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Matthew Rocklin
Computational scientist, also person.
Computational scientist, also person.

Matthew's posts

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I just received the following email for summer interns at LANL. I hear that they pay well :)

I’m writing to make you aware of two new job postings available at Los Alamos National Laboratory. We are looking for students with experience in C++ and Python and how to make them talk to each other (e.g., SWIG, Cython, etc.). 

More details can be found at There are two postings:

Post Bachelors Students IRC37540

Post Masters Students IRC37560

If you are aware of anyone who is looking for a summer intern position, please pass this information along.

Jeremy Conlin

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When people ask me about nuclear waste, I tell them it's not a technical problem; it's a political problem. 

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I have finally given up nano!  Instead I am now using xo - a text editor I just wrote with even less features!

Please check the website at least; you might be aMAZEd.

It is less than 850 lines of code long, including all configuration and documentation.  This is a true testament to how effective Python and the Python ecosystem are. 

I learned a lot in this process since I bootstrapped it from the example in urwid. It is feature complete in the sense that it has everything that I ever use and nothing I never use.

I am super pleased because now my text editor has become even more personal and customizable.  I highly recommend this exercise to others.

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SymPy 0.7.4 has been released. Download from, or pip
install --upgrade sympy. If you use Anaconda, you should be able to
conda update sympy as soon as Continuum updates it in their repos.

The full release notes for this release are at  Some

- SymPy now uses a single code-base for Python 2 and Python 3. This
version of SymPy supports Python 2.6, 2.7, 3.2, and 3.3, all with the
same tarball.

- The geometric algebra module has been refactored.

- CSE (common subexpression elimination) is now much faster.

- New functions for cryptography.

- New Diophantine equation module (Thilina Rathnayake's GSoC project)

- New Lie Algebra module (Mary Clark's GSoC project)

- Improvements to the polys module. For instance minpoly() now
supports algebraic functions in addition to algebraic numbers (Katja
Sophie Hotz's GSoC project).

See the release notes and the git log for a full list of changes. See for a full report
on the 2013 GSoC program. See
for the full documentation.

Thanks to everyone who contributed to this release!

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I just ran into Google Scholar Library.  Does anyone have experience with this?

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True story:

One evening in January last year, Joel Eriksson, a 34-year-old computer analyst from Uppsala in Sweden, was trawling the web, looking for distraction, when he came across a message on an internet forum. The message was in stark white type, against a black background.

“Hello,” it said. “We are looking for highly intelligent individuals. To find them, we have devised a test. There is a message hidden in this image. Find it, and it will lead you on the road to finding us. We look forward to meeting the few that will make it all the way through. Good luck.”

The message was signed: "3301”.

Sleepily – it was late, and he had work in the morning – Eriksson thought he’d try his luck decoding the message from "3301”. After only a few minutes work he’d got somewhere: a reference to "Tiberius Claudius Caesar” and a line of meaningless letters. Joel deduced it might be an embedded "Caesar cipher” – an encryption technique named after Julius Caesar, who used it in private correspondence. It replaces characters by a letter a certain number of positions down the alphabet. As Claudius was the fourth emperor, it suggested "four” might be important – and lo, within minutes, Eriksson found another web address buried in the image’s code.

Feeling satisfied, he clicked the link.

It was a picture of a duck with the message: "Woops! Just decoys this way. Looks like you can’t guess how to get the message out.”  "If something is too easy or too routine, I quickly lose interest,” says Eriksson. "But it seemed like the challenge was a bit harder than a Caesar cipher after all. I was hooked.”

Eriksson didn’t realise it then, but he was embarking on one of the internet’s most enduring puzzles; a scavenger hunt that has led thousands of competitors across the web, down telephone lines, out to several physical locations around the globe, and into unchartered areas of the "darknet”. So far, the hunt has required a knowledge of number theory, philosophy and classical music. An interest in both cyberpunk literature and the Victorian occult has also come in handy as has an understanding of Mayan numerology.

It has also featured a poem, a tuneless guitar ditty, a femme fatale called "Wind” who may, or may not, exist in real life, and a clue on a lamp post in Hawaii. Only one thing is certain: as it stands, no one is entirely sure what the challenge – known as Cicada 3301 – is all about or who is behind it.

The article here is fun; for more try this other one:

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High school students have a lot to contribute to open source projects. 
We just started the second week of Google Code-in and are excited about the number of students from around the world that have been registering for the contest.

For a past student's perspective on the contest check out the Google Open Source blog post from this morning.  

Keep up the great work students!
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