Robin's Blog

Archive for April, 2011

How to: Consolidate your internet presence

Recently I took a while to try and simplify and consolidate my online presence. I thought it was an appropriate time to do this, as I had just bought a domain name (, where I was hosting my academic website ( and my blog (which is what you’re reading now!). I thought it’d be useful […]

Review: Machine Learning: An Algorithmic Perspective by Stephen Marsland

Summary: Great book – clear explanations, useful example code and a friendly, easy-going writing style. One of my favourite academic books ever! Reference: Marsland, S., 2009, Machine learning: An Algorithmic Perspective, Chapman & Hall/CRC, Boca Raton, Florida, 390ppĀ  Machine Learning can be a difficult topic – as I found out when taking a Masters-level machine […]

Programming << Pointers << Parallel Programming

I remember, fairly early on in my programming career, reading Joel Spolsky’s article about interviewing for programmers. At the time I thought I might want to get a job as a programmer (in fact, I’ve now got a job in academia – albeit in a field that involves a fair amount of programming), so I […]

Review: Matplotlib for Python Developers by Sandro Tosi

Summary: I’d recommend this for people interested in adding Matplotlib functionality to GUI and web applications, and for those who need a bit more information on how to do advanced plotting with Matplotlib. Most general users will be able to get the information they need from the Matplotlib website. Reference: Tosi, S., 2009, Matplotlib for […]

My LaTeX preamble

Since I started my PhD I have forced myself to use LaTeX for all of the documents that I write (yes, absolutely everything), and this has really helped me get to grips with how to do things in LaTeX. Overall I have been very impressed – my documents now look really professional, and LaTeX actually […]

Amazing software you haven’t heard of

Every so often, on my travels around the internet, I come across a piece of software which is so great that I wonder why on earth I haven’t heard of it before. The software listed below falls into this category, and hopefully by posting the list here I will allow more people to find them. […]

Git helps me get round to using source control

I’ve always heard how source control should be used for every project, including those which you think are just going to be throwaway code. However, I’ve often not got around to doing this – if I write a piece of code in ten minutes, but it takes five minutes to set up a new subversion […]