The people who use our boards.281 interviews since 2018
The people who use our boards.
Vitor PavinatoEvolutionary Biologist
Who are you, and what do you do? What do you like to do outside of work?
I am Vitor, a biologist, entomologist, and geneticist. I have spent some time abroad (in the US and in France) as a postdoctoral researcher, working and learning different techniques and approaches to study how organisms adapt to their environment. My work initially involved a lot of wet lab work, but now (I would say in the last three years) it has become more computational, as I spend most of my time analyzing genomic data and developing simulations. In other words, I spend most of my time using R, Bash, and SLiM, and preparing scripts for high performance-computing (HPC). Other parts of my work include preparing figures for publication and reading and writing scientific articles. I also spend some time looking for grants and scholarships (since I’m not in a permanent job position).
Outside of work, I enjoy reading and learning new languages. I have always had an interest in history, philosophy and politics. Some of the books I’ve enjoyed reading were Letters to a Stoic, by Seneca; Drunk Tank Pink (2013), by Adam Alter; and Digital Minimalism, by Cal Newport (2019). Lately, I’ve finished these three books that helped me understand part of the actual political and economic scenario: How Democracies Die (2018), by Steven Levitsky and Daniel Ziblatt; Deaths of Despair and the Future of Capitalism (2020), by Anne Case and Angus Deaton; and Winners Take All: The Elite Charade of Changing the World (2020), by Anand Giridharadas. These interests almost put me in a different direction when choosing which career to pursue. So, I spend my free time reading non-academic books that revolve around these topics. I also split my free time watching movies and series, listening to podcasts, and taking online courses in my current targeted language, which is French. But I cannot wait to change to the next language (maybe Italian or Spanish, but I am also fascinated by German).
What hardware do you use?
I have an old MacBook Pro 15” (2013) that I use most of the time for reading, writing, coding, and analyzing data. The university where I work now (Ohio State University) has provided me with a newer MacBook Pro 15” that I am using for heavy data analysis. My Mac is docked in a Dell D6000 docking station and uses two Dell P2219H monitors. As part of the computer they provided, they also gave me a Dell wireless keyboard and a mouse. That was the setup in my office, and at home I only used my computer for entertainment during the weekends, so I didn’t need a workstation. But COVID-19 changed everything. The first thing I did was to buy an Ikea PÅHL desk. Then I brought one of the Dell monitors and the docking station home. I also bought my Planck EZ keyboard and later an IKEA HATTEFJÄLL chair. My setup was completed around August (when I bought the chair and brought home the docking station). I love Planck EZ because it takes up little space on my desk, and most important, it fits perfectly in my backpack (in case I need to go to my office). The other reason I bought this keyboard is because I hope to be able to use it for many years, as I have a minimalistic mindset of buying things that last and are meaningful to me.
And what software?
As I perform most of my analysis in the HPC, I use Vivaldi as my daily internet browser. When I’m working, I also use iTerm2 with oh my zsh for a nice terminal experience, RStudio as an IDE, R for statistical analysis, and Geany for everything else—such as a notepad to jot down some ideas, tasks, and small bash and AWK scripts, etc. For graphs and figures, I use Graphic, and for writing I use Pages and sometimes Overleaf for projects where I need to use LaTeX. Software that I cannot live without are Dropbox, Freedom, Divvy, New Terminal Here, and 1Password. I cannot forget Homebrew, as I used it to install missing Mac packages for simple tasks and for packages dedicated to genomic and statistical analysis. I also use it to install and manage most of the software I listed above.
What’s your keyboard setup like? Do you use a custom layout or custom keycaps?
The keyboard looks the same. I made only small changes. But I am very excited to try the Dvorak layout. I also regret having the Planck EZ without the Glow, as I like to change some caps to help with keyboard shortcuts. I am always looking at Drop, but I still haven’t found anything I want to buy.
What would be your dream setup?
My dream setup would be a newer MacBook Pro Retina 13”, with one wide monitor and another 27” monitor that I could set up vertically for writing and reading. I also would have the newer Moonlander keyboard, and a Logitech G604 mouse. I also would love to have the Twelve South Curve SE lift on which to place my MacBook Pro.