Personal Website.

A Workflow for Reproducible Research

All research should be reproducible. This fact gets engraved into the brains of all potential researchers and that is for a very good reason. Reproducible research means it can be tested or improved by people in a different lab maybe at the other end of the world and it can also reveal mistakes that have been carried out during the research, which may have changed the results of the study altogether. I’d like to say that with peer reviews there is, in theory, a very efficient mechanism in place to ensure all published research is reproducible. On the other hand though, as the Retraction Watch blog shows us time and time again, it doesn’t always work and there are some bogus papers out there (and some researchers seem to be running some sort of a retraction leaderboard). (more…)

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One Hour on Procrastination

Procrastination – we all do it (admittedly or not admittedly) and we presumably all hate that we’re doing it. I’m doing it right now. Tuesday evening we Southamptoners were lucky enough to enjoy a talk by Jorge Cham, the creative mind of PhD comics. His presentation was called “The Power of Procrastination” and like the comics just hits the nail on its head. Very often I find myself thinking or saying to someone “Oh my god, I could be and should be doing work right now and I won’t even have any time to sleep anymore” and find myself browsing the internet five minutes later. But Jorge’s talk gave me a new viewpoint on the whole topic and can probably help keeping many PhD students sane. (more…)

Word Count for LaTeX

I had posted a small tutorial for making your life with $\LaTeX$ that tiny bit easier and more automated earlier. Today I want to introduce you to another very useful tool in that respect: texcount. It’s a Perl script that will parse your $\LaTeX$ file and count words and formulae in sections and captions. Just download and unpack the archive to somewhere on your computer and you’re ready to use it. (more…)

The Simplest & Most Useful Makefile (LaTeX)

I’ve started using LaTeX when I started my degree at uni a bit more than 5 years ago. When I first heard about it I thought it was a software like Microsoft Office, just not as horrible with the formatting. That has all changed and LaTeX has become my language of choice for writing papers, reports, coursework or anything closely related. I found it quite handy that there are so many different editors available until I have recently discovered the best of them all: Emacs + make. (more…)

Maintain Safer Passwords For The Peace Of Mind

Passwords are quite a tedious topic: We all know that we are supposed to have a different password on every website or service that we use, but we also all know that it is quite impossible to remember a different one for each of these. So we end up writing them down somewhere or only have very few passwords that get used on several websites. You could probably argue both ways that either only having a few passwords or writing them down is less safe. As a matter of fact they’re both quite unsafe. (more…)

Going Paperless This Year

My New Year’s resolution for 2013 arose with my efforts to try and treat our environment in the best possible way that I can, because, let’s face it, there are enough people who don’t. This goal surely is limited by several factors, such as money. However, there are some things that we can do, which are even great for the wallet. Going paperless is one of them. I am not trying to say that one should ditch all paper use from one day to another, simply because it sometimes isn’t possible. You will still receive mail through your letter box and (with respect to being a scientist) you will still have to print and hand sign out your travel claims forms. (more…)