This week27 February 2011
I had a week that seemed both long and short. Monday was a holiday and I spent much of the next two days getting a presentation ready, practicing and writing a paper. Thursday, I presented a conference (my first time) and Friday the conference continued. All that was alright. I had the second presentation of the conference, and it went well. I was glad to get it done early on, so I didn't need to think about it all day.
I saw a few really interesting presentations. One in particular was about post-processing tools for output data from SWMM. In prior versions, which I have not used, the output data was formatted in a more easily manipulated format. However, the "newest" version outputs "stacked" data. Anyway, the presentation talked about tools developed using python and R. It reminded me that there were many useful tools out there that can simplify work. (The presenter also mentioned that they used Tinn-R as a GUI for R, but I have no experience with it.)
So, I think I'll spend some time learning to use these tools, if for no other reason than to get nicer graphs for my reports and thesis. Maybe I'll even learn something that I can use once I get to working. At my old job, there were many opportunities for simple tools to manipulate data and we always resorted to excel or manually running sql edits. Neither of these were ideal tools for the job, but they were what was available and what we knew how to use. One of the advantages of using python with R is that I would not have to teach them how to use either necessarily and could make easy to use scripts for drag and drop operation.