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Will Schroeder
Works at Kitware
Attended Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
Lived in nicosia, cyprus
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Will Schroeder

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Yes that's right the wild blueberries are coming into season in Maine. I'll be spending some quality weekend time on a mountainside eating some of these delights.
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Will Schroeder

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Susan and I were up at 5:30am and took a little kayak around Bar Harbor. Summer season really gets underway with the July 4 weekend. We'll spend more time on the water now as the town and Acadia National Park is overrun with tourists (including 140 cruise ships this year from May-October).

This morning I had a heck of a time keeping the horizon straight in my camera viewfinder. There were lots of mid-sized swells moving me around - very unnerving on a kayak since you depend on your paddle for stability. I'm trying to figure out better ways to photograph while on the water, it's tricky given the movement of the boat and water, and the unhealthy combination of water and (most) cameras.
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+1 love it
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Be virtuous and read this blog!

http://www.kitware.com/blog/home/post/927
Making open source economic models work
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Will Schroeder

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Why Linux and not BSD? Community dynamics. Which is why creating and maintaining a community is so important.
 
I would challenge the "BSD Cathedral" premise by saying that what really happened in that particular logical thread is that the best of the best BSD hackers had already been strip-mined from the development team, working at companies like Sun Microsystems, NetApp, etc.  That's not to say that all good BSD hackers were off the market, but enough were that it mattered.  Linux, by contrast, was organically building its stable of the best of the best, and when Red Hat hired many of them (with generous pre-IPO stock grants) both the GPL and Red Hat's liberal employee agreements (which really do protect and actually encourages continued participation in the open source community) meant that Linux lost nothing when Red Hat went public.  Thus, the BSD community suffered a Silicon Valley zero-sum game, whereas Linux enjoyed a GPL-enabled positive-sum game.

I very much agree that the legal issues around BSD were also crucial for wrecking its potential first-mover advantages in the open source OS realm.
If you use a free and open source operating system, it's almost certainly based on the Linux kernel and GNU software. But these were not the first freely redistributable platforms, nor were they the most professional or widely commercialized. The Berkeley Software Distribution, or BSD, beat GNU/Linux on all of these counts. So why has BSD been consigned to the margins of the open source ecosystem, while GNU/Linux distributions rose to fantastic p...
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Not to be overly belligerent, but then why the BSD license for VTK?
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Susan and I finally got down to Stonington, Maine for some exceptional kayaking. This is the area where Deer Isle granite is extracted. There are just dozens and dozens of islands in close proximity in Penebscot Bay. The weather was stunning and there were wildflowers on many of the islands.

http://www.charts.noaa.gov/OnLineViewer/13315.shtml


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Yup that's the high tide line. Tides here are about 12' peak to peak. 
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Kitware wants you...
 
We are looking to hire visualization developers to our Scientific Computing team. If you are a talented visualization researcher and developer with strong C++ skills, please consider applying.  You will join a great team and work on many interesting and challenging technical problems - always aiming to deliver robust and widely used software solutions.

For the full posting see:
http://tinyurl.com/l8sgvzw
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Will Schroeder

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Very interesting economic analysis relative to Greece and the Euro crisis.
 
Irresponsible or unavoidable borrowing?

Growing up in Europe, I didn't pay much attention to the construction of the Euro, and whatever little I remember has nothing to do with the economics of it. Now, older, having lived in the US for a while, with a Greek wife, I'm looking at the way the Euro is unraveling and I've been using the opportunity to try to figure out how it works (or, rather, why it doesn't).

The core mechanism that allows multiple states to share the same currency is pretty simple: since the weaker states can't devalue their currency to compensate for their trade deficit with the stronger ones, money has to flow from the stronger economies to the weaker ones in order to maintain the balance.

We see that in the US: as measured in GDP per capita, there's about a 2:1 ratio between the strongest states and the weakest ones. To compensate for that, a lot of money flows between states, through the federal government. Most taxes in the US are federal taxes, i.e. about 75%, and the federal government doesn't necessarily spend the money it collects in the exact states where it collects them. As an example, every year about 130 billion dollars paid by California in federal taxes don't make it back into California. Texas and New York are the two other states that have a negative balance of more than 100 billion each. For those 3 states, that outflow on money represents 5.7%, 7.2% and 7.4% of their respective GDPs. California is literally sending money to other states so that those states can buy California stuff. The same is true for Texas, New York, and about 20 of the 50 states that are sending money to the other 30.

Looking back in history, the Marshall Plan followed a somewhat similar logic: the US sent aid to Europe, to allow Europeans to buy US goods, which was both a stabilizing mechanism for European currencies that otherwise were in a devaluation spiral, and an outlet for the huge US industrial production. For reference, the Marshall Plan amounted to 120 billion dollars (in today's dollars) over 4 years, which is tiny compared to the amount of money that the federal government now redistributes across state lines.

We can compare that to the situation in the Eurozone/EU, where the GDP per capita varies by a factor of about 2.3:1. Germany's balance in the EU budget is negative by less than 9 billion Euros. France's and Italy's follow at approximately 6.5 billion and 6 billion. Germany's 9 billion Euros is tiny compared to California's 130 billion dollars, especially since Germany's GDP is 60% larger than that of California. Since the US and EU economies have approximately the same size, that's a reasonably apples-to-apples comparison. The biggest negative balance that a Eurozone country has with the EU is about 0.41% of its GDP. The biggest positive balance is 1.3%. Within the US, only 4 states out of 50 fall within that range.

That's the problem right there: Germany is not flowing enough money out to other Eurozone countries to compensate for its own very strong economy. That's true of other rich European countries as well, e.g. Netherlands, Austria, France.

From the Greek point of view, the only way to get that money to flow in order to maintain balance had been for the government to borrow. That wasn't irresponsible borrowing. That was mechanical, predictable. Greece's poor historical discipline around government finances only accelerated an unavoidable process, but it's not a root cause.

In fact, predictably, pushing Greece into austerity made things worse, much worse: with the root cause being Greece's relatively weak economy compared to the rest of the Eurozone, an austerity approach can only put Greece in a position where it needs even more money to flow in in order to maintain balance.

Even if we assume that all of Greece's debts get somehow forgiven with no further constraints and that Greece manages to run a balanced government budget, it would still be in an unsustainable position in the current Eurozone as its weaker economy would force additional money to flow in. Unless the Eurozone very significantly increases the amount of money that it redistributes across borders, Greece should get out of the Euro at the first opportunity, i.e. literally Monday morning, July 6.

Worse, with Greece out, it's only a matter of time for another weak country to find itself in the same position: that might be Portugal, Spain, Italy, or if Bulgaria, Romania or even Hungary join quickly enough that might go through that same death spiral quickly enough to see the Eurozone as a revolving door, with barely enough time to come in before being back out.

Once that first batch of weak countries is out, there'll always be more that'll be at the bottom of the scale and will find themselves in the same position. France is comfortably in the middle of the pack within Europe today, but attrition will eventually push it toward the bottom, and France having to leave the Euro is a true nightmare scenario for everyone.

In order for the Eurozone to survive, its rich members will need to send a lot more money to the poorer ones: the rich ones literally can't continue reaping benefits from a currency based on the European average without sharing those benefits with the poorer ones that bring that European average down. Otherwise, the Euro will consume country after country until it hits a country that is literally too big to fail.
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Sure, interesting ... no different in Australia and those countries that said no to the single currency because of those very reasons were right. 
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Will Schroeder

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Here's some outside of the box thinking in support of Open Science:

http://arstechnica.com/science/2015/07/some-new-ideas-for-fixing-science/
Series of papers proposes new methods to keep science honest and accurate.
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Here's a nice NPR radio broadcast (available online) that makes a great case for high-performance computing, and how it can help business. The story focuses on Oak Ridge National Lab's Titan supercomputer.

http://www.npr.org/sections/alltechconsidered/2015/06/30/418643595/flood-maps-can-get-much-sharper-with-a-little-supercomputing-oomph
Entrepreneurs are turning to Oak Ridge National Lab's supercomputer to make all sorts of things, including maps that are much more accurate in predicting how a neighborhood will fare in a flood.
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A compelling argument for further investments by the US in the Internet of Things.

http://www.politico.com/agenda/story/2015/06/kevin-ashton-internet-of-things-in-the-us-000102?hp=b1_c3
Almost all transformative new technologies of the past few decades rose the same way. They were developed in the United States — nuclear energy, advanced jet aircraft, integrated circuits, computer networks — and seeded by the federal government, typically through defense spending.
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Definitely worth a read: the extractive versus the network (or sustainable) mindset. In other words why the feeding and maintenance of community is so important to long term progress....

http://sethgodin.typepad.com/seths_blog/2015/06/overcoming-the-extraction-mindset.html
For generations, places with significant oil production have developed a different culture than other places. This extraction mindset occurs in environments where profits are taken from a captive resource. It doesn't matter if it's coal, tickets or tuition, the mindset...
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Here's a gentle introduction to using VTK's shared-memory, parallel computing framework vtkSMPTools. 

http://www.kitware.com/blog/home/post/915

In the coming years, there are big plans for VTK / ParaView related to parallel computing. This includes shared memory, multi-core computing like vtkSMPTools, as well as VTK-m, a toolkit of scientific visualization algorithms for emerging processor architectures such as GPUs and co-processors. The community is also working hard to create new algorithms to take advantage of the increasing availability of parallel computing hardware. It's bound to be an exciting time, and we hope one day these efforts will help take us into the era of exascale computing.
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Story
Tagline
Building open source computational software
Introduction
I'm a computational scientist by training. Besides developing software (VTK), I love to write (especially poetry), exercise (hike, run, bike, kayak), and travel. My wife and I enjoy building and creating beautiful things (she's a landscape architect). I'm into home control systems and home building/remodeling.
Bragging rights
Two great kids and a amazingly talented, artistic wife; a beautiful home in Maine; an open source developer; co-founder of a great company Kitware.
Education
  • Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
    Applied Math MS/PhD, 1980 - 1991
  • U. of Maryland
    Mechanical Engr., 1975 - 1980
Basic Information
Gender
Male
Other names
Will Willie William
Work
Occupation
I pretend to be a CEO
Employment
  • Kitware
    President / CEO, 1998 - present
  • GE Research
    Computational Scientist, 1987 - 1998
  • GE Gas Turbine
    Engineer, 1980 - 1987
Places
Map of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has lived
Previously
nicosia, cyprus - frankfurt, germany - manila, philippines - rockville, md - college park, md - niskayuna, ny - bar harbor, me