When it rains…

Anyone living in Williamsburg in the summer (or, for that matter, in Bilbao, where this research started) can complete that statement all too well.  I’m normally a huge fan of summer downpours, but not to the extent that I enjoy giving a tour through one.  That, I’ll say, was a bit much.  But because we’ve been short on rain, I know that even if it comes all at once it’s still very much appreciated  by the locals.

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Mystery of the Missing Frogs

I’m writing for the first time from home today.  My last night of fieldwork and data collection was officially carried out last Tuesday.  Jonathan says the hard part is over.  It’s true that fieldwork is draining and puts your sleep cycles on crack, but I still think that the ‘fun part’ is also over.  From now on my time will be spent pushing around a massive data set, organizing and analyzing, and better yet, writing a scientific paper. Fun fun…

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wrapping up Cambodia

My first two entries were short and diluted; perhaps a product of feeling overwhelmed or frustrated with my progress. These feelings have almost disappeared entirely, however, as I have become more accustomed to the culture of processes and communication in Cambodia. When volunteering and interviewing, it has been vital that I tread softly to adhere to the subtleties of Khmer culture, giving each individual his due respect and following all the correct channels of communication. It may take a longer to accomplish a task in this manner, but it ensures that everyone saves face and relationships are kept in tact.

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Getting to Know STATA

Over the past couple weeks, I’ve been learning to program in STATA, a program used to assist statistical analysis. My advisors have been working on a project that requires them to know the charges for individual surgical procedures , specific to an individual hospital. For some hospitals however, there are no records for an individual procedure’s cost. Instead, there are entries that have the combined cost for two procedures, one being the procedure of interest. Hence, the data must be manipulated to get the desired results. In the simplest example, the information we wish to find is the charge of procedure x at hospital A. In the data, we find the charges for procedure x  and procedure y combined. In order to find the charge for procedure x by itself, we can look to see if there is an entry that just contains the charges for procedure y. We could then subtract this value from the x and y combined charges to get our procedure of interest. In order to do this, it is easiest to write some code up in stata that goes through this process.

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