Great advice from a master bioinformatician.

For the record, Ewan Birney’s post on “5 statistical things I wished I had been taught 20 years ago” is pure genius.  Anyone who’s designing a bioinformatics program should absolutely take it to heart.

Although I think R is pure Evil, he’s even right on that point.  Being a bioinformatician is way easier if you know how to use it.  I curse the “Statistics for Biologists” course I took nearly 15 years ago for having been a useless collection of crap.  If they’d have covered anything on Ewan’s list, I’d have been a better bioinformatician from the start – and I’d probably have paid a lot more attention to the course.

9 thoughts on “Great advice from a master bioinformatician.

    • Yeah, but java isn’t actually evil… it’s just redundant, annoying and based on an object oriented model that isn’t always what it should be. R, on the other hand, requires years of indoctrination in order to make the simplest graph.

        • Aren’t you supposed to add “in bed” to the end of fortune cookies?

          Regardless, my concern has always been that becoming proficient in R would sacrifice several months of happiness and productivity…. and in this case, I suspect that will have to wait till I’m already miserable and inefficient.

          • You got it. To me R is not that handy probably because I’ve been using PERL for such a long time as 6 years…

          • I’m not sure those two are comparable – R is used for statistical calculations, providing pre-made units for graphing and handling of large data sets, while perl is a scripting language. (I won’t even launch into my “perl-is-evil” spiel here.

          • I’m not sure those two are comparable – R is used for statistical calculations, providing pre-made units for graphing and handling of large data sets, while perl is a scripting language. (I won’t even launch into my “perl-is-evil” spiel here.)

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