The title says it all: Liz Blankenship (who redesigned part of DrProject last summer) is looking for a job in Seattle. Please contact her directly if you have any leads.
I’m at CalTech listening to physicists talk about the software side of the new Spallation Neutron Source at Oak Ridge. One of their major headaches is the difficulty of deploying their code: a typical application has dozens of complicated modules, each with dozens or hundreds of dependencies. Their solution is to host a web service rather than try to deploy on end users’ machines, which has got me thinking: are web services and virtualization competing solutions for non-data-intensive applications? (Non-data-intensive because if your app needs to grind a few terabytes to produce an answer, you’re not shipping copies of it around.) Does anyone know of any studies/comparisons of the tradeoffs between “here’s the over-the-web API” and “here the VM”?
An update on a previous post: here’s where the last two weeks’ worth of working time went. I’m including time spent sorting out the house during working hours, but not the two hours a day I spend getting to and from work (much of which I spend reading technical material).
|E-learning reading and call||2.0|
|managing consulting projects||11.0|
|organizing summer students||2.0|
|CiSE special issue||1.0|
|reproducible research discussion||1.0|
|undergrad research showcase||0.5|
|talking to industrial contacts||1.5|
|unpacking/organizing at home||6.0|
Note: a colleague asked me on Friday about the “days left” counter on this site. I teach my students that the real purpose of a schedule is to tell you how far behind you are, i.e., when to start cutting corners, and how many. The counter on this blog is meant to serve the same purpose: I only have 458 days left to make a success of my sojourn in academia, and I don’t want to lose sight of that deadline.
I found Jakub Linowski’s Wireframes blog last week, and have been catching up—lots of good ideas here for UI design, and more importantly, for thinking about UI design.
There is another way to extend our scientific reach, and I believe it can also restore some of what is lost in the process of centralization. It has been called Citizen Science, and it involves the enlistment of large numbers of relatively untrained individuals in the collection of scientific data. To return to our architectural metaphor, if Big Science builds the high-rise yet higher, Citizen Science extends outward the community of villages.
We’re number N-1! We’re number N-1!
Students are working on 24 separate projects in my consulting course this term. 21 are running smoothly, which means I’m spending most of my time on the other three. On the bright side, I finally found my Hogfather DVD.
Another of my grad students, Rory Tulk, is converging on a thesis topic: making server-side build and test safe to do when you don’t trust people’s code. We need to figure this out because we’d like to use continuous integration in undergrad classes, but student code is frequently malicious (usually by accident, but occasionally on purpose). If you have thoughts, he’d like to hear from you.
Mike Gunderloy and others have announced the foundation of ActionRails, a Ruby on Rails consultancy for people who need more than “PHP with attitude”. Mike gets more done in the average week than I get done in the average year; if you need serious help, they can seriously help you.
One of my grad students, Jason Montojo, has posted a brief description of his intended research topic: how people familiarize themselves with code bases they haven’t seen before. I’m sure he’d be grateful for your thoughts…
Meanwhile, Alecia Fowler has posted a few links about tactile maps for the visually disabled. I was fascinated by the felt maps fire wardens used in London during the Blitz to find their way around in the dark; neat that high tech is finally catching up .