Jason Baker

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3 Open Source Alternatives to MATLAB

For many students in mathematics, physical sciences, engineering, economics, and other fields with a heavy numeric component, MATLAB is their first introduction to programming or scientific computing in general. It can be a good tool for learning, although (in my experience) many of the things that students and researchers use MATLAB for are not particularly demanding calculations; rather they could easily be conducted with any number of basic scripting tools, with or without statistical or math-oriented packages. However, it does have a near ubiquity in many academic settings, bringing with it a large community of users familiar with the language, plugins, and capabilities in general...

3 Open Source Alternatives to MATLAB

For many students in mathematics, physical sciences, engineering, economics, and other fields with a heavy numeric component, MATLAB is their first introduction to programming or scientific computing in general. It can be a good tool for learning, although in my experience many of the things that students and researchers alike use MATLAB for are not particularly demanding calculations that easily could be conducted with any number of basic scripting tools, with or without statistical or math-oriented packages. However, it does have a near ubiquity in many academic settings, bringing with it a large community of users familiar with the the language, plugins, and capabilities in general...

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4 Open Source Drone Projects

Over the past few years, interest in both civilian and commercial use of drones has continued to grow rapidly, and drone hardware sits at the top of many people's holiday wish lists. Even just within the civilian side of things, the list of unmanned aerial devices that fit the moniker of drone seems to be constantly expanding. These days, the term seems to encompass everything from what is essentially a cheap, multi-bladed toy helicopter, all the way up to custom-built soaring machines with incredibly adept artificial intelligence capabilities...

5 open source dashboard tools for visualizing data

To start with a confession, I like dashboards. A lot. I've always been fascinated by finding new and interesting ways to bring meaning to data with interactive visualization tools. While I'm definitely a geek for numbers, the human mind is simply much better at interpreting trends visually than it is just picking them out a spreadsheet. And even when your main interest in a dataset is the raw numbers themselves, a dashboard can help to bring meaning by highlighting which values matter most, and what the context of those numbers is...

9 Rules for the Proper Care and Feeding of Communities and Carnivorous Plants

In 2016, I adopted my first carnivorous plants, a Venus Fly Trap and a Pitcher Plant, which my Facebook friends named Gordon and Bananarama, respectively. I quickly discovered that the health of Gordon and Bananarama was closely connected to the environment I provided as much as to their ability to catch the occasional bug and get energy from the sun. In this article, I'll pull from my experience working with open source communities—and a few months of experience keeping Gordon and Bananarama alive—to explain how caring for carnivorous plants is much like caring for a community...

How OpenStack mentoring breaks down cultural barriers

Victoria Martinez de la Cruz is no stranger to OpenStack's mentorship opportunities. It's how she got her own start in OpenStack, and now a few years later is helping to coordinate many of these opportunities herself. She is speaking on a panel on mentoring and internships later this week at OpenStack Summit in Barcelona, Spain. In this interview, we catch up with Victoria to learn more about the details of what it's like to be a part of an open source internship, as well as some helpful advice for people on both sides of the mentoring process...

How to Grow Healthy Open Source Project Infrastructures

In 2013 I joined the OpenStack Infrastructure team. In the four years I spent with the team, I learned a considerable amount about the value of hosting an infrastructure for an open source project in the open itself. In 2014 I gave a talk at All Things Open and was interviewed by Jason Baker about how we'd done our systems administration in the open. My involvement on this team led me to advocate for systems administrators to use revision control and learn about tools for working with a distributed team. At the OpenStack Summit in Austin in 2016, our team did a talk on navigating the open source OpenStack Infrastructure...

Open Science Leaps Forward In 2014

Marcus D. Hanwell | Opensource.com | December 23, 2014

We have had quite a year of open science at Opensource.com in 2014! I couldn't hope to cover every article we published over the year, but I will highlight some of my favorites...

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Opensource.com Publishes 18 Interviews with Speakers of the Upcoming OSCON Conference

For those of you who have not noticed yet, the folks at Opensource.com just completed the publication of an entire series of interviews with speakers at the upcoming O/Reilly OSCON conference. This conference is one of the most important and interesting open source conferences of the year and the wide variety of interviews conducted which show the depth and breadth of the conference topics. `

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Top Open Source Projects to Watch in 2017

No one has a crystal ball to see the future of technology. Even for projects developed out in the open, code alone can't tell us whether or not a project is destined for success—but there are hints along the way. For example, perhaps it's not unreasonable to assume that the projects that will help shape our future are those projects that have first seen rapid growth and popularity among the developer community. So which new projects should an open source developer watch in 2017? Let's take a look at a few projects that emerged in 2016 to achieve rapid notoriety in the GitHub community...