Tag Archives: Programming

Five way to keep up coding skills when you are a full time radiologist

Radiologists have a day job (or a night job, depending on your precise definition of “radiologist.”) Many people want to learn the syntax of a computer language, while some want to keep up on existing skills.

If your goals are similar to mine, these might help.  Now these are not ways to learn to write code (I’ll write about that later), but ways to brush up on existing skills.

Here are five things to help keeping up your coding skills:

Work on a Project

Most radiology practices can be improved by better use of technology  Continue reading

Programmable DNA Circuits Make Smart Cells a Reality – Sort of

… and imagine if you could program life itself.  Rather than 0’s and 1’s, you have four possibilities, a computing system performing quaternary arithmetics.

I still remember being dazzled as a freshman in college, during the first computer science lecture. The professor spoke of quantum computers, where improvements in speed of calculations can be measured in squaring time 2n rather than the traditional doubling time (i.e. Moore’s law) 2n.  And there was biologic computing, using simple building blocks of genetic material ACTG to perform calculations which take place in living cells.

Then, I spent the 15 years that follows writing them off as science fiction, pontifications of an old man.

I was, of course, wrong.

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What Is Open-Source? A Guide for The Non-Programmer

This is the first of a series of three discussing open source software for non-programmers interested in informatics. I try to stay as accurate as possible while avoiding jargon.

Open source (OS) has been a popular phrase not only in software engineering but also in radiology. Open source is closely tied to DICOM, the most popular format in medical imaging, in part because many frameworks available to manipulate DICOM files are open source.


A thorough discussion on OS is available here.  If you are more into an abbreviated 3-minute introduction, stick around.

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3 Ways To Build Better To-Do Lists (3 of 3)

This is a continuation of a thread of posts (part 1, part 2).

3.  Put the whole project on a list and off your mind, or don’t use one at all.

Computers are simple creations.  Despite dramatic advances in artificial intelligence – and the ensuing debate on what constitutes “intelligence” – our multi-core, multi-gigahertz processing machines touting terabytes of storage can’t make a decision that it wasn’t programmed to do.  Continue reading

3 Ways To Build Better To-Do Lists (2 of 3)

This post is part of a series (part 1 | part 2 | part 3)

2. if something needs to be done at a certain time, make it a calendar event, not a TODO ITEM.

Computer are actually incapable of recognizing time. When you tell the computer to “wait 1 second,” it actually converts 1 second to the number of CPU cycles to wait before executing your code.  This means that if another program suddenly tries to execute high priority code right before your timer is up, the CPU will go run their code and leave your program hanging to dry.   Continue reading

3 Ways To Build Better To-Do Lists

This prolific (and also very nice) guy wrote extensively about the importance of checklists in medicine, and how we need more of them. If you work in healthcare and are now accustomed to doing “timeouts” you have this man to thank.  Some people say checklists make medicine sound like a cookbook, making doctors work like computer software following instructions.   Continue reading