Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Andy's Brain Blog Needs Your Help!

To be more specific, I (Andy) need your help; but what's good for Andy's Brain Blog is good for America - and you're all patriots, right?

As I mentioned before, I am currently applying for jobs and putting together my research and teaching portfolios, playing up all the sexy studies currently in the works, and what I plan to do for the next few years; how I can attract students to the university, students to the department, secure money, funding, recognition, and all that good stuff necessary for the vitality of the university.

However, as all of you know, this right here is one of my dearest, most ambitious projects - to make statistics, neuroimaging, and computational modeling available to everyone in straightforward, simple terms. To use online repositories to get at data unavailable to the majority of smaller, liberal arts institutions, so that students from all parts of the globe, researchers anywhere, and quite literally anyone with a computer can get a piece of the action. To make the information in dense, unreadable technical manuals accessible and easy to understand through hands-on, no-nonsense tutorials. And - perhaps most importantly - I wear a suit when I do it.

I want to continue doing this. I want to continue building, expanding, and teaching, both here and in the classroom. I will not rest: I will drink life to the lees. Heck, maybe I'll even drink the lees too.

But to do that I need your help.

Through both the comments here, on the YouTube channel, and in private correspondence, I've talked with many researchers, students, and professors around the country and around the world. Most of you I've never seen, but I've had the privilege to help out professors and scholars all the way from Italy to China; I've freelanced for PET researchers at Michigan State, schizophrenia experimenters at Indiana, designed experiments for primates in New York. The AFNI tutorials created here have been used as class material at the University of Pittsburgh, and my code for Hodgkin-Huxley simulations have been used for demonstrations at Claremont McKenna College in California. My recipe for homemade granola is used by several hungry researchers to keep them going throughout those long afternoons. The list could go on.

What I ask for is if you have ever used the materials here in an educational setting, be it for the researchers in your lab or the students in your classroom, please let me know by sending an email to ajahn [at] indiana [dot] edu. I am trying to compile a list of where it is used, to demonstrate its use and effectiveness.

Lastly - allow me to get real here for a moment - I've thought of all of you, each person that I've conversed with or replied to or Skyped with, as my children. And not as "children" in the sense of putting you all down on my tax returns as dependents; although, if the IRS isn't too strict about metaphors, I think I could get away with that. No, I've thought of you as real children: Shorter than I am, a little incoherent at times maybe, often trying to get my attention, and playing with Legos and Gak.

Regardless, it's been one of my great pleasures to help you all out. Now get away from that electrical socket.

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