Ricardo Dahis

Assistant Professor, PUC-Rio


Managing healthy and productive work relationships

Hello world! Collaborating and advising is not easy so I try to keep the flow of information and tasks efficient. Please read below if you work with me or intend to.

Principles of time management

The first principle to understand is that we are mortals. This has implications for how we should use our time.

Doing research, like any serious cognitive task, often requires blocks of uninterrupted time for deep work. I try my best to protect my time, so please be considerate.

To allow for more time for deep work, I try to avoid meetings. If they need to happen, I try to schedule them in blocks early in the week, and to keep them short and efficient. If you want to meet me, please schedule a meeting during my office hours: exclusive for PUC-Rio students or not.

I am also an enthusiast of digital minimalism (and I think you should be too!). I believe technology can be immensely useful and powerful, but it can also hurt our productivity, our relationships, and even democracies. Let's make wise use of it.

Working in teams

Effectively coordinating work between multiple people can be tricky, but there are useful tools and practices I expect my collaborators to adopt.

  • Time management: piece I wrote on it.
  • The Agile methodology
  • If there is a time-sensitive issue that needs my attention, or if I am the bottleneck for a given task, please don't hesitate to remind me. I will not be offended or irritated -- quite the opposite, I will be grateful.

    Doing research

    Doing research is not easy, so plenty of good advice has been written about it. I have my own list here.

    Coding practices

    For any student working with me (advisees, RAs), I expect you to adopt the best practices in software development. The initial fixed learning cost pays off very quickly.

    Please carefully read:

  • My research project template on GitHub
  • Gentzkow and Shapiro (2014) Code and Data for the Social Sciences
  • Information specifically for (potential) advisees

    This is a note for PUC-Rio students who would like me to advise their reseach. Importantly, none of the following is set in stone. Different types of advising relationships work best for different students. If you would like me to be your advisor, come talk to me, and we can discuss what would work best for you.

    Note that I may refuse advising students if I have hit capacity and/or if our interests do not match (I have broad interests though!).

    Frequency of meetings

  • If I am your primary advisor, I expect to meet you every two weeks. Schedule here.
  • If I am on your committee, but not your primary advisor, I expect to meet you at least every 3 months. Schedule here.
  • If I am not on your committee, I am still happy to meet you during my office hours. Schedule here.
  • Work flow

    Each advisee should have a minute (on Drive) shared with me.

    1. Before every meeting, please write down the topics you would like to discuss. These can include: progress updates for tasks from previous meetings, new results, general issues. You should paste any slides, figures, tables, links, etc. that you want to discuss.
    2. After every meeting, write down in the minute what tasks we agreed should be done by the next meeting.

    Letters of recommendation

    I am happy to write letters of recommendation to students and RAs I have interacted with. If you would like a letter from me, please send me a package with:

    1. Transcripts
    2. CV
    3. Narrative / statement of purpose
    4. Places or positions you are applying to
    5. Anything else you think could help me promote you

    Please don't hesitate to send me reminders as your deadlines approach. I am usually good with keeping track, but it could be that for some reason I am especially busy at the time.