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Data News: How to Think Like a Data Scientist, and More

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Data News: How to Think Like a Data Scientist, and More

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 I view my university as international, not american. Throughout my career I have encountered several foreign graduate students/postdocs that ponder passing on academic jobs in the US to go back and help the homeland. I was one of them and I admire the commitment of those who decide to go back. However, I think it’s important to point out that the accomplishments of those that take jobs in American research universities are in large part due to the unique support that these universities provide. This is particularly true in the sciences were research success depends on low teaching loads, lab infrastructure, high-performance computers, administrative support for grant submission, and talented collaborators. The latter is by far the most important for applied statisticians like myself who depend on subject matter experts that provide quantitative challenges. Having a critical mass of such innovators is key. Although I will never know for sure, I am quite certain that most of what I have accomplished would not have happened had I returned home. It is also important to point out that my homeland benefits from what I have learned during 15 years working in top research universities. I am always looking for an excuse to visit my friends and family and I also enjoy giving back to my alma mater. This has greatly increased my interactions through workshops, academic talks, participation in advisory boards, and many other informal exchanges. So, if you are an up-and-coming academic deciding if you should go back or not, do not let guilt factor into the decision. Humanity benefits from you  maximizing your potential. Your homeland will benefit in indirect ways as well. [to be continued...]

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