Almost exactly a year since we first walked through the doors into the Bethnal Green Ventures (BGV) accelerator programme we’ve now closed our first major investment round. It’s an amazing feeling to finally have everything signed and sealed, and it’s a great time for the team as we can now really push on with the next phase of our growth and development.
Well that was a nice surprise! Last week Overleaf (the new collaborative scientific writing platform we’ve built following on from the success of writeLaTeX) was crowned the Innovative Internet Business of 2014 at the Nominet Internet awards!
I’ve experienced a few hackathons. Some indirectly, a couple in person, and a lot from reading the follow up articles.
They’ve ranged from scientific collaboration to social innovation to hardcore coding, and in almost every case I’m astounded by the sheer amount of work that gets done (whether it’s science, brainstorming, or the code in the resulting github repos).
I’m also now realising how often I look back on an old hackathon and realise that nothing really came of it*. The output lies disused or forgotten, and there is almost inevitably a subsequent hackathon on the same topic, usually without reference or mention of the previous efforts. Continue reading →
As a mathematician of a certain age (who grew up with Mario Bros), it is one of the coolest things I own. In fact, it’s impossible to pick up without “playing through” the level, and recreating that iconic music.
Here are some photos:
If you’re interested in how it was made, checkout this video by the creator:
Next up I’ll post about the Acme Klein Bottle that sits on my desk…
Today would have been the late Neil Armstrong’s 83rd birthday, and as it happens my sister was born on the very day Neil and Buzz landed on the moon back in 1969. I’ve always been a scientist, and I think this yearly anniversary helped fuelled a fascination with space and science that’s always stayed with me…
My younger self presenting a pod exhibition in Bath in November 2009
So begins my guest post for the Bethnal Green Ventures blog! Click here to read the full post, and feel free to leave comments below 🙂
Whilst browsing the writeLaTeX twitter feed the other day, I came across an interesting observation that the absence of TeX is a good indicator that a math paper has issues, highlighted by John Cook (@TeXtip) in this tweet:
In the original blog post on this (entitled ‘Ten Signs a Claimed Mathematical Breakthrough is Wrong’), this is only one of a number of points made, although it is the first, and is accompanied by the interesting statistic that:
“This simple test (suggested by Dave Bacon) already catches at least 60% of wrong mathematical breakthroughs.”
Most of the world’s technological and medical innovations began with a scientific paper — there are now over two million scientific papers published every year, and many more technical reports and presentations. As scientists, we spend a lot of time writing, reviewing and publishing these papers, and whilst the Internet has drastically improved how they’re published and distributed, writing (and collaborating) is still difficult. With WriteLaTeX we’re helping to change that.
WriteLaTeX is a real-time collaborative writing platform which lets you create, edit & share your scientific ideas easily online using LaTeX, a powerful tool for scientific publishing. My co-founder John Lees-Miller created writeLaTeX to address the problems we experienced ourselves when writing papers collaboratively, in particular in the fields of mathematics, physics and computer science. We both have backgrounds in mathematics so naturally used LaTeX but when working with co-authors in different countries and different disciplines, there was no easy solution – so John created one!
This evening we were fortunate enough (thanks to BGV) to have been invited to a discussion celebrating the history of computing, held at the main Google offices in London.
All the talks and videos were very interesting, but the one that caught my attention in particular was a look back at how Lyons the bakers were one of the first companies to implement what today we’d call a management information system.
All in all, a very inspiring way to kick off our stay in London!