Communication

General

Slack: We use slack for rapid communication within the lab. If you’d send an e-mail to someone within the lab, try a slack message instead. This helps to keep communications in one place, and Casey commits to respond to slacks (not necessarily immediately, but the same guarantee is not made for e-mail).

Bonus.ly: We recognize that people regularly go above and beyond lab expectations. We wanted a way to recognize each other when this happens. We now use bonus.ly. This allows lab members to send a quick virtual thank you note and/or pat on the back. If someone’s paper gets accepted or someone helps you out with a programming question, congratulate or thank them. Slack includes /give syntax that you should explore (or /give someone a point for helping you). When one member accumulates enough bonus.ly points, they take the lab out to lunch (Casey pays).

Social Media: Lab members are encouraged to communicate through public social media, and if you choose to do so then you are expected to follow our code of conduct.

Projects: By the nature of our research, lab members will often have the opportunity to participate projects managed via private or publicly accessible source code repositires. In these cases, lab members are expected to: follow the code of conduct; expect that private repositories will be world accessible; and to communicate via the project-specific medium (e.g. if Rene reported an issue on a project on bitbucket, it would not be appropriate for Casey to reply “I’ll drop by your desk and show you how to solve that.”).

IP/Openness: This is handled in accordance with the instructions from our research sponsors and university guidance. Lab members must follow the Penn Participation Agreement and the agreements with our sponsors. These often allow, encourage, or require openness. If you have concerns at any point, set up a meeting with Casey to discuss these concerns.

Shared Calendar: There is a shared google calendar for members of the Greene lab. This has the time and location of group meeting, and is considered the most up to date information about individual availability. If you will be out of town for work or vacation, note this in the calendar.

Accounts Lab members are expected to have accounts for the following and be members of the specified (organizations) if applicable:

  • BitBucket (GreeneLab)
  • GitHub (greenelab)
  • Google Calender (Shared Calendar)
  • Slack (GreeneLab)
  • Bonus.ly (GreeneLab)
  • Dropbox (permanent members)

Meetings

Scrum: The scrum is a 10 minute or less meeting that is held every day. It is currently scheduled for 10:00 AM. The goal of the scrum is to communicate recent progress and objectives. The scrum is held both in person and via a google hangouts link posted to the Slack #general channel. Those who work partial schedules (part-time employees, undergraduate students) are only expected to scrum on days that they work. In each scrum, every lab member provides a short summary of:

  1. What specific item(s) he/she accomplished yesterday.
  2. What specific item(s) he/she plans to accomplish today.
  3. Who, if anyone, is blocking him/her?
  4. Who, if anyone, is he/she blocking?

Lab Meeting: Lab meeting is held weekly at a location at Penn and also via the google hangouts link used for scrum. Scheduling is managed via a google spreadsheet. See the #general slack channel’s pinned items link. Lab meeting consists of three components described below.

  • Journal Club
  • Braintrust
  • Applied Imagination

Journal Club: We have a 15 minute journal club to start each lab meeting. For journal club, prepare a presentation of 4 papers. All except for one should have been published since your last journal club presentation. The content you discuss - specifically your summary of the papers - should be the product of thoughtful analysis. The presentation itself should be simple. During the discussion, please share why you picked the paper, its implication for your research, and any potential implications that touch on other research that is ongoing in the lab. For each paper, the presentation should consist of:

  1. A title slide
  2. An overview slide (usually a flow-chart of some sort from the paper, could also be an initial result that sets context).
  3. The results figure that convinced you to pick this paper.

Braintrust: This is an opportunity to share anything that you wish to talk about with the group. This could be a confounding result, an interesting result, an analysis that isn’t working, a demo of a cool new technology etc. This is your chance to have the group focus on and help you solve a challenge that you’re facing or to share something interesting that you’ve discovered with the group. Scheduling is voluntary, but each member of the lab is expected to share at least once every three months.

Applied Imagination: One hour per month, lab meetings will be dedicated to big ideas, brainstorming, extended discussion outside the scope of weekly lab meeting, and other team endeavors. Topics can be big questions like “How do we get rid of dark pools of gene expression data?” or the time can be used to discuss new methods and how they fit in with the lab mission (e.g., adversarial networks). Individual lab members are expected to do some brief preparation before the meeting (e.g., read provided papers/materials, come with a few ideas on the topic). The monthly meeting itself consists of group brainstorming and/or discussion and wraps up with a list of action items for follow up.

Individual Meetings: We schedule weekly individual meetings. Once you join the lab, contact Casey to set up a time. These are set up for a term to accommodate class schedules. We don’t reschedule these meetings by default if one of the parties (Casey or you) are out of town, so if you do want to meet in a week but travel conflicts, contact Casey to reschedule. The goal of the weekly meeting is to:

  1. Discuss challenges.
  2. Plan strategy (project related, personal career, etc).