Michael Ekstrand

Blog Articles

Thinking About Productivity

Published on 14 Feb 2017 and tagged with productivity.

TL;DR: A good productivity system is one that helps you get done the things you need to. One of the most important things is to take time to think about your work. Desired outcomes are a good thing to think about.

I have tried a number of different productivity systems over the years. Some have worked better than others. I've tried:

Affording Quality Conversations

Published on 16 Jan 2017 and tagged with academia.

As professors, we get a lot of e-mails. One of these classes of e-mails is the prospective student e-mail, which comes in wildly varying quality. This takes time from faculty, enough that many have written guides to e-mailing or specific requirements for e-mailing them and receiving a reply; I have a version of this myself.

Some Cheerful Facts About Probability

Published on 3 Jan 2017 and tagged with statistics.

In the course of training to be a scientist, you generally learn some statistics and probability theory. I've grown to be quite fond of the topic, but as I've learned it, there are a few things in particular that I've found brilliantly satisfying. Simple tricks, some of which may seem counter-intuitive, but for some reason fascinated me when I grasped them.

Here are a few of them.