my first six years:

Year 0: What science do I want to do?

Year 1: What the hell am I doing all day and why am I always so exhausted?

Year 2: Why don’t my grad students know how to do anything yet?

Year 3: What does this data mean?

Year 4: Why are grant and paper reviewers so dumb?

Year 5: Why are grant and paper authors so dumb?

Year 6: Will I get tenure, and if so, do I really want to be doing this for the rest of my life?


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C. Titus Brown
C. Titus Brown is an assistant professor in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering and the Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics. He earned his PhD ('06) in developmental molecular biology from the California Institute of Technology. Brown is director of the laboratory for Genomics, Evolution, and Development (GED) at Michigan State University. He is a member of the Python Software Foundation and an active contributor to the open source software community. His research interests include computational biology, bioinformatics, open source software development, and software engineering.