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Ohio State University's Michael Ibba told attendees of the American Society for Microbiology's annual meeting held in New Orleans, La., this week that, when applying to faculty positions at major research institutions, "you've got to realize ... it's a fairly random process." Because of the stochastic nature of faculty hiring decisions, Ibba advised that an aspiring assistant professor "apply to a lot of positions," no matter their geographic locations. "You're not the only person in the world who realizes it would be really nice to live in the Bay Area," he said. "Everybody knows that.

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