Any STEM Majors Here?


They didn’t mind eating your cooking; you might have minded a lot having to eat theirs. I hope they at least cleaned up (and I’m thinking you’re so organized, most of the cleanup would have been done as you cooked).

The world ain’t never gonna be equal.


I’m studying biochem and physical anthropology! I’m working towards my PhD


(Giggle) You’d think that Ph.D. candidates in science would understand stuff like raw chicken and bacteria, but no such luck. A field crew with which we shared housing got sick and had to go to the E-room, after eating undercooked chicken that had been left on the counter after the meal (they were all drunk) unnoticed 'til the next day after work, when they wolfed it down. I had to drive them. Ever driven fifty miles on a two-lane road, through National Park traffic, with five guys barfing their guts out and pooping?

I’ll never forget.

I set things up so that one of the guys would be my kitchen help each night. I’d teach him to cook a single dish. Some of the wives were grateful, but the rest were jealous. Whatever their husbands said on returning home made me seem like a threat.

Along with the photos of me in my river shorts.


Computer Science, majoring in Software Engineering. Still don’t know if I want to proceed with it but my coding skills are coming in handy :slight_smile:


Seems as if all science majors need to take quite a lot of computer science these days. So much of the practical work involves writing code, setting up computer analyses, etc.

I’m really good at running field projects and collecting good data in difficult or hazardous situations. But that’s only half the job. All the Ph.D. students I work with spend their winters poking a keyboard, which I rfuse to do. I’d rather keep my winters free for writing.

But it has definitely narrowed my potential in my field.


The wives knew these guys. You can’t be blamed (not legitimately) for self-preservation. The wives were just stuck without being able to blame the right people, and blamed the nearest safe target. Sigh.

Or maybe they were hoping these guys had large insurance policies and weren’t coming home.


I found the computational plasma physics place - between the theorists and the experimentalists - a very good niche, but yes, I did spend way too much time doing the gruntwork.

STEM careers are not free of the same kind of hierarchical infighting that exists in business, education, and the arts. I wasn’t good or interested in that.

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Im in engineering :raising_hand_woman:t6:, not sure if I’m going to graduate with software or computer science yet


That’s true! I needed to help a friend once who is a chemistry major for her project. These skills could be learn just by getting your hands dirty. Dive in head first and learn on the job, and it gets better. At least from my experience… I have to admit, usually, some help on the basics before hand would require some time. But not much though.


The part that gave me grief was mathematics. Calculus, statistics, etc. are so alien to my way of thinking that it was like being forced to learn a new language that really offends your ears. Maths are useful and necessary in science—I accept that—but I’ve never learned to like them.


STEM cell research? Ah that STEM. Not sure yet, going to try to get as far as I can without a degree.


OMG those mountains are epic!


Holy crap! How did I miss this thread until now??


The Teton Range in Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming. They are pretty dramatic.

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My bread and butter, the math. Just tools, beautiful tools. I’m a math user, not a developer. But then, I’m a hard scientist by training. Because I can - always did. Bad math teachers ruin a lot of kids who could get the basics better, but I wonder if they can destroy the math potential of the really good students.

We do need all kinds of brains; I just try not to disparage some of the weirder other ones. The pseudo-scientists, however, I would consign to the deep.


I love collecting data, particularly in places where that’s a challenge: high peaks, fast rivers, glaciers, etc. But once it’s logged, I’m done with it. I really hate analysing heaps of numerical data, especially by statistical means. Which makes me the slave of the grant-writing, dynasty-building PI types who would rather be writing code and doing a budget than floating a river.

(Strikes Tragic Pose)


But the statistics are the whole point of gathering the data in the first place!

Statistics are ‘what it means’ and ‘how can we use this’ and ‘where should we look next’?

Without the analysis, you have data and maybe graphs, but you don’t understand it.

I had to learn this from my husband, who is great at the analysis, and prying out the meaning of the data - the best visual display comes from finding the right way to analyze the data. Experiments have limits to validity. Experimental design led to the fewest experiments to pin down important correlations between different factors (saved me heaps of time after he showed me how).

You don’t have to like it or want to do it, but it is the Holy Grail.



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Just because I can’t stand stats doesn’t mean I don’t recognise their role. My former guy was a code monster and math whiz. The major project I worked on for years collected river-level data to support spectral analysis of remote-sensing data sets. Simply put, I collected stuff on current velocity, depth, turbidity, surface texture, substrate, aquatic veg, bank and bar structure, and the like. The aim was to correlate river-level data with pixel-by-pixel character from remotely-sensed data: overflights using regular photos, LIDAR, near infrared, and also data from satellites.

I ran QA/QC on the data I collected and did some rough summaries, but the spectral correlation was way over my head and didn’t interest me that much. That the eventual aim was to replace earth surface research and mapping with satellite sensing and darkened-room geekery didn’t inspire me.

Guess I’m not such a modern girl.


No analysis without all your valuable data, so I wouldn’t worry.

My work at Princeton was the computational hole between the experimentalists (which I was at one point) and the theorists, to connect the two, and I couldn’t have done either of their jobs, but I loved my little chasm. Wish I’d had the chance to learn so much more.