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Showing posts from September, 2015

How a blinky light helped me like coding

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-Alison aka The reluctant coder
I know I should spend more time learning to code. It is an excellent way to solve problems, and if anything I see myself as a problem solver. I’ve had enough interactions with Matlab and Python (and good old Matplotlib) that I know firsthand how a little bit of coding knowledge goes a long way. I find that when I discover a problem where I know a solution involving code will ultimately save time and look more elegant, I find that because the time it would take me to set up said code, debug it, swear at it, and stubborn my way to a solution, could also be used to just solve it some more analog way. Now, if I only want to do something once, making a clunky excel spreadsheet is fine. However, if I want to process multiple datasets the same way, really I know I should just make the code and save future me lots of time. I know I am not alone when I choose to be mean to my future self and choose the more immediate results that come from sticking with what I kn…

Science of art, art in science: a potter's perspective

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-Alison

While I love volcanoes and doing science, I do try to spend some time doing other things. In fact, I am frequently reminded that the best thing a person can do for their own success at work is to have something else in their life that is NOT work, but still feels valuable to them. For any graduate students I would actually stress that this includes you. My activity that I do just for me is pottery. Which as a geologist isn't as separated from science as some might think. Science and art are not incompatible. Frankly I find them to be good friends. Where would we be if the early naturalists didn’t spend hours making amazing sketches of landscapes and animals? There would be several species that we know nothing about, or historical volcanic eruptions that changed the face of a mountain, but which part? If you are interested in science inspired art then Twitter has a hashtag for you #sciart. And if you are just into beautiful images of things from nature I would suggest #thin…