Patrick Lam

Thoughts and travels of Patrick Lam


Here are some academic terms that I’ve invented.

  • Pre-battical. A one-year postdoc taken straight out of one's PhD, after obtaining a tenure-track Assistant Professorship, but before starting said professorship.
    Usage. Her pre-battical at UW turbocharged the start of her independent research career and let her branch out into that up-and-coming field.
  • Associate professor purgatory. The period a few years after returning from one's post-tenure sabbatical where one is no longer protected from service but still expected to constantly ramp up research productivity.
    Usage. Joe's swamped with grant proposal writing and committee meetings in his associate professor purgatory.
  • Meeting spam. Presentations at meetings where the presenters feel that the participants should know about a topic, but where the participants' time cost exceeds the expected value to them.
    Usage. "Gee, I sure didn't get much out of that meeting spam."