4,628 reputation
11523
bio website vyznev.net
location Helsinki, Finland
age
visits member for 3 years, 3 months
seen yesterday

I'm a PhD student in biomathematics, working on stochastic individual-based models of evolution in spatially structured populations. My other interests include cryptography, programming games and puzzles, photography and graphic design.

I started programming (in AmigaBASIC) when I was 10 years old. Nowadays, I'm most comfortable using Perl, C and JavaScript. I know Java and PHP too, but I can't really say I like them. I also know some Python, but not as much as I'd like.


CC-Zero Please consider any (original) code I post to Stack Overflow and other Stack Exchange sites to be released under CC-Zero unless stated otherwise. You may do whatever you want with it and don't have to credit me in any way, although of course that would be nice.


I'm the main author and maintainer of the Stack Overflow Unofficial Patch (SOUP), a user script for browsers with GreaseMonkey-compatible user script support (Firefox, Chrome, Opera, possibly Safari) that fixes or works around a number of outstanding issues with the Stack Exchange user interface.

I tend to answer a lot more questions than I ask. Some answers I'm rather proud of:


May
19
revised Perturbation metric problem
improve TeX formatting, misc. copyedits
May
19
comment What will I see in this scenario? Will this be faster than the speed of light?
I'm going to have to give this a -1 as it stands. The answer in your last paragraph is correct, but you seem to have taken a pretty strange and convoluted route to get there.
May
18
comment How does light bend around my finger tip?
@Samuel: Depends on exactly what you mean by a "parallax effect"; even after reading your answer, that's still not 100% clear to me. The bending effect arises because the light from each point in the background arrives at the lens through multiple paths, some of which can be occluded by the foreground object, and because, with the lens not in focus, each of those paths generates a different part of the blurred image. That's a kind of a parallax effect, or at least something related, but not quite what I'd typically think of when speaking of parallax e.g. in photography.
May
13
revised What is the symbol Å?
fix repetition created by previous edits, expand a bit
May
11
awarded  Good Answer
May
8
comment How does light bend around my finger tip?
@MattWilko: Actually, that does not appear to be the case; the observed effect can be fully explained and reproduced by ray optics, with no need for diffraction or other wave effects.
May
8
revised Toroidal magnet in Tonomura et al. demonstration of Aharonov-Bohm effect
make image clickable
May
8
comment How does light bend around my finger tip?
@BrianFunt: This does not actually seem all that surprising: the human eye has some chromatic aberration, which causes different colors to be in slightly different focus, and thus to experience the bending effect in different amounts. I suspect that photographing this effect would be easiest with a really low-quality camera lens with significant chromatic aberration; a good achromatic lens will defeat your efforts here.
May
7
reviewed Approve suggested edit on Why don't the leaves of an electrometer repel each other in water?
May
7
revised How does light bend around my finger tip?
addendum 2
May
7
comment Could a hard drive actually have been erased as described in Cryptonomicon?
@BrandonEnright: I thought so too, at first, but I rather doubt it. The thing is, even an alternating magnetic field still attracts ferromagnetic materials, since the ferromagnet's polarity simply tracks the external field. At least, this holds up to the point where the frequency gets too high for the magnetic domains in the ferromagnet to follow, but at that point the field also becomes an inefficient degausser (since flipping the magnetization in the disks is what you want to do).
May
7
comment How does light bend around my finger tip?
@Navin: Probably an hour or two of actual work (mostly playing around with POV-Ray and Inkscape, and later with with my camera, plus writing). If you count the total elapsed time from "you know, I think I could answer this" to the "finished product" (whatever it'll be), though, it's so far three days and running. (I'm still planning to summarize the discussion about nearsightedness that was here before the comments were cleaned up by the mods.)
May
6
awarded  Great Answer
May
6
revised How does light bend around my finger tip?
got the photos swapped; thanks, Tim S.
May
5
revised How does light bend around my finger tip?
added 232 characters in body
May
5
revised How does light bend around my finger tip?
added 831 characters in body
May
5
awarded  Guru
May
5
awarded  Good Answer
May
5
awarded  Nice Answer
May
4
comment How does light bend around my finger tip?
@Virtlink: I just did.