Ian Anderson

Profile

  • Time Zone
    Pacific

  • Organization
    Stanford University

  • Role
    Scientist Mentor: I will mentor teams of students online

  • Research Interests (300 words)
    I am really interested in using high throughput computer aided phenotype data to discover subtle molecular evolutionary changes in plants. Most recently I've become very interested in seeds, how they develop, and all the crazy epigenetics that goes on inside while that's all happening.

  • Profile Question 1
    Do you have advice for students about preparing for a science career?

  • Answer the question you selected for profile question 1 here (300 words):
    The most intimidating aspect of science to me was the fact that everyone seemed to have everything all figured out and there was no room for me to contribute. That's far from true. It's easy to view things as perfect and organized in retrospect, but the nice thing about science, is anyone can contribute.

  • Profile Question 2
    What was the first science experiment you ever designed? How did it turn out?

  • Answer the question you selected for profile question 2 here (300 words):
    I was tasked with measuring these super small seeds using a microscope and a ruler. It was awfully difficult, and gave me bad headaches. I thought there must be a better way. Using some open sourced software, I was able to computationally measure many more seeds and at a much faster rate than I ever could of by itself. I was expected to measure around 500 seeds in a year, and was able to measure 20,000 seeds in three weeks.

  • Profile Question 3
    What lessons have you learned in your career about how science works?

  • Answer the question you selected for profile question 3 here (300 words):
    Don't doubt your instincts. I noticed that something was wrong with the light levels in a growth chamber that I was using, but assumed since it was programmed by someone I really looked up to, that something must be wrong with my eyes, and not the way it was programmed. Turns out, it was the chamber, and 3 months of data had to be thrown out. If I had trusted my instincts, it could have been avoided.

  • Help represent the outreach efforts of your societies. Please click all those organizations you are a member of:
    (not set)

  • In addition to English, I am comfortable communicating with students in the following languages:
    (not set)

  • Capacity: How many teams at a time are you comfortable working with?
    4

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