Friday, August 7, 2020

Microsoft Research Ada Lovelace Fellowship


Nominations are now open for the 2021 Microsoft Research Ada Lovelace Fellowship and Microsoft Research PhD Fellowship. Doctoral students must be nominated by the department chair’s office in their field of study by August 14, 2020. Students will then be contacted to submit their proposals by September 21, 2020.


The Microsoft Research Ada Lovelace Fellowship aims to increase the pipeline of diverse talent receiving advanced degrees in computing-related fields by providing a research funding opportunity for doctoral students who are underrepresented in the field of computing. This includes those who self-identify as a woman, African American, Black, Hispanic, Latinx, American Indian, Alaska Native, Native Hawaiian, Pacific Islander, person with a disability, and/or LGBTQI+. The award for second year PhD students covers tuition and fees for three years and a $42,000 USD stipend annually.


The Microsoft Research PhD Fellowship is for third year doctoral students also attending a university in the United States, Canada, or Mexico who are conducting research in computing-related fields. The award covers tuition and fees for two years and includes an annual $42,000 USD stipend.


For both awards, students’ research must be closely related to the general research areas carried out by researchers at Microsoft. In addition to the funding mentioned above, Microsoft Research will host a two-day workshop next fall where fellows will meet with Microsoft researchers and other top students to share their research in person and/or virtually as local and national health and safety guidance advises.


You can read more about the fellowships and find nomination instructions at and You may also consider sharing this information via social media:


          Ada Lovelace Fellowship - TwitterFacebook and Instagram


          PhD Fellowship - TwitterFacebook and Instagram


We hope you will help us spread the word about these fellowships! We encourage you to share this announcement directly with your students and department chair’s office, on social media, and/or via topically relevant email lists.


For questions, please contact Microsoft Research Fellowships


For more information on all of our academic programs, visit


Thank you,


Gonzalo Ramos

Chair, MSR Ada Lovelace Fellowship

Principal Researcher, Microsoft Research

Neel Joshi

Chair, MSR PhD Fellowship

Principal Researcher, Microsoft Research



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Thursday, July 23, 2020

Why humidity matters, covid19


Why humidity matters
Professor Ward said there are biological reasons why humidity matters in transmission of airborne viruses.
"When the humidity is lower, the air is drier and it makes the aerosols smaller," he said. "When you sneeze and cough those smaller infectious aerosols can stay suspended in the air for longer. That increases the exposure for other people. When the air is humid and the aerosols are larger and heavier, they fall and hit surfaces quicker."
Specifically, differences in temperature and humidity affect how stable and transmissible viruses are. For instance, some data reviewed in the new paper suggest that cold, dry, unventilated air may contribute to the transmission of influenza in the winter.

transcription fidelity and yeast aging

reviewers asks for mutation in DNA as a model. This is not correct, because yeast aging is a single-cell event. Its chromosome DNA unlikely to be mutated.

Experimental verification
Single cell variation
Old cell variation, 

Test of some mutants ???. On transcription fidelity,
Candidate genes: 
Transcriptional noise regulators. 
Maybe histone methylation, K4 methyltransferase? Transcript inititiation? KO? Over-expression? 
K4-methy hot in human aging. Six paralogs in human, involved in leukemia. 
Only one copy gene in yeast. No clear phenotype on growth fitness and aging in yeast. ?!!!! 

*** SET1 maybe not a general transcription initiation??? Only in stress-response. 

Aging is a stress condition. 
TODO: SET1 expression during aging in eLife Data set. and Dang’s lab RNA and protein level data. 

Gene Ontology Term: maintenance of transcriptional fidelity during DNA-templated transcription elongation

**** RPB9-deletion shorten RLS by 44% with p=1E-9. -> expect to increase expression noise -> aging. 

General transcription elongation factor
DST1-deletion does change average RLS. (Need to check its distribution of RLS, gene expression). 

RNA polymerase II subunit B12.6; contacts DNA; mutations affect transcription start site selection and fidelity of transcription 

DST1 / YGL043W Overview

K4 methyltransferase yeast  cerevisiae is SET1

R write.csv versus write.csv2

write.csv uses "." for the decimal point and a comma for the separator.

write.csv2 uses a comma for the decimal point and a semicolon for the separator, the Excel convention for CSV files in some Western European locales.

2m dew point, ERA5

In Kelvin

Temperature to which the air, at 2 metres above the surface of the Earth, would have to be cooled for saturation to occur.It is a measure of the humidity of the air. Combined with temperature and pressure, it can be used to calculate the relative humidity. 2m dew point temperature is calculated by interpolating between the lowest model level and the Earth's surface, taking account of the atmospheric conditions. Temperature measured in kelvin can be converted to degrees Celsius (°C) by subtracting 273.15.!/dataset/reanalysis-era5-land?tab=overview

Low dew point == low humidity according to wikipedia, because less vapor is need for condensation

Dew pointRelative humidity at 32 °C (90 °F)
Over 26 °COver 80 °F73% and higher
24–26 °C75–80 °F62–72%
21–24 °C70–74 °F52–61%
18–21 °C65–69 °F44–51%
16–18 °C60–64 °F37–43%
13–16 °C55–59 °F31–36%
10–12 °C50–54 °F26–30%
Under 10 °CUnder 50 °F25% and lower
This seems to explain that the condensation on leaves is often seen in the early morning, but not during the daytime. So, if a mutant strain has a lower dew point, it tend be in drier locations. If a strain has a higher dew point, it tends to be more humid locations