☘☘☘ Letters by Vivek Rai
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About Me

I am a Bioinformatics Ph.D. student at University of Michigan . I graduated with a bachelors and masters in Biotechnology and Biochemical Engineering from Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur, India in 2017.

This blog (called shorts) is a destination to satisfy my cravings for writing, communicating science, code, and books. The blog name also encapsulates my philosophy of being concise and clear in communicating these things.

Posts from my older blog are now archived, but I have included a popular sample of posts below:



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 requires a careful and systematic investigation, perseverance, and an unshakable curiosity to seek knowledge. However, many mistake the path of science to be cold and lonely. It is not. It cannot be. It is the most intellectual and largest collective experience of the mankind.

My Diary

I am interested in understanding the structure of genome and its evolution at molecular and as well as systems level, how it alters the cell phenotype and leads to complex genetic diseases. I continue to work in omics driven areas that draw heavily from integrated experimental, quantitative, and computational approaches with Dr. Steve Parker at the University of Michigan.

Previously, I have worked with Dr. Gustavo Glusman in Dr. Leroy Hood's lab at Institute for Systems Biology, Prof Amit Kumar Das at Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur, and Prof Sandhya S Vishweswariah at Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore.

Lastly, a list (hopefully evolving) of published, public, or in progress work where I have contributed:

O'Neill, Rai, Kilpatrick; The International Society for Computational Biology and WikiProject Computational Biology: Celebrating Ten Years of Collaboration Towards Open Access. Bioinformatics 2017. (abstract, pdf)

Priyam, Woodcroft, Rai et al; Sequenceserver: A modern graphical user interface for custom BLAST databases. Biorxiv 2015. (abstract, pdf)

Klein, Gupta, Rai et al; Monitoring the Gender Gap with Wikidata Human Gender Indicators. Opensym 2016. (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. In 2016, I was selected for Google Summer of Code program, where I contributed to under umbrella of Open Bioinformatics Foundation.

I was also one of the maintainers and significant contributing member of MetaKGP.

Few projects with my significant contributions are:

I have used Python, R, Ruby, JavaScript, MATLAB, BASH in my works. Currently trying to learn Nim in my spare time.

My other interests include quantified self, lateral thinking, and language and learning.