Monthly Archives: October 2015

I went to my first SIAM conference last week.

It was SIAM GD/SPM 2015, on Geometric & Physical Modeling, and it was right in my wheelhouse.

I only went on the last day, but I was exposed so many interesting ideas applicable to 3D printing and modeling.

It was exactly the section of computer graphics and mathematics that I love.


I saw some great talks, but one in particular I really liked was by Ryan Schmidt from Autodesk Research. He works on Meshmixer and talked about underlying representations of 3D models for almost all applications. If he’s right, and the future of CAD representation is meshes, maybe Blender could be leveraged and extended to be a really neat CAD tool.

Anyhoo, SIAM GP/SPM was probably the most intellectually inspiring conference I’ve been to. However, being very academic, it has some drawbacks. The registration was super costly (compared to other non-academic software conferences I’ve been to). None of the talks were recorded so those not at the conference can’t benefit from the presentations. As for diversity, out of ~70 people in a room, less than 10 people were women.

Overall, I had a great time and learned a lot. I hope SIAM gets better and perhaps I’ll go again next year!

It all started so innocently, when Andy was like, “check out this game my studio made”.

Two days later, full blown addiction.

Now, I can’t stop playing Puzzle & Glory. I play it everywhere: walking around town, cooking dinner, laying in bed. That can’t be healthy right?


Puzzle & Glory is a neat combination of Bejeweled and RPG combat. Here I’m rockin’ my favorite team of Fury, Highguard Alastor, and Everflame Shrike ready to do puzzle battles.

Andy looked over my screen the other day and was startled by my numerous unclaimed heroes, filling up my sidebar. I wish I could claim all of them, but I’m out of hero slots. Everyday, I’m desperately trying to earn jewels to buy more hero slots and claim the heroes before they disappear. It’s definitely a Gotta Catch ‘Em All attitude remnant from my Pokemon days.

Anyhoo, Puzzle & Glory is super fun. There’s a lot of interesting mechanics. Go try it out!

(just be a little cautious ’cause it’s super addictive)

Julia v0.4 was finally released!

Unfortunately, I was totally not ready to roll forward yet and could not get Julia v0.3.11 back via apt-get install.

I wrote to Elliot, the maintainer of the Julia PPA, and here’s his response:

Unfortunately the way that Launchpad PPAs work is that when a newer version of a package is released (in this case, v0.4.0) in the same repository, the old versions are hidden from apt-get’s view.  You’re not the only person that wants to keep using Julia 0.3 for the time being, and we’re doing our best to make this transition as smooth as possible.  You have a few options:

1) Remove julia 0.4 (sudo apt-get remove julia), then download this .deb file from the Launchpad archive, (available through HTTP, but not through APT, go figure) and run sudo apt-mark hold julia to tell apt to hold julia at the current version and not upgrade it.  This will get you julia 0.3 back, and once you’re ready to move on to Julia 0.4, you can upgrade with sudo apt-mark unhold julia, followed by the typical sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get upgrade.

2) Download the latest 0.3 generic linux binary tarball (you can see more earlier releases on this page), extract it somewhere (say, ~/local), throw the bin folder onto your PATH, and you’re good to go.

3) Wait a day or two for the julia0.3 ubuntu package to finish building, get all the inevitable human-caused issues hammered out of it, and then just sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get install julia0.3.  That package will, of course, conflict with the julia package, but should allow you to stay on 0.3 for as long as you like, and still use dpkg rather than using tarballs, if you so prefer.

Before I received Elliot’s email, I had repackaged my installed Julia using dpkg-repack, and shared that .deb around. (I love you Debian tools).

There were some dependencies that .deb required. Instead of individually hunting down those dependencies, I would install Julia v0.4 and remove it, and then then install Julia v0.3.11 from the .deb.

Very hacky, I know, but it worked!

Anyhoo, if you’re looking to get back Julia v0.3.11, check out Elliot’s instructions. Hope this helps!


Some biologists hover near a bunsen burner when preparing bacterial glycerol stocks, others don’t.

I fall in the latter. I’m not a believer of the flame.

I have yet to see good evidence that “flame will create an air current that will keep its surroundings sterile.” I’ve also noticed no difference in my stocks, back when I made ~94 a week.


Nowadays, since many of my lab friends are believers of the flame, I feel like I’m doing something taboo when making stocks.

I’d love to be converted.

On the flip side, always question your protocols!