I am a biology enthusiast with a wide spectrum of interests in computing; currently pursuing my final year of integrated master’s program in Biotechnology at Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur, India. This blog (fondly called shorts) is a personal destination to satisfy my cravings for writing, books, code, and science.

My older blog has retired and all previous posts are now archived. Shorts takes over the previous blog as a more active version with focus on concise and frequent spurts of writing. A few useful posts from my older blog are:

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Science provides intellectual freedom. It enables us to explore and understand the nature of reality around us — from tiny atoms, living cells and organisms, to the magnanimous universe.

Doing science, however, requires a careful and systematic investigation, perseverance, and an unshakable curiosity to seek knowledge. However, it is not a lone journey. It cannot be. To do science, is to participate in the largest collective experience of mankind.

Thus, all my efforts – internships, projects, term papers, conferences – are a desperate reflection of my desire to become a useful member of this sport, to develop and explore own niche.

I am interested in understanding how genome evolution, at molecular as well as systems level, alters cell phenotype, guides anthropological diversity in populations; and how it can be applied in understanding the genetics of complex diseases. Focusing more on the methods development, I wish to work in areas that draw heavily from omics data using integrated quantitative and computational approaches.

As this blog develops, I plan to write several primer articles on my topics of interest.

Lastly, a (tiny) list of published, public, or in progress work where I have made non-trivial contributions:

  1. Priyam, Woodcroft, Rai et al. 2015. Sequenceserver: A modern graphical user interface for custom BLAST databases. Biorxiv. (abstract, pdf)
  2. Klein, Gupta, Rai et al. 2016. Monitoring the Gender Gap with Wikidata Human Gender Indicators Opensym '16. (abstract, pdf)


I am hooked to open-source software development — an ambitious outgrowth of my personal interest to create free (as in free speech!) and open-source content. During summer 2016, I was selected for Google Summer of Code program, where I contributed to under umbrella of Open Bioinformatics Foundation.

I have learned a lot by contributing to these projects:

I use GNU/Linux, keep files under version control and edit using Vim.

I have used Python, R, Ruby, JavaScript, MATLAB, BASH in my works.


I am interested in the ideas of quantified self, getting things done, lateral thinking, language and learning, history of humans, open communities, free knowledge, and societal issues like gender biases.

I speak English, Hindi (native), and I am learning Esperanto in my free time.


I have an unexplored sense of adventure that is unleashed when I am outdoors. I enjoy hiking, playing table tennis, long no-purpose walks, sleeping under open starry sky, camping, and watching sunset while sipping a delicious coffee.

blog by Vivek Rai