JamieJQuinn Research Software Engineer

A Variation of Test Driven Development

it’s valuable to write an entire feature within a test, work out its intricacies and interface and only then refactor it into the rest of the code why? reduce interference from rest of code encourages having at least one test only work on one or two files Read more

Converting C437 to XNA-style Spritesheets

I’ve been struggling to get C437 PNG fonts loaded in Raylib due to its default PNG loader using a slightly different format. Here, I’ll detail a simple way of converting C437 PNGs to the format Raylib expects. Raylib is a wonderful library for writing quick and simple GUI applications, especially games. I’ve been using it for about a year on va... Read more

Analysing the prevalence of continuous integration in JOSS

JOSS is the Journal of Open Source Software and can be considered a collection of some excellent scientific codebases. Whether they’re exemplars of good coding practices is up for debate but I wanted to know roughly how many published papers (and associated codebases) were using specifically continuous integration of some form. Luckily I have so... Read more

Four pillars of a reproducible PhD

As the academic community continues to embrace open science and reproducible research, it is increasingly important for an academic to understand the tools which can make research easier, more accessible and more sustainable. It can be challenging to absorb so many different good practices while still getting research done. However, I would argu... Read more

How to Render Latex in Inkscape

Rendering latex equations or text in the graphics package Inkscape is not an intuitive task, so I’ve decided to create an extremely short tutorial on doing exactly that using Inkscape’s in-built latex extesion. It’s not difficult but the menus are quite cluttered and there’s a quirk to rendering to equations that’s helpful to know. I’ve always ... Read more

Finally, a strong, Abel woman

Just this month the Abel prize, commonly considered to be the Nobel prize of mathematics, was awarded to the first female prizewinner, Karen Keskulla Uhlenbeck. Now a professor emeritus at the University of Texas, and a visiting associate at the Institute for Advanced Study, Uhlenbeck’s work has had a profound impact on many areas of mathematics... Read more

UGRacing Ahead

Just a short while ago I had the pleasure of spending an afternoon with the University of Glasgow Racing team, found either in their cosy, computer filled office in the James Watt South, or nestled in their garage, deep in the bowels of the Rankine. Chatting with Oliver, team principal, Kester, head engineer, and Callum, a team member, they intr... Read more

Not so elementary, Dr Watson

Why do clever people say dumb things? How is it that incredibly well-known, well-respected minds that have forged today’s world through scientific rigor and raw intellectual power, can end up thinking that because you’re black, you’re less intelligent? Surely a renowned geneticist, a Nobel laureate at that, wouldn’t say something totally unsubs... Read more

Illegal? No, not in China

The recent news from China of a genetically altered pair of twins is frightening. He Jiankui, from the Southern University of Science and Technology of China, genetically altered the DNA of multiple embryos using the gene-editing technique CRISPR in order to disable the CCR5 gene, thought to be responsible for vulnerability to HIV. Disable the ... Read more

The falsehood of the PhD pedestal

The British government, in introducing the new doctoral loans offered to graduates aiming for a PhD, have sent out a message – “PhDs are valuable”. This stinks of the same misguided and ill-considered ambition of Tony Blair, who, almost 20 years ago set out his grand ambition to have at least half of the entire young population of Britain entere... Read more