R software and tools for everyday use

Long, long time ago … I started with Octave and Matlab.They were amazing and allowed me to solve a lot of interesting problems in my research. I loved the command window of Octave, but I needed the productivity an IDE gives when developing complex calculations. None of the available IDE’s for Octave were not as powerful as the Matlab IDE. The problem was that Matlab was not GNU and buying a license was very expensive. Then, I found R and I realized that none Octave neither Matlab were the tool I needed for my research. I needed advanced project and file management through repositories, fast data manipulation, an easy way to export my calculations, a creative way of authoring reports and a powerful IDE that let me access my beloved command window. Now R gives me all I need and is an important part of my everyday toolbox. For those who does not known R, I must say that R is a well known programming language that is widely used on mathematics, economy, biology… Its main benefits includes the ability to work easily with statistics and data manipulation. R is very popular on academics and research, is GNU, very powerful and have a lot of packages that allows do magical things in a few clicks or with a few commands.

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Women Who Paved the Way for the Internet of Things: A Teacher Finds Her Voice

If my story connects with a single person, I will have succeeded.

I am Kayalvizhi Jayavel, an assistant professor in information technology at Sri Ramaswamy Memorial  (SRM) University in India. I love my job, but 20 years ago I never imagined teaching as my calling.

This is my story.
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Is Your Research Reproducible?

When a scientific experiment achieves the expected result, researchers hurry up to draft a manuscript, submit it and cross their fingers for acceptance. When that paper gets accepted for publication – a happy camper! However, and not much later, the researchers discover that it was a fool’s paradise. Their work never gets cited by peers. Often times, simply because others cannot reproduce their scientific experiment, i.e. they cannot compare it to their own experiments. There are few reasons that block research reproducibility. In this post, I will preview some of them that frequently appear in the field of computational science. Continue reading

A Historical Account of Four Women who Made the Internet of Things Possible

A Historical Account of Four Women who Made the Internet of Things Possible

The Internet of Things as a field has been continuously growing since 1982, when it was first thought of. Such is its speed of growth, however, that according to predictions there will be over 50 billion devices as a part of the IoT by 2020. This makes it tempting, in speaking of the field, to only focus on its present and on its future development, but I reckon it is always wise to take a moment to also reflect on the past, and to remember the people who pioneered it.

An old and heteronormative saying claims that “Behind every successful man, there is a woman”.  As a woman in CS myself, I don’t like that saying, but I espouse the thought of a similar one:  “Behind every successful innovation, there is also a woman“.  Given our modern ideals of gender equality and progress, it is not always enough to generically look back at the people who paved the way for the IoT; sometimes we have to specifically remember the media-overlooked women who did so, and to give them credit where it’s due.

The Internet of Things refers to the intelligent interconnection of various devices and machines to a larger network, or the Internet. While it comes with its  own set of inherent risks, as does any technological innovation, it certainly aspires to make our lives simpler.

This was not the work of merely one man or one woman. The IoT came into existence because of the efforts of many different people, including women. Each person discovered or created something that enabled us to move one step closer to the Internet of Things as we know it today. For this simple reason, I have decided to dedicate this essay to not just one, but four different revolutionary female computer scientists, all of whom, I believe, were instrumental to the development of the IoT.

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Physical interaction with the IoT: animating everyday objects

Our concept in a nutshell:

Upon hearing “The Internet of Things”, our mind day-dreams into meshes of entangled devices working around the clock, carefully sampling the environment with their tiny sensors and reporting to us at distance, in order to satisfy mankind’s voracious and inexplicable appetite for efficiency & more data. Also, many know that the Internet of Things (IoT), has become both a buzzword and a trillion dollar market — 1.9 trillion USD to be more precise. Forbes further cites an astonishing 16 billion interconnected devices by last year’s evaluations.

So two questions came to our minds: (1) where are all those “smart” devices? and; (2) why are those devices not enhancing my (human) experience?

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