• Question: What do you do with computers in science

    Asked by anon-39837 to Vincent, Vanessa, Lyndsey, James, Ingmar on 2 Dec 2022.
    • Photo: Vincent Monchal

      Vincent Monchal answered on 2 Dec 2022:

      Mostly it’s a tool for managing the data, writing reports and presentations. Apart from that I don’t really use computers.

    • Photo: Ingmar Schoen

      Ingmar Schoen answered on 2 Dec 2022:

      We use computers to control our microscopes. This is cool because some of our experiments run over a long time. The software allows us to take images at predefined times at different positions of our sample, without us even being there (time for a coffee!).

      We also use computers to simulate the behaviour of molecules in cells. By varying some parameters in these simulations, we can find out what the effect of one component is on the whole system. These results can then be compared to the results from the lab experiments. This helps us to understand what we observe in reality.

    • Photo: Vanessa Rodrigues

      Vanessa Rodrigues answered on 3 Dec 2022:

      There are several programming languages and each generation has learnt the latest one in college. Now we use them all!
      We write our own Matlab and Python code to position devices the way we require, synchronise them with other equipment and monitor them all in real time. A lot of equipment are provided with their own user interface, but based in C++ or Python.
      Other than that, it is used for data taking, analysis, and presentations.
      All in all, you can use the computer to send a trigger to a tool and collect and store information from it. The rest is all creative.