Category Archives: Uncategorized

Uncategorized

Undo!..

Mathematica 10, finally has a multiple undo function added.... finally!

Clearly the undo petition here brought it's functionality screeching into the 20th century... so happy...

General Uncategorized

Vocabulary...

When trying to explain ideas and concepts to people, one of the biggest barriers can sometimes be the specialist vocabulary that comes with the subject area.  The wall of unintelligible words that can greet the newcomer can cause unnecessary distress; sometimes be off putting and cause you to be stumped.

065:365 - Stumped...

This doesn't always have to be limited to just technical phrases though, one of my colleagues is a keen cyclist and also a fellow yellow belly from Lincolnshire and recently I jokingly asked him for a 'croggy' much to the horror of my colleagues from the wrong side of the Pennines who probably thought I was propositioning him...  Folk from the West side of the UK call a 'croggy' a 'backy' which is essentially giving someone a lift on the back of your bicycle... I'm sure there are far more regional variations out there too that I've not heard of before... but this made me start thinking about technical phrases that may not be universal, even within engineering.

Part of the art of researching a new area is to ensure that you're familiar with this subject specific vocabulary; but at the same time the art in writing and communicating in an area; is to not hide behind the buzzwords and phrases that are associated with the area.  Indeed, those that are in command of their subject can frequently define and describe very complex areas and concepts using nothing but plain English... When it's done well, it's truly and art form to behold, but when it's done badly it can actually be to the detriment of the presenter (or author) and can make them sound unknowledgeable.

Hopefully I can bring the same level of explanations and analogical thinking into my academic writing (specifically my PhD thesis) that I try to integrate into my lectures.  I'm planning on having a productive summer and start to create some well crafted prose to describe the analysis that I'll be undertaking.  Only time will tell, but that's one of the reasons for keeping a blog going whilst I'm studying my PhD:   I'm hoping I can use it to kickstart my writing on those days when my brain refuses to start up properly.