5 tactics to make short classes work

http://www.flickr.com/photos/childofwar/3097124543/sizes/m/in/photostream/Have a short (1-4 hour) class/tutorial to give? Want your students to learn tons and rave about the class? Want them to teach you and stay engaged in the topic moving forward?

Here are a few tips I’ve picked up from running mini-classes in academic and professional settings:

  • Listen to the room
  • Build skills through lessons
  • Let them get their hands dirty
  • Do the boring stuff in advance
  • Follow up with homeworks

These are mostly related to programming-type topics (see here and here from some examples), but I’ll bet the ideas are broadly applicable. Hopefully you can share some of your experiences as either a student or teacher in the comments!

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Lesion Segmentation — Patent Granted!

MRI_Body.261135135_stdBack in 2008, I (along with colleagues at Siemens Corporate Research) invented a system to find and segment tumors in full-body MRI scans. It’s challenging to find all types of tumors across the entire body, but the ability to automatically detect tumors wherever they are can aid early detection and save lives.

We patented the findings in 2008 and received confirmation today that the patent has been granted (#8,155,405). Read on for a quick overview of the approach and a few useful links if you’re interested in seeing how it works!

System and Method For Lesion Segmentation In Whole Body MRI.
Gozde Unal, Gregory G. Slabaugh, Tong Fang, Shawn Lankton, Valer Canda, Stefan Thesen, and Shuping Qing. US Patent Number: 8,155,405. Filed March 2008. Granted April 2012.

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Convert images to data with Plot Digitizer

You’re scouring the internet for data to prove your point…
After hours of searching, you finally found it!
One problem – it’s a chart in a pdf…

Charts are better than nothing, but you really want to have the numbers in Excel or Matlab so you can do analysis and get big insights (or at least make a nicer-looking chart).

The answer is Plot Digitizer

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A PhD’s Guide Getting Consulting Jobs

In this three-part series I’ll give you a how-to for getting an interview, preparing for it, and dazzling the interviewers once you’re across the table. These are the main topics we’ll cover:


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Part 1: Branding Yourself and Making Making a “Wow” Resume

This is the first part of “A PhD’s Guide to Getting a Consulting Job,” because personal branding and resume building can help you the most! Having a great resume and a powerful personal brand is necessary to get in the door, and if you do it right, you may have the job before you even start talking.

First I’ll talk about how to build your brand, then I’ll share my tips on resume writing. Continue reading “Part 1: Branding Yourself and Making Making a “Wow” Resume”

Part 2: Preparing for Your Case Interview to Get Bulletproof

So far in the “PhD’s Guide to Getting a Consulting Job,” we’ve covered how to work on your personal brand and write a resume that will get you an interview. Now, it’s time to get bulletproof for the interview itself.

Case interviews are an interview tool that consulting companies use to gauge your analytical skills. Essentially, the case interview involves answering an open-ended question about a business problem. The interviewer gives some background on a (hypothetical) company that needs help. Then the candidate talks through an analysis and solution.

I’m going to show you how to rock a case interview. Continue reading “Part 2: Preparing for Your Case Interview to Get Bulletproof”

Part 3: Talking about Your Experience and Sounding like a Bad-ass

We have talked about how to get an interview and how to nail the case section. The last step in the “PhD’s Guide to Getting a Consulting Job” is discussing your personal experience in a way that is clear, compelling, and shows that you’ve got what it takes to be a consultant. Continue reading “Part 3: Talking about Your Experience and Sounding like a Bad-ass”

Making Active Contours Fast

Active contours are a method of image segmentation. They are well-loved for their accuracy, ease of implementation, and nice mathematical underpinnings. However, a full level-set implementation can be quite slow, especially when dealing with large data! Here are some tips to speed things up. By combining these ideas and solid programming techniques I’ve been able to get active contour trackers running at hundreds of frames per second!
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Using Hyperref, Graphicx, and Algorithm together

In LaTeX, the hyperref package can be challenging to work with. It is well known that the hyperref package must be loaded last, BUT when using the algorithm package as well things get tricky. algorithm must be loaded after hyperref BUT, doing the following error if figures are used at the same time with pdfTeX:

ERROR: pdfTeX warning (ext4): destination with the same identifier (name{figure.1})

The solution is to load the float package (which is normally loaded by other more high-level packages) before hyperref like so:

\usepackage{amsmath,amsymb,graphicx,subfigure,etc.,etc.}
\usepackage{float}
\usepackage{hyperref}
\usepackage{algorithm}

The other solution is to not use pdfLaTeX, and use regular LaTeX instead.