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Introduction: Brandon Barker

Hello,

I look forward to getting to know others here and seeing what we can do as I learn!

I'm a software consultant, mostly working in the realm of scientific software and some other software encountered at the university setting. In graduate school, I studied computational biology, and my dissertation work focused on using convex optimization techniques to simulate a cell, mostly at the metabolic level (I was merely adding on work to this field). As an undergraduate I studied math and computer science - I wish I had studied more diligently at that time ;-).

My reason for joining Azimuth is primarily to take the course on Applied Category Theory; I had gotten most of the way through the first chapter of the version up on arXiv.org (that I incidentally work on as part of my job) when I e-mailed one of the authors and found out about the course on Azimuth. I'm primarily interested in category theory for the abstraction it can help bring to programming. I had heard of it in graduate school, but, I never studied it at the time. I'm also interested in some of the biological and network-oriented aspects of category theory, since I still do some biology (would like to do a bit more if I had the time and the right project(s)). Due to many demands in life currently I will probably be slow in catching up to people here, but I realize it is important to keep working at something or it is all too easy to let more immediate demands always take the place of long-term goals.

As for programming, I've been doing a lot of Scala over the last 3 years and in general have been very happy with it, but I am also a huge fan of ATS (http://www.ats-lang.org/ ) which I used briefly (with much help from the author) in graduate school. I think it may be of interest to some of the software oriented folks here. I've also slowly been learning Haskell and Idris; I'd tried out Haskell over a decade ago, and was very impressed (story for another time), and wish I had taken more opportunity to learn it in the past.

One more thing for now: I realize this site was primarily created for issues that closely relate to weather modeling. I have been working with researchers that use WRF (https://www.mmm.ucar.edu/weather-research-and-forecasting-model) in case that is of interest to anyone. I can't claim to be at all competent with it, as my primary role has been to containerize it. I do not know Fortran, and don't particularly want to learn it ;-). But if this is of interest to anyone here for there modeling, I can perhaps find out something.

Comments

  • 1.

    Interesting..I think you will like a lot of this course...

    Comment Source:Interesting..I think you will like a lot of this course...
  • 2.

    Welcome, Brandon!

    My former student Mike Stay is now helping run a company called Pyrofex that is using category theory to help develop new "distributed development tools". I mention this because they're hiring lots of Scala programmers - I guess that's good for the highly math-based software they're developing. I don't program much myself, but Mike is now paying me to do research on "enriched Lawvere theories for operational semantics".

    What sort of biology do you do these days?

    Comment Source:Welcome, Brandon! My former student Mike Stay is now helping run a company called [Pyrofex](https://pyrofex.net/) that is using category theory to help develop new "distributed development tools". I mention this because they're hiring lots of Scala programmers - I guess that's good for the highly math-based software they're developing. I don't program much myself, but Mike is now paying me to do research on "enriched Lawvere theories for operational semantics". What sort of biology do you do these days?
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