Monthly Archives: May 2015

The 5 Myths of Open Source – A Guide for The Non-Programmer

This is the second of a series of three discussing open source software for non-programmers interested in informatics.

A previous post discusses what you can expect from a software project when it is “open source.” However, the concept of OS is not so clear cut.

This post aims to clarify five commonly held beliefs about open source.

Continue reading

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.

Continue reading

7 Things Worth Checking out at SIIM 2015

Society of Imaging Informatics in Medicine (SIIM) is having its 2015 meeting in Washington DC from 5/28-5/30. SIIM is a wonderful event with something to offer to engineers, clinicians, and radiology trainees alike. For a resident it is also an opportunity to learn something new.

Aside from all the cool sessions during conference, also do remember to touchbase with old friends and meet new people. The point of a great conference is the great people.

During the day, though, it can be daunting to keep abreast all the things that are going on.

Here are 7 events that compelled me as can’t-miss sessions – to be used as a roadmap for myself at the conference, and shared with you now:

A World Without PACS

Woodrow Wilson A
Thursday, 8:00 am – 9:30 am

Traditional PACS – solutions with vendors, hardware, and software all integrated as a single offering, is a decades-old technology – Slowly, imaging in America is moving towards vendor neutral archives (VNA).

Continue reading

Putting Forth Your Best Work

Your academic mentors invest their time in your future, so they want to see you succeed.

Your friends and loved ones care about your well being, so they want to see you succeed.

Your department invest equipment and resources on your training, so it wants to see you succeed.

But the real world has no accountability to you, so it doesn’t have to care about your success.

That’s a good thing because the real world only cares about actual good work. So put your ideas project out there, and let the world see. Send out an abstract, write a paper, propose a grant.

Whatever the outcome, you learn where you stand. It’s the market economy at work, and the academic equivalent of an open beta test.

So it’s not so much about putting forth your best work – you can’t always tell what “best” is.

It takes courage just to put forth work, and more so to let the others decide.

The Virtue of Being a Follower

One of my good friends – a respected colleague – once said, “I’m a follower, not leader.”

This (other) guy wrote a book on great followership (i.e. as opposed to leadership).

The first follower takes the courage to say, “Hey these people are onto something!”

The first follower is what makes a trend, just as the second point on a graph makes a line.

Being an expert follower is prerequisite for a good leader, and following is itself a form of leadership.

To all the followers out there, this list is for you:

  1. Thomas Jefferson, first a vice president, then president
  2. Barack Obama, first a senator under Clinton, then president
  3. Microsoft Windows, not the first GUI operating system
  4. Apple iPhone, not the first smartphone
  5. Facebook, not the first but the most successful social network
  6. Frodo, the second Baggins to bear the ring
  7. Jesse Pinkman, the sidekick you root for
  8. The Empire Strikes Back, the better follow-up movie.
  9. Pablo Picasso, a grand follower of classical realism before breaking free
  10. Twitter, a social network that celebrates the act following

So let us, too, celebrate followers.