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Thread: Introductions

  1. #31
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    hi this is catherine and im a graduate in aeronautical engineering.and ive always had this passion in working towards space related fields,i ve mastered some of the basic engineering techniques that could be of great use.hope you guide me in what to do in here.

  2. #32
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Welcome all! It's great to have you here on CosmoQuest!

  3. #33
    Ray Guest
    hello, my name Ray Fowler and I am a career software developer (20+ years) in the semiconductor industry. Currently, I am working in Java but have a bit of experience with a handful of programming languages.

    In my spare time, I am an avid astronomy enthusiast and have been working on an astronomy-related application off and on for the past two years or so. To give you an idea of my inability to scope :P , it currently encodes data to represent the P-T state diagrams for maybe 20-30 compounds along with support for various density equations (Vinet, etc) when I can find that information. This data is fed into the algorithms that do the numerical computations for calculating mantle thicknesses for terrestrial planets based on provided ice/rock/metal percentages along with things overall mass and atmospheric pressure. This works, but the data is only as accurate as the EOS information I currently have for the mantle and core components. Getting that right takes a long time because of the effort in finding non-paywalled articles that provide the data I need (ferrosilite EOS, anyone? anyone?). My next goal is to develop similar algorithms for gas giants and stars.

    You can enter in orbital information for stars and their planets, with the eventual intent of providing detailed compositional information on the planets based on their known parameters (mass, radius, distance from star, etc).

    Oh yeah, and when I was on my "atmosphere modeling" kick which got sidetracked, I acquired and loaded in all of the spectral absorption data for the 20+ compounds in the HITRAN-88 database. I do display it for those compounds, but I don't really use it anywhere in the program yet.

    Also, for fun, I have translated the display into maybe 10 or so languages. This was done because I wanted to display non-Latin characters as well as do some of the right-left alignment in some languages (for that, I chose Farsi).

    Hopefully this gives you an idea of how much of my free time I have sunk into my love for astronomy :P Anyway, as you can see I am a total astronomy and programming geek and hope to further that within a larger community.

  4. #34
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    Hello everyone, I'm Darren Gavin from the merged BAUT Forums.

    I started my programing carrer in the Military (US Army Computer Science School, '83).

    Since then I mosty work on application development in Cobol 2/3/4, ASP.Net 2/4 C#. I aslo was on the forefront of some experimental coding and hardware. In 1984, worked on the project for precursor to wireless modem comunication using scrambled US Army radio transmitters. This was before error correcting modems, and was one of the many experiments this way that identified that for wireless modems, that error correcting modems was a must have need.

    I still code on Mainframes, and likewise also work in the more modern .Net environment.

    I was the first person on Mainframes to use the Cobol 3 .DLL mode packaging under z/OS with IMS Databases there, which even surprised people at IBM when it worked, as DLL was only intended for thier Linux/Unix evironments, not the z/OS.

    My current main project is the iLearnOregon web site,, a purchased product, which has been extended with our own code in the form of a Custom Tools package using the products API.

    I haven't done much work in the open source field myself, as I usualy always coding for a business typically.

  5. #35
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Chris Huff here, also from BAUT. I do firmware development for work and for fun, but also do a lot of graphics and simulation programming and electronics in my spare time. Mostly C, C++, Ruby, a smattering of ARM and AVR assembly, and I'm starting to use Scheme as a scripting language on my PC projects. Platforms: Mac and Linux on the PC side, AVRs and more often ARMs (I've used Atmel, Luminary (now TI), and LPC parts, and have some STM32 boards being shipped) on the embedded side.

  6. #36
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    I'm another BAUT member. I have had a lot of practice in scientific and technical code over the years, and I've done a lot of coding for various sorts of things that have caught my interest. I've written a color-blindness simulator that does an approximation of dog vision, a spherical Delaunay triangulator and Voronoi diagrammer, symmetry demos, and code for working with semisimple Lie algebras. I'm especially proud of the latter, because it helps me see how elementary-particle symmetry breaking works.

    My Science and Math Stuff

    I'm proficient in Mathematica, Python, Java, C++, HTML/CSS/JavaScript

    The GUI API's I'm most familiar with are OSX Cocoa, Java, Python/TK, and HTML/CSS/JavaScript. I've also had experience with MacOS Classic, but I don't think that anyone misses that one.

  7. #37
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Hi, I came to BAUT and saw that it isn't BAUT anymore, but Cosmoquest. Cool! I recently coded some web based software that looks at Kepler data in a way that (apparently) no one has done yet. It's over at I'm also over at most of the time. The coolest part is that there are still so many things to discover, even by non-academic code junkies like me. My software is still in its infancy with limited function, but the Kepler mission is only half way done, and we currently only have access to 1/4 of what the total data will be by the end of the mission. Anyways, I still have a lot to learn, so I will be lurking often. Check out my site, there's no ads or promoting anything. Just data

  8. #38
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Welcome all new BAUT folks! Our programming work got a bit stalled due to having problems sorting what paperwork I have to submit to get the Apple Developer Licence (as a non-profit this isn't as straight forward as one would wish).

    We're hoping to get new things going soon, and... We're not here to slow you down! If you have your own ideas, let us know! PM Cory or I if you're stuck, and we'll do what we can to get you on track.

  9. #39
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Hi Bob Meads Here, member from BAUT. I own an automation company that supports manufacturing and process environments. I personally do a lot of Human Machine Interface / SCADA Projects, database, c/c#/c++ work. We also have a couple iPad Apps out -- Conjyr (Which I wrote), which allows you to build your own content based Apps for the iPad from Windows for tutorials, presentations, demos, etc, and iQagent (which my IOS Guru wrote), which is a really cool process app for industry which allows users to scan a QR Code and get live data from a running machine or process.

    I am very interested in astronomy and physics though I am an amateur. I follow most current NASA Missions and looking forward to MSL's landing on Aug 5th.

  10. #40
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Welcome, iquestor! Great to have you here!

  11. #41
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    I got into programming in college (Fortran, Cobol, Pascal, and C). Only Fortran was required, but I picked up the rest as more of a hobby than anything else, as I was in engineering, not computer science. Since then I've dabbled in it here and there, mainly as an adjunct to work, if I needed some numbers crunched in a way I couldn't obtain using a spreadsheet, MathCad, or TKSolver.

    A lot of the engineering work I did involved the use of databases, mainly to track parts and equipment, as well as various utility aspects with my divers. For example, I often used a complex statistical-based inventory analysis model I learned in Industrial Engineering to calculate the most cost-effective schedule with respect to routine parts replacement on equipment. I programmed the model into dBase, then later into other flavors, mainly Access, as time went on.

    Since I retired last summer, I've been dabbling in C++ and Java, as I'd like to make some contributions to Libre Office. Don't know what, yet, as Libre is pretty good. I just want to get my feet wet and add to my resume in addition to some of the contract engineering I've been doing for some oil companies on the side. Perhaps fix some bugs when I encounter them, or add a few simple but cool features if I think about them before anyone else.

  12. #42
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Hi, I'm from antwerp, Belgium. I like programming and physics. I have some experience in C/C++ . I like coding more then dealing with the GUI, so most of the time I create CMD programs .

    Looking foreward to read and maybe help on some of the projects here.

  13. #43
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Welcome, DoggerDan and Quadrazar!

  14. #44
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Algarve, Portugal
    Hi, Im Tony, retired Brit living in Portugal. I am studying for a BSc in Astronomy by distance learning from a unversity in the UK and should complete that next year.

    Back in the '60s and 70's I was a programmer - 1401 SPS and Autocode (anyone remember that stuff?) - 360 Assembler, COBOL, RPG, PL1, APL (I was addicted to APL!)

    Now I enjoy (!) messing about with Java and have been working on a gravity smulation program.You can see part of it in this applet.

    I would be happy to exchange experiences with anyone interested in that area.

  15. #45
    Join Date
    May 2007
    My nom de web is from a comment my great-aunt gave, as my paternal ancestor came to British North America in the New London, Connecticut area, and people from around that area have been described as "swampy yankees."

    More relevant, my specialties are Catia-based PLM (mostly SQL through an API) and interactive programming, engineering support programming, and market-research based statistics programming.

    Among other things, I've written a programs to analyze counter-rotating propellers, reduce wind tunnel data (which required writing a basic database engine in Fortran-77), and all sorts of little tasks to make work easier for my colleagues and myself, such as automating delivery of data to customers, generating program headers, and finding what libraries had to be rebuilt when a function was changed.

    I've worked with all sorts of languages, even PL/1 and COBOL
    Information about American English usage here. Floating point issues? Please read this before posting.

    How do things fly? This explains it all.

    Actually they can't: "Heavier-than-air flying machines are impossible." - Lord Kelvin, president, Royal Society, 1895.

  16. #46
    Join Date
    Aug 2012

    I'm Kevin M., currently hailing from Durham, North Carolina. I am a Software Developer for the SAS Institute (makers of SAS analytic software) in Cary, NC, and have been finding an ever increasing passion for astronomy. I'm a follower of Astronomy Cast and have been spending an inordinate amount of time (much to my fiancee's chagrin) on the Zooniverse apps and now CosmoQuest. I'm engaged to a wonderful geochemist gal who uses her awesome powers to help with forensic cases as well as building geological maps across traverses across North Carolina. We're both avid rock climbers, and really enjoy hiking. A friend of ours recently moved out to California, and gave us his awesome kayaks. Woohoo!

    I've been a professional programmer for the last 12 or so years, having worked at a university, international parts distribution firm, startup company, and now the SAS Institute. I've worked on federal reporting systems that I wrote in PHP, training systems written in Java, distributed computing jobs using Hadoop for Map/Reduce against large amounts of compressed text, standard business websites, internal sales applications in a full Java stack (JSF/Spring/JMS/Hibernate), and more. I've used MySQL, SQL Server, Oracle, and a little Postgres for relational database action, and the standard keyvalue pairs of Hadoop and some HBase.

    Though I've used PHP extensively in the past, and a decent amount of Perl, I've grown a bit rusty as I've focused primarily on Java in the past few years. For frontend work, I've used Javascript, jQuery, Prototype and YUI (no thank you to either one), Twitter's Bootsrap for CSS, and others. I've dabbled some with LISP and Haskell in the past, and have been recently teaching myself Ruby. I've done some work on a variety of projects on the side with people, and hope to help the awesome folks here at CosmoQuest with some volunteer programming while continuing to learn about the universe around me.

    So, this concludes my first post and introduction to the forum. I look forward to getting to know everybody and helping further scientific research in any way I can.

  17. #47
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    I am new to this forum. A tech lover so I decided to join this forum. I am very glad to be the member of this forum.

  18. #48
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Welcome to the forum and to CosmoQuest, kelomax!

  19. #49
    Join Date
    Sep 2014
    Hi All,
    My name is Austin Riba and I'm a developer living in Santa Cruz, CA.
    Python is my main language, web applications pay the bills, and astronomy keeps me interested.
    I've been working on a personal project calledAstroChallenge: it's for amateur astronomers to keep logs of their observations and compete in challenges. In a way, it's similar to a lot of the stuff on Cosmoquest.
    Check it out:
    It has a large DB of imported deep space objects and solar system objects, current observation info calculated using the user's position on earth, finder charts, observation logs, comments, etc.
    I'm always up for projects related to Astronomy, so hit me up! Lets see what else we can build!

  20. #50
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Hi, All!

    My name is Scott Udell, and I'm from Olathe, KS. I started out with BASIC (I think my first program was typed out on a TRS-80 in a Radio Shack) and 6502 assembly (still love the memory of that Atari 800, where a complete assembly code listing of the OS fit in a single three-ring binder). I got a ** in Computer Science in '89 from the University of North Dakota. School was mostly Pascal (such that I still miss := and = over = and == , but it seems like I also wrote a ton of Fahrenheit-to-Celsius converters in other languages; I was always somewhat jealous of engineering students who seemed to be writing their FORTRAN programs to solve actual problems. I also got a minor in Space Studies--not an astronomy program, but a multi-disciplinary program about space. Through that program I got a job at UND's Center for Aerospace Science's "Atmospherium" programming in their first generation E&S Digistar (att iner 0 0 0, g c c 0 0 0, dra s stars, adj bri 80 . This program also got me a NASA-USRA fellowship one summer at Johnson Space Center and an internship at Eagle Engineering the next.

    I would've gone on for a masters in Space Studies if they'd had any grad assistant slots, but instead went for a different policy masters at a university closer to where the family lived.

    After getting that degree I ended up in the DC area doing some policy-ish work and some coding work in Superbase IV (in a VBA-like language) and some bits of C code. Four years later I went off to work as an editor at a computer game magazine, then in 2000 I moved to Kansas for my current job as a software engineer (and now reluctant part-time manager). The contract we have has us doing "post development software support"--think software maintenance--with just eight programmers on a much larger non-dev contract, so things can be kind of loose--no one gives requirements (or cares to) in any orderly fashion, we aren't considered an actual "development shop" so we have to get creative about getting most of our tools, we spend a lot of time "maintaining things into existence", and so on.

    As baseball has utility players, I consider myself a utility coder. I do tweaking on all kinds of stuff-- Java, Perl, csh scripts; I just wrote something in VB Script for the first time, and I've done a fair amount of VBA and a lot of SQL, functions, etc (we do a lot of data collection, and I write a lot of the queries and in-Postgres processing code for transforming the data for our users, then design the reports for them). As a part-time manager and interface to the "bigger world", though, I don't get to do any of the big end-to-end development projects--hence my description of "utility coder."

    Our contract is up for recompete, and there's talk that the system we work on may be going away anyway, so I'm looking around at what the wider software development world is using these days (new technologies are hard for us to introduce, so we don't get much chance to expose ourselves to modern stuff), and it's all a bit bewildering. I've decided I need to knuckle down and work on learning some new tools myself, but I realize I need a goal to work towards instead of working through another language tutorial book or video series. So, I thought I'd introduce myself here and volunteer my services. I may not be fast as I have to learn stuff, but I can be persistent, especially in tracking down the reason for bad data coming out of a data set!

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