27.2.21

 

Reverse Engineering the source code of the BioNTech/Pfizer SARS-CoV-2 Vaccine


Entrepreneur and software developer Bert Hubert explains the structure of the vaccine, with plentiful analogies to computing. There are some amazing hacks in there! Thanks to Lennart Augustsson for the pointer.

Welcome! In this post, we’ll be taking a character-by-character look at the source code of the BioNTech/Pfizer SARS-CoV-2 mRNA vaccine.

Now, these words may be somewhat jarring - the vaccine is a liquid that gets injected in your arm. How can we talk about source code?

This is a good question, so let’s start off with a small part of the very source code of the BioNTech/Pfizer vaccine, also known as BNT162b2, also known as Tozinameran also known as Comirnaty.

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25.2.21

 

The Plutus team is hiring



IOG, formerly known as IOHK, is hiring two new members for the Plutus team, currently led by Manuel Chakravarty and Michael Peyton-Jones. One of the posts is for a new leader, but don't worry, Manuel and Michael are both staying; the other post is someone to work on developer relations and communications. People working with the Plutus team include myself, Simon Thompson, and John Hughes. Plutus is a library for Haskell that provides smart contracts for Cardano. Ada, the coin of Cardano, is (as of last week) the fourth-largest cryptocurrency by market capitalisation, at USD$32 billion.

Details below. Let me know if you have any questions. Go well, -- P

Software Engineering Lead - Plutus


We are searching for a Software Engineer to lead our Plutus team. The Plutus team is building the core of Cardano’s smart contract functionality on the bedrock of functional programming languages. We are an interdisciplinary team who do original R&D and turn it into production systems.

In the past few years, the Plutus team has:

  • Published five peer-reviewed papers with top academic researchers
  • Designed and implemented three programming languages
  • Formalized the semantics of two of those languages using Agda
  • Helped to improve the ability of Agda to generate usable Haskell output
  • Created novel compilation techniques for data types
  • Written a GHC proposal, which is now being taken into implementation work
  • Implemented a compiler for a subset of Haskell as a GHC plug-in
  • Used statistical modeling to infer evaluation cost models
  • Participated in the design and implementation of the Cardano ledger extensions to support smart contracts.

Such a heady and complex mixture of research, development, and design work needs a competent leader to keep it all working well. If that sounds like fun to you, drop us a line!

https://apply.workable.com/io-global/j/DC4A9703F1/

Developer Relations Specialist - Plutus

The Cardano ecosystem is expanding and software developer interest is increasing rapidly, so we are looking for a Developer Relations Specialist for the Plutus smart contract programming platform. You will help build, nurture and manage new relationships within established blockchain and smart contract development communities, especially Ethereum.

This role will put you at the forefront of an exciting developer ecosystem at a crucial time in its development, winning and onboarding partners, feeding any requirements and proposals back into the business, and helping rapidly expand a healthy, productive Cardano developer base.

To enjoy this role you will be someone who is passionate about blockchain technologies and the real problems they can address. You will have a proactive, problem-solving attitude, and enjoy working with customers and representing IOG at conferences, meetups, podcasts, etc.

https://apply.workable.com/io-global/j/965433F163/ 

IOG, formerly known as IOHK, is hiring two new members for the Plutus team, currently led by Manuel Chakravarty and Michael Peyton-Jones. One of the posts is for a new leader, but don't worry, Manuel and Michael are both staying; the other post is someone to work on developer relations and communications. People working with the Plutus team include myself, Simon Thompson, and John Hughes. Plutus is a library for Haskell that provides smart contracts for Cardano. Ada, the coin of Cardano, is (as of last week) the fourth-largest cryptocurrency by market capitalisation, at USD$32 billion.


Details below. Let me know if you have any questions. Go well, -- P

Software Engineering Lead - Plutus


We are searching for a Software Engineer to lead our Plutus team. The Plutus team is building the core of Cardano’s smart contract functionality on the bedrock of functional programming languages. We are an interdisciplinary team who do original R&D and turn it into production systems.

In the past few years, the Plutus team has:

  • Published five peer-reviewed papers with top academic researchers
  • Designed and implemented three programming languages
  • Formalized the semantics of two of those languages using Agda
  • Helped to improve the ability of Agda to generate usable Haskell output
  • Created novel compilation techniques for data types
  • Written a GHC proposal, which is now being taken into implementation work
  • Implemented a compiler for a subset of Haskell as a GHC plug-in
  • Used statistical modeling to infer evaluation cost models
  • Participated in the design and implementation of the Cardano ledger extensions to support smart contracts.

Such a heady and complex mixture of research, development, and design work needs a competent leader to keep it all working well. If that sounds like fun to you, drop us a line!

https://apply.workable.com/io-global/j/DC4A9703F1/

Developer Relations Specialist - Plutus

The Cardano ecosystem is expanding and software developer interest is increasing rapidly, so we are looking for a Developer Relations Specialist for the Plutus smart contract programming platform. You will help build, nurture and manage new relationships within established blockchain and smart contract development communities, especially Ethereum.

This role will put you at the forefront of an exciting developer ecosystem at a crucial time in its development, winning and onboarding partners, feeding any requirements and proposals back into the business, and helping rapidly expand a healthy, productive Cardano developer base.

To enjoy this role you will be someone who is passionate about blockchain technologies and the real problems they can address. You will have a proactive, problem-solving attitude, and enjoy working with customers and representing IOG at conferences, meetups, podcasts, etc.

https://apply.workable.com/io-global/j/965433F163/

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19.2.21

 

Imagine the Pandemic without Computer Science


By my colleagues at the University of Glasgow, Muffy Calder and Quintin Cutts. Stunning application of animation and poetry. Text with links here.

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Lego + Architecture = ❤


More here, here, and here. Spotted via Boing-Boing.

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28.1.21

 

Newsletters

 


Newsletters; or, an enormous rant about writing on the web that doesn’t really go anywhere and that’s okay with me, by Robin Rendle. Discovered via Robin Sloan. I've posted this essay because of its form as much as its content. Pairing each sentence with an illustration is startlingly effective.

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26.1.21

 

Ray marching and fractals

TIL about ray marching and fractals. Thank you for the pointer, Yannick Nelson!

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“1984” (Keeping in Mind That I’ve Never Read It)


“1984” (Keeping in Mind That I’ve Never Read It), by Ellis Rosen, The New Yorker, 23 January 2021. 

It all started when Orwell was walking down the scary streets of 1984. He was about to open up Twitter and tweet about whatever came into his mind, and also the address, phone number, and Social Security number of a congressman he didn’t like. That’s when he saw them. The Thought Police. Generally speaking, Orwell loved the police and supported law and order. But, in this case, they were bad police, because he was the one who was in trouble.

Oh no, Thought Police, he thought.

“We heard that!” they shouted. “You’re under arrest for doing freedom!”


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27.12.20

 

My First Type Theory


Who knew? Add eyeballs and rhymes, and type theory becomes cute! An introductory video by Arved Friedemann.

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14.12.20

 

Hokusai's "The Great Wave" recreated in Lego

 


Brilliant! Spotted via Boing-Boing.

Lego Certified Professional Jumpei Mitsui brought Hokusai's iconic ukiyo-e woodblock print "The Great Wave off Kanagawa" (c. 1829-1833) into the Lego realm. Marvel at this incredible work in Osaka's Hankyu Brick Museum.

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9.12.20

 

A Year of Radical No's

Sue Fletcher-Watson describes her plan for A Year of Radical No's and follows up with Nine Months of Saying No – an update. Thanks to Vashti Galpin for the pointer!

So my main fear was that this Strategic Leadership Course would try to feed me time management tips, taking up 6 precious days of my time, when what I need is just LESS WORK. Thank the lord, far from it. ... One session left a particularly strong impression on me.  We spent some focused time considering the work-life balance challenges of another person on the course, culminating in offering them some advice. My advice? Say No, for a whole year, to everything new. Conferences, training, collaborations, journal reviews, student supervisions, the whole lot. Their response? Laughter.  None of us could imagine doing such a thing.



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