Fellgernon Bit

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The end of fellgernon.tumblr.com

Now that I am much more interested in making posts with R code that looks nice, I have made the decision to move Fellgernon Bit. 

You can find it in it’s new home here

Note that the RSS feed and the Disqus have been moved to the new site.

Quickly making posters with PosterGenius

It is time to revive Fellgernon Bit from it’s deep hibernation period. A couple of very motivated Ph.D. students from my department (John, Alyssa, Amanda, Jean-Philippe, Elizabeth, etc) are organizing a blogging group. The idea is to review ideas, give suggestions, learn blogging technicalities, write blog posts, review them, and post them. It’s a great idea! Plus it should us keep our blogs active.

So for my first post I am going to talk about PosterGenius. It’s a simple to use piece of software for making posters. In my case, I presented a poster at the 7th Annual Young Investigators Symposium and Poster Session on Genomics and Bioinformatics. It was a relatively small event and I had a limited amount of time to make the poster. The idea behind PosterGenius is that you separate your poster into several sections (intro, methods, results, references), have some material for each (text and or figures), and just have to put it together with a simple background.

Of course, there are plenty of other tools for doing this. But in my case, I was able to make a poster in lunch hour by using slides from a presentation on the same subject and just organizing the content. The basic steps are:

  1. Choose a poster template, number of columns, height and width.
  2. Choose how many sections and their titles.
  3. Fill in the authors, affiliations, title and institutional logos.
  4. Enter the pictures using their picture manager. You might have to choose the appropriate size of the pictures (zoom percent). For example, my slides had white space on the borders, which PosterGenius did not know, so some space was being wasted.
  5. Review it.
  6. Print it.

In the following post you can find some pictures from the creation of the poster in question.

PosterGenius has the cool feature of creating a poster, a presentation, and a handout from the same material. For other meetings, I have actually printed out a couple of handouts to give to those interested in the material.

While it is not free (they have discounts for students), I think that PosterGenius is a very simple to use, produces good looking posters, and their optimal distance to read feature is quite accurate.

Starting this week, I’ll be doing my research with the Lieber Institute for Brain Development (LIBD) as Andrew Jaffe's first Ph.D. student there. My main advisor will continue to be Jeff Leek which is great for me. I’ll have access to massive data sets at Lieber and will face the challenge of integrative genomics. That will be fun, exciting and challenging!

Here’s a short video explaining what the LIBD is about and why Baltimore is a growing city.

ggplot Tutorial

I liked the following ggplot2 tutorial which is featured in Gabriela de Queiroz’s blog called unbiasedestimator. The tutorial looks very neatly presented and I’m sure that it will be very helpful to anyone just getting started with ggplot2 before they jump into ggplot2: Elegant Graphics for Data Analysis by Hadley Wickham or R Graphics Cookbook by Winston Chang.

The tutorial is very nicely formatted with code in bold highlighting  parts that change something in the plot. Overall, the tutorial explains how to sue qplot() although it does have a longer example using ggplot() to make survival curves.

Check it out!

unbiasedestimator:

Good tutorial about the R package.

“ggplot2 is an R package for producing statistical, or data, graphics, but it is unlike most other graphics packages because it has a deep underlying grammar. [..]”

 - H.Wickham, ggplot2, Use R, DOI 10.1007/978-0-387-98141_1, © Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009 -image

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Game of Thrones finale most pirated ever

I was rather entertained by Game of Thrones finale most pirated ever on BitTorrents written by Del Crookes. With that title, I thought that the news was going to have a strong anti-piracy tone. Don’t get me wrong, this point of view is covered in the story with quotes from the actor of Jamie Lanister such as:

At the end of the day it’s stealing. I know it doesn’t feel like it but it is and it’s not right.

But I am happy to see comments from HBO programming president who said:

The demand is there. And it certainly didn’t negatively impact the DVD sales. [Piracy is] something that comes along with having a wildly successful show on a subscription network.

I don’t think that there is a black and white picture to piracy and like to see this reflected on the previous comment. Sure, there are aspects of piracy that hurt the industry and can lead to mafia-gangs that control the sales of the pirate DVDs: you don’t see this much in the US but it’s very common in México. But piracy can help promote material, make it more widely known, and eventually lead to an increase in sales (assuming the product is not overpriced).

Anyhow, the debate can be quite long and I just wanted to present a tiny piece of it.

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