Cats in my research

I have had the idea to post this for a while, but now it’s finally happening! Somebody on Mastodon is going to write a review of cats appearing in papers, so the best I can do is provide references πŸ™‚ Here are some ways I added cats to my papers, in chronological order.

2013 – Cat mention

Three years into my PhD is the first mention of cats in my papers. In “Combining Instance Information to Classify Bags” (PDF here) which is about my PhD topic of multiple instance learning, I write “For example, an image labeled as β€œcat” would have a cat in at least one of its segments, whereas images without this label would not portray any cats at all“.

I’m not sure whether this was a coincidence or intentional. But more cats happened in the years after!


In 2015 I finished my PhD thesis, and the cover of the thesis features a puzzle with cat illustrations! The puzzle could have worked with any kind of illustration, so the cats were definitely intentional. Thanks to Hella Hekkelman who made the illustration.

Unfolded book cover titled "Dissimilarity-Based Multiple Instance Learning" by Veronika Cheplygina, both front and back covers have groups of cartoon cats on them.

I also added my cat Buffy to the thesis acknowledgments!


Probably the biggest achievement of my career – I wrote a paped titled “Cats or CAT scans: transfer learning from medical or natural image source datasets” (PDF here) AND inserted a picture of my cat Buffy (by then over the rainbow) into it. Here is Buffy pretending to be an image from ImageNet:


More images of Buffy, now occupying the whole figure, in “Ten simple rules for getting started on Twitter as an academic“. Now teaching the reader about cat-related hashtags like #AcademicsWithCats and #Caturday.


Based on the work about transfer learning I stared a few years before, I received a grant from the Novo Nordisk Foundation called “CATS: Choosing A Transfer Source for medical image classification”.


More Buffy, promoting self-care in “Ten simple rules for failing successfully in academia“.

More cats?

That’s it as far as I can remember, but Pixel and Dot definitely deserve paper appearances as well, so keep an eye out for that πŸ™‚

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