234 reputation
213
bio website plus.google.com/u/0/…
location London, United Kingdom
age
visits member for 2 years, 3 months
seen Sep 7 at 20:13

I'm an applied mathematician & engineer, living & working just outside the London metro area.

Over the years and on both sides of the Atlantic, I've led a variety of quantitative & operational challenges across intelligent systems & software engineering, sonar, defense, environmental technology, robotics, and most recently the complex world of multi-channel retail.

The common thread that links passion, profession, and play is applying technology, good design, and quantitative modelling and simulation, to build better products, enable better decisions, and optimise performance.

I'm always experimenting and tinkering, so feel free to get in touch with ideas.

My Google+ profile, Google+ posts (active), and blog (older)


Sep
24
awarded  Autobiographer
Mar
25
comment Assembly as a First Programming Language?
Very well said -- I agree. The first course needs to get to the point, show the end-to-end usefulness of the skills being learned, and fire the imagination: "Gosh! I can program? Now what else can I do with this new skill..." Agree also that the best time for assembly language is after one higher level language. That motivates looking "under the hood" at how the computer is actually understanding the higher level stuff. Seeing assembly language for the first time after a higher level language leaves another powerful impact: the student encounters electronics, chips, sensors, etc.
Aug
19
awarded  Yearling
Feb
25
comment Introducing Programming To a Mathematician
I have to disagree. Why would a young kid, interesting in maths, be attracted to Machine code? And why C? Assembly presumes far too much knowledge about processors. C likewise makes many requirements that are best left to someone wanting to learning serious programming: pointers, registers, scoping, types. For a first introduction to programming for such a person, something that focuses on algorithms or on applications of mathematical ideas (probability, randomness, simulations), is much better. Python, Lisp/Forth, Basic even. Bourne-shell?? Why?...
Feb
25
awarded  Caucus
Feb
25
awarded  Constituent
Feb
3
awarded  Critic
Jan
21
awarded  Citizen Patrol
Jan
21
comment Genetic Algorithm - solving a matrix with hard and soft constraints
This would be better posted in Computational Science or Cross Validated (Statistics).
Jan
21
awarded  Informed
Nov
12
awarded  Commentator
Nov
6
awarded  Popular Question
Nov
5
comment Should comments say WHY the program is doing what it is doing? (opinion on a dictum by the inventor of Forth)
But at what higher level? Seems that documents outside of the code often get disconnected over time so that a different maintainer coming back to the code 10 years on may not know that a document even exists which has relevant background material like algorithm selection. Somehow information that is not linked to code seems to be at high risk of being forgotten. Which then suggests comments in the code itself.
Nov
5
awarded  Cleanup
Nov
5
revised Should comments say WHY the program is doing what it is doing? (opinion on a dictum by the inventor of Forth)
rolled back to a previous revision
Nov
1
awarded  Nice Question
Nov
1
awarded  Editor
Nov
1
revised Should comments say WHY the program is doing what it is doing? (opinion on a dictum by the inventor of Forth)
Adding good answers to similar question.
Nov
1
comment Why would a company develop an atmosphere which discourage code comments?
+1 -- Like this. This tells WHAT the program does, but not HOW. The HOW is obvious -- it's the lines that follow the comment. The WHAT succinctly describes the section's intent / objective. And that, I think, is quite valuable later when scanning a large quantity of code looking for the section that does a particular task.
Nov
1
awarded  Scholar