Thursday, July 29, 2010

Workshop on HPC for Phylogenetics

The "PAUP running - Do not touch!!!" sign should look familiar to anyone who's done phylogenetic analyses over the past two decades. Fortunately, the days of these signs - and the inevitable lab drama that results - are quickly becoming a thing of the past. As access to high-performance computing (HPC) expands, most modern phylogenetic analyses are being conducted remotely on shared community- or campus-wide resources. Even as access to these resources expands, however, expertise in utilizing them to their full potential remains limited. For this reason, I'm excited to spread the news about The National Institute for Mathematical and Biological Synthesis's (NIMBioS) new workshop titled “Fast, Free Phylogenies: HPC for Phylogenetics Tutorial.” This workshop, which takes place this October in Knoxville, TN, will bring together some of the most knowledgeable experts on HPC for phylogenetics with the goal of teaching others how best to use resources like TeraGrid, CIPRES, iPlant, university clusters, and other free HPC resources. More details are available at the tutorials webpage. Tuition is covered by NIMBioS, but enrollment is limited.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010


Warning: large video. May take a few seconds to load.

This has been the scene on my front lawn for the past few evenings. Basically, every day in the late afternoon a large swath of ants - not going anywhere in particular or consuming any resource that I can detect - seems to form in the same general region of my front yard in Durham, North Carolina. When I get up to run in the morning and the yard is shaded, they are still there; but as soon as the hot summer sun hits the front lawn they have disappeared. In the evening, when the lawn is again shaded, sure enough - they reappear. Any comments on this peculiar phenomenon are welcome!