Synopsis: I investigate a mystery about rising conference costs and reach a different conclusion than expected. A few days ago I was registering for the American Physical Society (APS) March Meeting, the major yearly gathering of Physicists, and noticed that the registration fee is quite a bit higher than it was last year. I made … Continue reading The Case of the Rising Conference Registration Fee
There is a deluge of research papers; it is impossible to keep up. Everyone knows this and tackles it in their own way — plowing either systematically or randomly through as many new publications as they can, or giving up and just searching for papers when needed. I think it’s important to be aware of … Continue reading Papers as noise
For months I’ve been intending to write about a fascinating and frightening 2018 paper on the “half-life” of scientists — how long scientists remain in the scientific workforce. I was reminded of this recently by an excellent paper comparing the impact of small and large research groups on science. The two papers should perhaps be … Continue reading Science, Small Groups, and Stochasticity
The U.S. National Science Foundation ran an interesting call for proposals recently called the “Idea Machine,” aiming to gather “Big Ideas” to shape the future of research. It was open not just to scientists, but to anyone interested in potentially identifying grand challenges and new directions. I expect that most of the submissions will be … Continue reading What’s the big idea? Science!
One of the most interesting recent developments here at the University of Oregon is the creation of the new Knight Campus for Accelerating Scientific Impact, the result of a $500 Million gift from Phil and Penny Knight (of Nike fame). This new mini-campus will be focused on applied / translational research, predominantly related to life-sciences. … Continue reading The 500 million dollar question
What do mice chasing crickets, particle accelerators, solid sponges for natural gas storage, and toddlers with cameras mounted on their heads have in common? All were the subjects of short talks at yesterday afternoon’s “Informal Symposium” on Machine Learning in the Sciences at the University of Oregon, that Teddy Hay, Gabriel Barello, and I co-organized. … Continue reading Machine Learning Mixer
NOTE: This will only be of interest to a subset of the very small number of people who calculate things related to two dimensional viscosity. For the rest of you, here’s a link to the previous post, on witchcraft! SYNOPSIS: I describe and provide MATLAB code (here) to calculate the hydrodynamic drag and diffusion coefficients … Continue reading Membrane Diffusion Software