Browsing All Posts filed under »General Interest«

University of Chicago Software Carpentry Bootcamp

April 5, 2012 by


This post was cross-posted from in case you’ve been wondering what your inSCIghtful panelists are up to when they’re not making podcasts. This week, Anthony, Katy, and Milad were doing this : Software Carpentry brought a boot camp to the University of Chicago with collaboration from the FLASH Center at the University of Chicago’s Computational Institute and The […]

Evolution of a Solution

March 31, 2012 by


the thought process of a computational scientist To appease the PI, our hero – the dashing, young scientist – faces down the following problem with moxie normally reserved for Marie Curie. In 2D or 3D, we have two points (p1 and p2) which define a line segment. Additionally there exists experimental data which can be […]

Binary in a Coalmine; Open Source as a Continuum

March 9, 2012 by


A couple of weeks ago Milad (animal) and I engaged in a lively discussion at the NIF User Group Meeting banquet on the nature of free & open source. Specifically in contention was FLASH, the code we both work on for the University of Chicago. At the NIF User Group Meeting and elsewhere, FLASH has […]

Bruce Dawson’s update on comparing floating point numbers.

February 26, 2012 by


Bruce Dawson wrote a very popular white paper on comparing floating point numbers. A few days ago, he posted an update with corrections and a great, easy-to-follow discussion of the topic. The problem addressed is determination when two floating point numbers are effectively equal. As you may have experienced, the “==” or “!=” operators are […]

Interactive visualization of WordPress blog view statistics.

February 23, 2012 by


As a follow-up to our episode on ParaViewWeb, we present visualization of the WordPress statistics for episode page views of our blog. While most listeners subscribe to our RSS feed, the blog page views provide a glimpse into the time course of episode attention. Hat tip goes to Anthony Scopatz for tracking down a method […]

The Cost of Knowledge

January 27, 2012 by


In the post-SOPA/PIPA haze, a website was recently launched called the Cost of Knowledge.  This site is basically a petition for a vote-of-no-confidence against Elsevier, a major academic publisher.  By signing your name to their board you promise to refrain publishing,  refereeing, and/or performing editorial duties for any of Elsevier’s many journals.  At the time […]

Advice to Grad Students

January 18, 2012 by


One of my friends, who is a graduate student in Math and Statistics and is a rock-solid developer besides, asked me for some advice today.  They have seen posted around their university offerings for positions (presumably in other departments) for graduate students who can program.  It is true; there are some savvy professors out there who want to […]