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Thursday, May 17, 2007

Grad School Nightmare

Yep... it finally happened. A few months in, and way later than it should have.

I found a nice little email from the data tracking system, keeping me up to date, that none of the data I'd been using for the past 5 months is actually real. All those pretty graphs, charts and even the poster I made were all based on a lot of hot air.

I get the feeling that this isn't as uncommon as it appears, but in any case, better now than later. Unfortunately, it should have been much sooner: We'd started working on the verification in January, and because a bunch of people just figured it had a low priority (and since it was just a grad student's project, I imagine it got bumped further and further down the priority stack), it took nearly 4 months to get done.

Four months of work on my part, down the tube.

At any rate, at least I have something to focus on: I was rewriting the code that would be able to generate these predictions/results, and now I'll have a perfectly good training set for it. aka: no data. I'll know exactly how tight to set the thresholds. (So tight, air couldn't escape under pressure.)

I spent a lot of my afternoon looking at the data, trying to understand it, but there's really not a lot that I can really draw conclusions from. We didn't have experience with using 454-generated sequencing data. Now I know: it sucks. As a training exercise, this was great (albeit way too slow in yielding the conclusion). I just have to be mature enough to write off a few months of work as a "learning experience". So much for the worlds fastest PhD!


Blogger Melissa Wong said...

Something similar happened to a PhD student in my lab too. After a year constructing fosmid library, she couldn't get the target size.

What's utmost important is not to give up. Bravo, Anthony!

August 20, 2008 9:35:00 PM PDT  

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