BumpZee Science and Engineering Communities

Posted on June 2, 2007  Comments (0)

Bumpzee communities provide topic focused blog feeds, tools for blogs and more. I have created communities for science and for engineering. They offer some of the common tools such as highlighting posts community members have voted up (bumped). Blog owners can add there blogs to bumpzee and the communities. Bumpzee offers tools to track blog statistics (others offer similar things, of course, for example: mybloglog, google analytics, feedburner) with interactive features (like showing what Bumpzee members are viewing the blog, most popular posts on your blog, most poplular posts in your community…).

Related: Science and Engineering blog directoryCurious Cat Science and Engineering SearchScience and Engineering Education Blog Directory

Freeware Math Programs

Posted on June 2, 2007  Comments (1)

3 awesome free Math programs

Maxima – A general purpose CAS (Computer Algebra System) is a program that’s able to perform symbolic manipulation for the resolution of common problems. As a matter of fact, modern CAS covers an extremely wide range of functionalities

Scilab – Matlab is the standard for numerical computing, but there are a few clones and valid alternatives that are entirely free. Scilab is the closest that you can get to Matlab without spending a penny. It’s very compatible with Matlab (albeit not 100%) but it’s really flexible, powerful and comes with a Matlab converter and Scicos which is a block diagram modeler and simulator.

R – For statistical computing and analysis in the Open Source world, it doesn’t get any better than R. It is a programming language and environment that enables you to do pretty much anything that the commercial software (S-Plus) does. It is so widely adopted that it can be considered a standard in the field.

lpsolve is another one that I like for linear (integer) programming. LaTeX is also a great tool – a typesetting system; it includes features designed for the production of technical and scientific documentation (many will already be familiar with it but if you are not, check it out).

Related: Statistics for Experimenters Second EditionOnline Mathematics TextbooksAnnals of MathematicsOpen Source for LEGO Mindstorms

Radical Life Extension

Posted on June 2, 2007  Comments (1)

The near-term inevitability of radical life extension and expansion by Ray Kurzweil:

It took 15 years to sequence HIV and from that perspective the genome project seemed impossible in 1990. But the amount of genetic data we were able to sequence doubled every year while the cost came down by half each year.

If we think linearly, then the idea of turning off all disease and aging processes appears far off into the future just as the genome project did in 1990. On the other hand, if we factor in the doubling of the power of these technologies each year, the prospect of radical life extension is only a couple of decades away.

KurzweilAI.net includes many articles on Kurzweil’s ideas, by him, and others. Major topic areas include: Nanotechnology, Will Machines Become Conscious? and Singularity. The ideas can seem crazy but as Kurzweil discusses the ability to predict with the tremendous increase in the power of technology. I still think many things like radical life extension is unlikely so soon but the ideas presented are interesting and worth thinking about.

Related: Grand VisionsMillennials in our Lifetime?