Thursday January 25th

Explorer 1 : 60 years later

Hello from JPL!

  • I made it to the Explorer 1 lecture! :D

  • Actually, we firstly went to eat some dumplings, and chatted about the Algorithm W, which I was unfamiliar with until today. I mean, I’ve heard of Hindley-Milner, but right now there are chunks that I understand, and some things I don’t know that I don’t know. But it’s fascinating.
  • I like the way my mentor thinks. He doesn’t focus on libraries (I’ve never heard him mention any), and he may mention a programming language only as a historical reference or as something that is interesting or unique about it, or how it led to a new way of thinking about something. He’s a mathematician who works with software, and it really has informed the way he uses software, because at his core, he is a problem-solver who uses mathematics and software as a tool.
  • I saw a lovely video today about this on Programmers vs Scientists and what each can learn from the other. It’s called “The Two Cultures of Programming”, by Joshua Ballanco. Very interesting.
  • I have to say secretly that this would be probably the best way I’d want to work. I don’t get excited about libraries or learning new frameworks. Programming Languages, yes; but only in the way they solve problems (who uses the tools, how the language is constructed). I wonder if hanging out with him every Thursday has made me this way? :D
  • Oh, and he also mentioned some software in cars written in C++. Segfault, anyone?
  • We also spent time talking about loc, parallelism and Ada.


  • There was a lively chat about Data from Satellites, Data Visualization and Explorer 1.

I also wandered around

  • And took some photos of some new additions to the Exhibit at Von Karman. These guys!

Huygens Probe

Another shot

It was a really fun night!

  • Oh, and during the day, I managed to get Julia installed off-line and run on a notebook, but Plotly is giving me some issues. So I have to resolve those.
  • But so far, so good. I should be able to resolve some plot issues online as well. Hopefully.
  • This weekend is Sparklecon, and then I settle down to do some of my Nanodegree assignments (hopefully two in the next two weeks).
  • And of course, there is sailing (and living on a boat) on Thursday through Sunday! :D
Written on January 25, 2018