Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Using cheminformatics to guide your career path

Leaving aside the fact that the term scientific career is a bit of an oxymoron, I propose to show how considering the distribution of alpine flora can help guide your career choices. When Jaccard first headed for the alps to count edelweiss, little did he know he would make a stunning discovery that would change the face of cheminformatics forever - the Tanimoto coefficient. Here I show how to extend this coefficient to career path planning.

Simply put, you should choose your next institution based on whether it has a high Tanimoto coefficient with your current. Let's take my career as an example and show how this works:

1997-2001 University College Galway, UCG
2001-2004 Dublin City University, DCU (Tanimoto coefficient of 2/4 = 0.5)
2004-2005 University College Dublin, UCD (3/3 = 1.0)
2005-2006 Unilever Centre Cambridge, UCC (2/4 = 0.5)
2006-2009 Cambridge Crystallographic Data Centre, CCDC (2/5 = 0.4)
2009-         University College Cork, UCC (2/5 = 0.4)

As with any career there were some highs (Tanimoto of 1.0) and some lows (values of 0.4). Now the question is, what about my next move?

Notes: UCG is now NUIG (National University of Ireland, Galway).


Abhik Seal said...

What do think of Indiana University??

Noel O'Boyle said...

Sorry - Tanimoto of 0.

jpo said...

The answer is in the question, of course!

Noel O'Boyle said...

I couldn't possibly comment on that until a later blog post. :-)

Noel O'Boyle said...

@Abhik: Sorry - my bad. Tanimoto with UCC of 1/4 = 0.25. Looking more promising now.

RM said...

The obvious answer is Colorado Christian University, the first result you get for Googling CCU. ( "Not only does a CCU education prepare students for positions of significant leadership in the church, business, education, government, and many other strategic disciplines, it also gives students significant opportunities to serve our Lord while they are at CCU, helping them develop a lifetime habit of service to God's Kingdom." They even have a chemistry department, though I can't tell what her research interests are.

Not your style? Perhaps you'd like Coastal Carolina University ( instead. "Coastal Carolina University is a dynamic, public comprehensive liberal arts institution located in Conway, just minutes from the resort area of Myrtle Beach, S.C." Their six-member Department of Chemistry & Physics researches such diverse topics as bacteriophages and quantum chromodynamics.

Noel O'Boyle said...

@RM: Nice. :-) I'd probably lean more towards the Myrtle Beach one. There are also of course the University of Californias; which is closest to the beach though?

Abhik Seal said...

@Noel : Not sure what fingerprints are you taking.what if it is 3 years ago ? Just like to see if it improved or not?

Noel O'Boyle said...

@Abhik: Sorry - the whole thing is just a joke. IU is a great place for cheminformatics of course.

The Tanimoto is a measure of set similarity, the intersection of 2 sets divided by their union. So UCC and CCDC, for example; the intersection is C+C (i.e. 2), and the union is U+C+C+C+D (i.e. 5), giving a similarity of 2/5 = 0.4.

Abhik Seal said...

Hahahaha . Well i was thinking some totally different. This is something else.Thanks for clarification. I am on right place for my PHD.