Authorea User Spotlight - Casey Law

When did you know you wanted to become a scientist?
I took physics as a senior in high school and found it thrilling. It excited me to find a subject that tries to tackle the most fundamental laws of the universe. When I realized I could study that full time in college, I didn't hesitate to declare my major.

Can you summarize the main focus of your research?
My current research focuses on data intensive uses of radio interferometers. Interferometers have a rather peculiar way of seeing (Fourier transforms abound!) and there are a wide range of algorithms that can be applied to get at the underlying signal. I am tackling projects to perform large surveys, real-time data analysis, and high-speed imaging.

Who do you normally work with when you write research papers (colleagues, mentors, students, institutions, etc.) and are there any pain points in your workflow you'd like to see remedied?
I typically work with colleagues based at other institutions. Naturally, the internet and web-based tools for collaboration are a huge part of my work day. When a new result comes out, I may not appreciate it until chatting with colleagues about the techniques used and their impression of the conclusions, etc.. My colleagues and I like using Authorea because it is where publication and discussion intersect; a hub where you can publish your work and connect with like-minded scientists to discuss your research and theirs and build off each others' ideas. It's kind of the mecca of science. 
What has your transition to Authorea been like?
Authorea's design has made it easy to get a quick start. A new article comes with a click of a button. The most common use cases for publication are covered with a great library of style files.
What are your thoughts on Open Access/Open Science?
I'm a big advocate of open access and reproducible science. My interest as a scientist is to expand the frontier of human understanding. What new thing is out there? How does it help us understand ourselves and our place in the universe? Closing access to published discoveries not only reduces its impact, but it makes it harder for the community to advance. Aside from that, open access coupled with support for reproducibility (e.g., through published/open code) is an absolute necessity to maintaining quality.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever gotten? What advice would you want to impart on young scientists who are coming up?
I find myself often rewarded for taking a break from my core work goals to learn new techniques and technologies. The reward comes in the longer term, so it is important to balance it against short-term deadlines. Still, the broader your skill base, the more people will find that you are a valuable collaborator in one way or another.
Clearly we freely share information within our collaborations to refine our work and get the best result. Publications are the mechanism for sharing within the largest collaboration: the global scientific community.
What do you like to do when you’re not neck deep in science?
When not neck deep in science, I am neck deep in my kids! It has been fun to watch them start to discover the world. Kids are such keen observers and I am often surprised by what they are thinking

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