Category Archives: Uncategorized

Cancer Research

My friend Andy is about to do something really incredible: hike all 3100 miles of the Continental Divide Trail to raise money for Cancer Research. Go check out his site and donate to the cause!

andrew frei

Thank you to those who have donated to my cause so far. You have helped me raise over $1,200 for cancer research at Fred Hutch. My goal of a dollar a mile is in sight, and I hope that I will be able to raise much more.

My mom is currently doing well. I was nervous when planning my hike that I would be away and out of reach if her health took a bad turn, but I am now reasonably confident that I will be able to be able to spend a few more holidays with her. She is handling the chemo well and has been able to stay on each treatment for longer than average. Our hope is that, on the day that she can no longer tolerate chemotherapy, a new treatment trial will be ready for her.


I’ll be passing out business cards on the trail to…

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Collaborate to Advance Your Career

I once had a prominent scientist tell me that “it is better to share a cake with others than to eat a cookie alone in the corner” in regards to academic collaboration, and it has stuck with me ever since. Sure, we all did some mandatory group work in undergrad, but that was completely different from a truly professional academic collaboration. In many cases you might not know what your collaborator looks like as everything takes place online, but don’t let this perceived distance fool you. Effective collaborations are some of the most beneficial activities you can engage in, especially early in your career. Continue reading Collaborate to Advance Your Career

Five Quick Tips for More Effective Public Speaking

This post originally appeared at on May 10th, 2013.

One of the major aspects of academia is sharing your research throughpublic presentations. While public speaking can be stressful, it is a great opportunity to communicate your research and ideas to a wider audience and can be quite satisfying.  No matter what kind of subject matter you are covering, there are a few simple hacks that you can use to improve you public speaking abilities. Continue reading Five Quick Tips for More Effective Public Speaking

Surviving the Comprehensive Oral Exam

Matura (oral part) - during exam.
You may be asked to diagram you ideas, so be prepared. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This article originally appeared at on April 26th, 2013.

While my last Gradhacker post focused on the written aspect of comprehensive exams, for many graduate students there is another, equally dreaded component: the oral examination.

For even the most prepared students, this can be an intense and difficult experience. However, with enough preparation and the right mindset the oral examination can actually be an enjoyable experience where you get to talk about your ideas with members of your committee.

Having just completed this hurdle myself I’d like to go over some of the things that worked and those that I wish I had known before undertaking this process. This advice is the most relevant for those of you defending a written document that you’ve had time to prepare, but some of this will be applicable to more generalized oral examination formats. Continue reading Surviving the Comprehensive Oral Exam