Monthly Archives: June 2011

starting with hdf5 — writing a data cube in C

pre(r)amble Let us start using hdf5 to write out a “data cube” — in our example a series of scalar values f(x, y, z). hdf5 is a library written in C but it can be called from many programming languages. … Continue reading

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file formats for scientific data

I spent some time this last winter examining a variety of file formats for storing scientific data.  I also organized a “debate” in Los Alamos with people presenting various file formats.  I reached the following conclusions: For itsy-bitsy-teeny-weeny data files, … Continue reading

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can anyone believe your results? (reproducibility)

Here are things I have heard working scientists say: I made the plot in excel I played with the plot in excel until it looked good I’m not sure how I got from the raw data to the plot I’m … Continue reading

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Kevin McCarty’s “physics software rant”

I have always liked Kevin McCarty’s Physics Software Rant.  I think he’s on the money in pretty much all his points. He starts out with “First and most importantly — Choose a license!”, then goes on to show many specific … Continue reading

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volume visualization — mayavi and mayavi2

Some programs are truly delightful; I have long had a list of those that charmed me. One of these was  mayavi, the volume visualization program.  Volume visualization is quite different from what people think of as “3D graphics” — a … Continue reading

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should a scientist be a hacker?

I always enjoyed programming, so I’m inclined to think that all scientists should also be good hackers.  On the other hand many very good scientists are not, so my inclination is probably incorrect. Still, every scientist should know how to … Continue reading

Posted in meta, unix | 4 Comments

Should a scientist be a power user?

The answer is quite obvious: a scientist should have a mastery of her computer tools. A school curriculum in science should have a clear from user to power user progression for their students. It used to be that people studying … Continue reading

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