Scott Carlson

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I'm a first year PhD student in MIT's department of Bioengineering. This content is questionable at best since I'm still figuring out the whole Wiki thing. For now you can download my CV. Feel free to read whatever happens to be here.

Skip to the Bio if you'd rather read my life story than my research.






Curriculum Vitae

Other Interests


Martial Arts


Computer Programming


What's the point of a Wiki homepage if people don't make changes? Add anything here, even just a note to say you read this.

Sri Kosuri 09:38, 25 July 2006 (EDT): Welcome to BE & OWW. Hopefully we can meet during all the welcoming events.


Go back to Research if you got here by mistake and don't really want to read my life story.

High School I'm from Seattle WA, in the Pacific Northwest. Early on I planned to be a computer programmer, and I taught myself several programming languages. That plan lasted exactly one week after I got my first programming job. If you've ever worked in a grey cubicle in corporate America then you understand why I got out. Otherwise just be grateful that you don't understand that particular type of pain. After a string of random events I ended up doing genetics and computational biology with Leonid Kruglyak at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. I spent three summers there working on all sorts of computational genetics (genetic linkage analysis, haplotype inference, phylogeny). Since then, all my research has focused on that stuff.

College Looking at colleges it was a close call between Stanford and MIT. Taking it right to the deadline, Stanford won out because of more attractive undergrads and better weather. Turned out to be a good choice because here I am at grad school, and now I've been at both places. (don't be stupid, if weather or hot students actually mattered I'd be at UCSD right now. I chose Stanford for academic reasons) I majored in Chemistry with a minor in Bio. Prof. Richard Zare was my academic advisor but I never even looked at doing research in pure chemistry.

Along the way I spent a quarter in Oxford reading History of Science ("reading" is British for taking classes, as much as Oxford teaches classes). The "big picture" experience was a lot of fun, and it was great traveling around Europe.

In my sophomore year I got involved in biostatistics in medical research with Dr. Harvey Cohen in the Dept. of Pediatrics at the Stanford med school. All the details are in the Research. The experience completely reshaped my perspective on science, especially working with data from premature infants. The big picture hits you fast and hard when half the children in your dataset did not survive.

So that's how I ended up moving from Chemistry to Biostatistics to Bioengineering. Going into my Senior year at Stanford I applied for PhD programs in bioengineering. MIT felt like a great fit, and I deferred my spot here until 2006. At the same time I applied for the Master of Philosophy in Computational Biology at Cambridge University. I was fortunate enough to get a scholarship from the Gates Cambridge Trust that covered tuition and expenses, so in Sept 2005 I packed up and moved to England.

Interlude: England

Where to even start about England. Cambridge is a place that's hard to describe in comparison to American Universities. According to ancient tradition the university is composed of thirty-one separate colleges. Colleges educate the undergraduates and house the grad students, and the departments teach grad students. They don't teach "classes" in any traditional sense. Instead there are lectures and individual tutorials. Students are evaluated at the end of their course in a single exam.

So I joined Darwin College, one of the younger graduate colleges. We didn't have ancient turrets or manicured lawns, but there we did have a towering dining hall and fancy formal dinners. The best thing about Cambridge was the diverse student body. People came from all over the world (even more than they do to Stanford or MIT), and there were constantly things to learn from my housemates, classmates, and friends.

I really can't do justice to the experience on a personal website. Feel free to ask me about England, Cambridge, Europe, etc.


I finished classes in Cambridge and moved to Boston at the beginning of the summer. I'm passing the time at Harvard Med School, in Systems Biology with Johan Paulsson. It's also a great chance to travel around the East Coast and meet the people in Boston.

More coming when I find out what happens next.

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