Blog. September 2009

  • A random walk through some programming projects

    I planned to write about the moderate progress I had made in improving the program I have to organise data from the Guardian Data Store, and a few of the more interesting correlations I have found by analysing the data. However, I got slightly sidetracked on a related project of learning how various clustering algorithms work (specifically k-means clustering).

  • Breaking down DNA in Chinese

    As a brief interlude between posts about evolution and genetics algorithms, I thought I’d write something a bit different (and a bit related). I was a bit lax in my Chinese-studying while writing my thesis, so now that my thesis is submitted, I’m trying to get back to studying. While not particularly useful vocabulary, I thought I’d look up the word for DNA in Chinese.


  • Starting an ant colony

    The ants move randomly, leaving a trail of pheromones.

    I have started to remake a simulation of an ant colony that I once made in QBASIC. The idea (which I am by no measure, the first to contemplate) is to create an ant colony that can harvest surrounding food (seeds or leaves – the green ovals in the picture) in an intelligent manner, despite the individual ants having very limited intelligence or information to work with.

  • Short cell simulation update

    Once again I’ve been neglecting my blog. I think I have a good excuse, which is that I was writing my thesis. That hasn’t stopped me from doing the odd spot of programming however. I’ve made some progress with my microbe simulation, notably, making a GUI to visualise where on the DNA various proteins bind. I have also started a separate microbe simulation, which is more of a game to see who can evolve the fittest microbe in the primordial soup. The game elements are all there, but the program is ugly and the game limited; a bit more work is required to make it fun to play.