February/March 2007

FEATURE

The life puzzle solver

Like many mathematicians Pavel Pevzner likes to solve puzzles. The puzzles he has chosen to solve are those of the biological world concerning the very basic stuff of life itself; proteins and DNA. Working away behind the old Iron Curtain he found out, before many people in the more open Western World, that biology presented some quite interesting and deserving puzzles. Since moving to the US he has become one of the pioneers of bioinformatics.

FEATURE

Quantifying the ideal

Plato posited a cosmology in which the variability of what see we around us results from imperfect manifestation of ideal forms. So, for example, the large black horse and the small piebald horse you pass in a field are variant images of an ideal pattern of perfect horsehood. It’s not difficult to square this, at least intuitively, with modern ideas of micromutation and genetic blueprints. It is also a view of the universe mirrored in the idea of a theoretical model – the model being an idealised image of the varying reality (whatever reality may be, once you start looking at it closely).

FEATURE

Simple is often best

A common sight in factories and other industrial settings in the past might have been of a technician with a pen and clipboard, noting down measurements from assorted pieces of equipment to ensure that everything was running properly. Today, however, a computer is far more likely to be gathering measurements such as temperature and pressure automatically and alerting the technician of anything that they need to be aware of.

Feature

Sophia Ktori investigates the use of informatics software to increase data integrity in the laboratory

Feature

Tim Gillett reports from PRACEDays 2016, held in May in the city of Prague

Feature

Robert Roe investigates the motivation behind the architectural changes to Europes fastest supercomputer, Piz Daint, housed at the Swiss National Computing Centre

Feature

Robert Roe discusses the merits of the latest storage technologies, including a push by storage providers to develop end-to-end platforms featuring intelligent data management systems

Feature

As AMD launches its latest FirePro GPU, Robert Roe investigates a new suite of open-source tools, released by the company that convert code from CUDA into C++