Archivio per marzo 2008

This is why being an engineering student doesn’t suck!

marzo 26, 2008

I recently read this post on Rod’s blog discussing this article. I do think this thesis is absolutely misleading and I’ll explain why. Let’s sum up the points of the article:

5. Awful Textbooks

Absolutely false…try to read a serious math book and an equivalent engineering book. Everyone will notice the difference. There should be some reason for all the jokes describing mathematicians complaining with engineers about their simplistic way of approximating complex processes in order to come up with a solution at any cost.

4. Professors are Rarely Encouraging

False in general. It significantly depends on the professors you have to do with. There are many highly qualified and much stimulating researchers among professors. Moreover laziness doesn’t only affect engineering professors.

3. Dearth of Quality Counseling

This depends on the university you attend and its management. This could be true for some situations but it’s sure that engineering is one of those universities which is more in touch with real life problems and students usually find their work some weeks after they got their degree.

2. Other Disciplines Have Inflated Grades

This is true but this doesn’t depend on the engineering but on the other universities! However there are similar situations even in the various curricula in engineering.

1. Every Assignment Feels the Same

This is probably the more absurd statement about engineering classes. Assignments are usually difficult, challenging but of course not all the same.

SBTOOLBOX2 v1.1 released!

marzo 21, 2008

Henning Schmidt has just sent this announcement about his well known simulation/analsysis package Systems Biology Toolbox 2. He has just released the version 1.1. This is the link and the changelog, check it out!

1.  SBML: Support for the following SBML features has been added:

* Arbitrary event trigger expressions
* Delays and delayed events
* Algebraic rules
* Fast reactions

2. Stoachstic simulation: Bugfix in the SBstochsim function.
Kinetic parameters are now correctly converted to stochastic rate
constants.

3. New stoachstic simulation function: I added the SBstochsim2 function that
is able to simulate not only single runs (as the above function) but
also multiple runs and thus can determine the mean values. Furthermore,
it is written completely in MATLAB, so it runs under Windows AND Unix.
It has been optimized for speed. The function uses the Gillespie
algorithm.

4. Minor bug-fixes: SBPDmanualtuning and SBexportSBML functions have been
corrected.

5. Time varying compartments: The ODEs are built accordingly to take that
into account.

6. MEX File Generation: Updated the MinGW compiler in order to allow correct
C++ MEX file generation.

7. Forum: The Forum has been disabled, since there has been a large amount of
spam.

Great work Henning! 😉

Matlab R2008a is out

marzo 1, 2008

Mathworks has released today the latest version of its most famous software package, namely MATLAB R2008a (v 7.6). You can find it here. The feeling is that this release includes very few major updates (Mathworks lists 5 major updates, among the others the Optimization and Neural Networks Toolboxes have been changed).  It seems that this time the upgrade should not be compulsory!