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Biologist, programmer, that guy
Interests: Making tools, playing games, exploring the data
Recent Activity
PLoS Computational Biology has embarked on a fascinating experiment in scientific publication to Wikipedia: Topic pages. That's a peer-reviewed article published in PLoS Computational Biology designed to be directly incorporated into Wikipedia. Unlike a conventional research paper, a topic paper is designed to comprehensively cover one specific topic. The first... Continue reading
Posted Mar 31, 2012 at Gaurav Vaidya
This book is a pretty crazy beast. It would be a perfectly enjoyable science fiction/action novel, if it weren't based around Flavius Belisarius, one of the most fascinating generals of the sixth century and reconqueror of Italy. And it looks like he's going to be up fighting against the Guptas,... Continue reading
Posted Mar 22, 2012 at Gaurav Vaidya
Here's the strange thing about being born on the leap day. Most years (exactly three out of four) are just the same as anybody else's: you hit your birthday, think about the year behind you and the months ago, and take the day as a chance to be slightly weird... Continue reading
Posted Feb 29, 2012 at Gaurav Vaidya
People who know me know that, even as I acknowledge Lolita as the finest novel I've ever read, my heart belongs to my favouritest novel in all the world, the little known The Year of the Death of Ricardo Reis, a novel published in 1984 by genius Portuguese novelist José... Continue reading
Posted Dec 19, 2011 at Gaurav Vaidya
Dec 15, 2011
While I have been letting this blog fall asleep in the run-up to the ever-so-busy final weeks of school, I have been busily blogging, writing and scheming elsewhere! Here are some updates: October 11 Co-wrote What’s new, October edition on the Map of Life blog. November 18 Kicked off a... Continue reading
Posted Dec 11, 2011 at Gaurav Vaidya
We who are left how shall we look again Happily on the sun or feel the rain Without remembering how they who went Ungrudgingly and spent Their lives for us loved, too, the sun and rain? -- Wilfrid Wilson Gibson, Lament (1916) (I have others) Continue reading
Posted Nov 11, 2011 at Gaurav Vaidya
My post on TDWG 2011, day two, part two, starts at 2pm with the symposium on "Global biodiversity informatics initiatives update". This symposium was hugely useful to me as a biodiversity noob, giving me a broad overview of the major #biodinfo initiatives, which problems they are tackling, and where they... Continue reading
Posted Nov 8, 2011 at Gaurav Vaidya
After a short trip to meet Walter Jetz at Yale, I'm back in Boulder, have seen Paul Simon in Broomfield, CO and Wikipedia Loves Libraries! at Norlin last week, and am making a start at putting together my research ideas. Fun times ahoy! But first, I'm still working through my... Continue reading
Posted Nov 6, 2011 at Gaurav Vaidya
I just discovered the #SciFund challenge, a Kickstarter-like project to raise money for scientific projects by promising deliverables created as part of the project. I think it's a great way of getting non-scientists involved in science, to say nothing of getting funded and of creating a concrete science-to-public deliverable system.... Continue reading
Posted Nov 6, 2011 at Gaurav Vaidya
Yesterday (Monday) was the first full day at TDWG 2011. This post is an extraordinarily incomplete summary of some of the things I learned that day; a lot happened on that day, and I really don't have time to write about it all here (although I might post my thoughts... Continue reading
Posted Oct 19, 2011 at Gaurav Vaidya
Here's some fantastic stuff I discovered during the TDWG icebreaker yesterday: Mandala, a cross-platform, FileMaker® Pro database "designed to track specimen-based biodiversity data, loans, and detail complex nomenclatural histories with their associated literature". A book chapter describes the schema used, but if you prefer to just jump in and try... Continue reading
Posted Oct 17, 2011 at Gaurav Vaidya
Precisely this awesome: So somebody (probably Wikipedia user midorigin) purchased Milo powder from two countries about two continents apart, photographed them on white paper, added scale lines, and uploaded their result, allowing Wikipedia to visually show the difference between Milo preferences in two very different geographical areas. Think about that... Continue reading
Posted Aug 29, 2011 at Gaurav Vaidya
Thanks to the Letters of Note blog, I just discovered this trove of letters addressed to the children of Troy, Michigan, collected by Marguerite Hart in the early 1970s, who asked dozens of "actors, authors, artists, musicians, playwrights, librarians, and politicians of the day" to pen down their thoughts on... Continue reading
Posted May 11, 2011 at Gaurav Vaidya
Since mid-February, the venerable Journal of Universal Rejection has taken us behind the scenes of their rigorous article review process - a review so exacting that no article has yet managed to pass through to publication. By way of evidence, consider the short story Done, which - despite extensive changes... Continue reading
Posted Apr 11, 2011 at Gaurav Vaidya
Assistant professor Matt Might is probably best known for his Illustrated Guide to a Ph.D.. I've just been reading his excellent article on the Three Qualities of Successful Ph.D. Students, and I'm finding it my favourite amongst his many articles on this subject. It's filled with fantastic nuggets, such as:... Continue reading
Posted Apr 11, 2011 at Gaurav Vaidya
Gaurav is now following Dexter
Apr 11, 2011
Haha, nope - I'm out of a job in Singapore, so I'm heading back to India to save on rent! I'll fly to the US sometime in late July or early August, assuming everything works out between now and then!
Toggle Commented Mar 28, 2011 on 'ere I am (JH) at Gaurav Vaidya
Dexter: Aww, thanks! Yes, we should definitely meet up: I haven't decided my exit date yet, but it looks likely that it'll either be towards the end of April or early May, so there's plenty of time yet. Look out for notifications and invitations towards mid April!
Toggle Commented Mar 26, 2011 on 'ere I am (JH) at Gaurav Vaidya
Toggle Commented Feb 2, 2011 on PAP Kindergarten letter: Part 2 at
1 reply
We've made a screencast to promote Sequence Matrix, a genetic sequence concatenation tool I wrote at the Evolutionary Biology lab at the National University of Singapore. This was my first attempt at creating a screencast, so I learned a thing or two I'd like to remember the next time I... Continue reading
Posted Jan 30, 2011 at Gaurav Vaidya
Responding to Kim A. Thomas' request for my favourite photographer, I found some fantastic photographs by my favourite, the French photographer Henri Cartier-Bresson, so I thought I'd share them here. If I can find Creative-Commons versions of them, I'd put them up here, otherwise just click the links to go... Continue reading
Posted Jan 18, 2011 at Gaurav Vaidya
... any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind, and therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee. -- John Donne, Devotions upon Emergent Occasions (1623), XVII I'm opposed to the death penalty. My reasons aren't for moral reasons, but economic... Continue reading
Posted Jan 16, 2011 at Gaurav Vaidya
Gaurav is now following Iftekharul Haque
Nov 27, 2010