The National Science Foundation GRFP Algorithm — A Python Game.

Have you ever received the scores for your GRFP application and thought, “One of these reviewers is not like the others”? If you are unfamiliar with the National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP), this post probably won’t make much sense. But I’ll give a little background anyway. The NSF awards 2,000 of

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Short stories written in programming languages

So, I had this idea the other day: short stories written in programming languages. And of course, as with most good ideas, it’s already been done. I’m working on a couple of code stories in Perl, but in the meantime, here are some cool ones I found on GitHub: ________ I. Two stories by José Reyna in Python: love_story.py

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Mathematical Beauty: A random walk with artist Daniel M. Watkins

“The mathematician’s patterns, like the painter’s or the poet’s must be beautiful; the ideas, like the colors or the words must fit together in a harmonious way. Beauty is the first test: there is no permanent place in this world for ugly mathematics.” G. H. Hardy (1877 – 1947), A Mathematician’s Apology, Cambridge University Press, 1994.

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Scientific art installations at the Linus Pauling Institute

The Linus Pauling Institute (LPI, originally the “Institute of Orthomolecular Medicine”) was founded by Linus Pauling and his colleagues in 1973; its research was focused on characterizing the role of vitamins and other micronutrients in promoting human health, and on understanding how their deficiencies could lead to chronic diseases. In 1996, the Institute was relocated to Oregon State University’s

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Repurposing science jargon for literary prose

Although the English language has an indisputably rich vocabulary, I still sometimes find myself wishing it were bigger. Who hasn’t envied German’s “Waldeinsamkeit,” Japanese’s “Komorebi,” Georgian’s “Shemomedjamo,” or Russian’s “Toska”? (For definitions, see bottom of page.) But often, when I feel I’m at a loss for words, I recall certain terms in science that don’t have

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An Autumn Science Poem

There is no need to explain the inspiration behind this post. The smell of pumpkin spice, the ubiquity of boots and scarves, and the obvious changes in the Earth herself, all herald the magical season that a recent Onion article referred to as “the Northern Hemisphere’s annual tilt away from the sun.” There’s a lot of interesting chemistry

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Soil Science on Canvas

Although it is a niche specialization, professional scientific artists do exist. In fact, I recently had the pleasure of accidentally meeting one at a thesis defense: Dr. Jay Stratton Noller — painter, soil scientist, and the Head of the Dept. of Crop and Soil Science in the College of Agricultural Sciences at Oregon State University. While art is a hobby

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