Dispatches

Big data study provides first insights into behavior of users of peer-to-peer file sharing

OCT 8, 2014 // Megan Fellman Peer-to-peer file sharing of movies, television shows, music, books and other files over the Internet has grown rapidly worldwide as an alternative approach for people to get the digital content they want — often illicitly. But, unlike the users of Amazon, Netflix and other ...

Read More

Mounting a remote folder on OS X over SSH

The current project I am working on needs to access to a folder on a remote server. It seems to be a simple task, but there is one issue: I am a Mac user. Mounting a server folder is very useful if you have a lot of data to share with your colleagues. It is insane to copy it to your hard drive every time it changes or manage large amounts of data with version control since it will slow down the repository. The best solution we found in the lab is using SSH and mounting folders using sshfs. It works really well in Linux and we don’t want to use a different system for other operating systems.

Read More

I wish I knew then what I know now (reproducible methods are awesome!)

I started working in computational research with no meaningful experience. I spent two years in high school “programming” in C++ on a Windows 98 machine with an IDE that made the programs run (sometimes) through what must have been magic. The past five years have been a constant refinement of ...

Read More

Speed up your Python & Numpy codes

If you run short simulations, you may tell yourself that you don’t need faster code because it only takes a few of seconds or up to a couple of minutes and you don’t want to “waste” your time learning non interesting coding tricks. However, my experience tells me than good programming habits are easier to learn than bad ones, they decrease the probability of having bugs in your code, and you’ll have a clearer and better organized result.

Read More

Confirmation bias and proof by example: Why people think the Moon always appears at night (while it doesn’t)

Xiaohan Zeng, Andrea LancichinettiEdited by Nick Timkovich For thousands of years, people thought that the Sun and the Moon were opposites: the Sun governs the day, and the Moon dominates the night. Surprisingly, this observation is common across many cultures. In Greek mythology, Apollo, the god of the Sun, and ...

Read More

Looking Good

Researchers need to have a better appreciation of aesthetics; one can not simply avoid rainbow-colored text on a poster with a red-green gradient using illegible font sizes in PowerPoint and call it good.

Read More

Coding in Emacs and PyCharm

While I’m paid to do research, much of my daily activities involve programming. As such, I like to experiment with ways to make writing code simpler and faster by playing around with my development environment.

Read More

So how did you...?

There is almost always one question that I receive when someone finds out both what my research is and that my background is in biology. That is 'So when did you start programming?’, with implication that the answer should be when I was a child. The answer is really that ...

Read More