Pre-doc Research Assistant Positions and Applications

Jen Doleac has a thread that contains additional advice from the perspective of a professor that has hired RAs and that completed a RA program before a PhD in economics (she RA'd at Brookings before enrolling in the Stanford economics PhD program).

Working as a RA after undergrad is a really great idea for a lot of reasons. It gives you the chance to fully submerse yourself in academic research on a topic you might want to pursue one day. Similar to learning a language, this is really helpful because the best way to learn something really well is to do it all the time. Cry over the reshape command once a week, groan a lot at LaTeX, and learn from your mistakes of bad coding. Further than that, learn if you really like this field! Grad school, even MA programs, is a big investment of time (and direct and/or opportunity costs). Make sure those investments are worth it before you sign off on another 2-6 years of school, and make sure you sign off on the right grad school option (if any). RA programs also give you the opportunity to experience life as not-a-student, which most applicants will not have done for 15+ years. Having a break from finals is nice and taking vacations that aren't dictated by a school calendar is so much cheaper. Finally, RA programs (usually) give you the opportunity to take the few math classes you didn't get to or didn't know you needed in undergrad or some PhD-level classes in the program(s) you think you want to be in.

If you're an incoming/current college senior applying to RA programs, I will edit a draft of a sample cover letter and your CV if you email me.

This dataset contains publicly available data pulled from the Metropolitan Police Department on juvenile arrests from 2011-2017. Home PSA is the police service area of the arrested child's home address, and arrest PSA is where the arrest occurred. More about police service areas can be found here.

I'm currently adding additional variables to this dataset, such as information on school holidays and weather, as well as categorizing the charges. If you're interested in updates on what I've added, feel free to shoot me an email. Here's a simpler dataset of counts of arrests by date from 1/1/2011-12/31/2017.

My favorite cookbooks

Academic research is very fun and I love it very much, but in another life, I was probably meant to be a pastry chef. I obsessively hoard cookbooks, and here are some of my favorites. I've linked the Amazon pages for each, but you should visit your favorite local bookstore and look at all the great books in the cookbook section (and then buy these ones first).