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Linux and Scientific Computing
Date: March 19th, 2009
Again, attendance at this meeting was relatively high. Hopefully that means we are talking about interesting things and have some return visitors who think this stuff is interesting
Lachele's presentation comprised of two main parts:
- Compiling applications from source
She demonstrated the common steps for compiling an application from source, including some tips such as creating an "installer" user to prevent accidental mistakes. Applications have widely varying degrees of 'user friendliness', so it pays to be careful when extracting and compiling a new program.
This led well into the second part of her presentation which focused on scientific computing applications which often need to be compiled from source
- Scientific computing
Lachele works in the GlyCam lab which does complex analyses of carbohydrate molecules. Scientists often use several specialized programs to perform different pieces of the analysis. Many of the programs are written by scientists (not programmers), so they often have to be compiled from source, and aren't generally portable. They often need specific versions of libraries and have other complications.
These different programs that rely on data in different formats. Lachele spends a lot of time converting data from one format to another and has developed her own C-based library to assist in performing many of these data transformations. She has released her library at http://glycam.com/glylib. It makes use of Doxygen for automating some documentation.
Installing From Source (OpenOffice .odp format)
Linux Scientific Computing (OpenOffice .odp format)