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Re: Welcome to Debian Science!

On Mon, Aug 01, 2005 at 12:59:13PM +1000, Helen Faulkner wrote:
> elijah wright wrote:
> [...]
> > It would be all for the best to see some frameworks built that help
> > people actually get their research done, along with some documentation
> > of productive combinations of packages to *do* the work that needs
> > doing. :-)
> > 
> Maybe a useful start would be for people to write and tell us what packages they
> regularly use in their research.

Hello all,

I joined this list just after the announcement on debian-user, and am
curious about others here as well.  By way of introduction, I am a
(teaching) chemistry professor at Bakersfield College, a community
college in California. 

Our school is a Windows camp, based as much on the wishes of the IS
director as anything else (he flat out considers Linux a renegade
system and is ready to take _anyone_ to task if they use anything else
on their computer).  The computer science department is finally
teaching Linux as a system, but when those computers are up, the LAN is
disconnected and the OS's are put in using removable drives.

Sad, and yet amusing...

My use of Linux/Debian is entirely at home as a consequence, and I do
little of my work at school.  Everything I do/create is done under
Linux.  It started as a hobby for me, and remains as my mainstay
environment of choice.  My kids use Windows for games.

I would love to be able to hand some of my students Live CD's with a
variant of Debian on it which has additional software geared
specifically towards school and my classes.  (For others it would make
no sense--what would a nursing student do with Linux? :)

Anyway, my trade tools include--

LyX for all documentation, with output to pdf and occasionally html for
class files,

openoffice for the darned doc files others insist on sending to me,

gnumeric for class records,

chemtool for molecular drawings and equations requiring structures,

xfig for other figures,

gperiodic, galculator, and rasmol (cross-platform molecular viewer),

the Gimp,

ghemical for simple model building/QM calculations and openbabel for
interconversions (when it works),


and a number of outside packages which likely aren't candiidates for
packaging.  GAMESS and Chimera are examples of these.  Others like
Tinker and GROMACS _might_ be (though I haven't played with GROMACS in
a while).  The QM and MD type apps out there are higher level programs
than I'm unlikely to have students use, yet they could be quite useful
to individual chemists like myself who don't have the programming
background/experience at setting them up (it is incredibly time
consuming for me to get a package up and running off another site, and
I'm self-taught at that in the area).

Sorry 'bout the long intro... that's all that spews out at the moment!


Kenward Vaughan
In a completely rational society, the best of us would aspire to be 
_teachers_ and the rest of us would have to settle for something less, 
because passing civilization along from one generation to the next 
ought to be the highest honor and the highest responsibility anyone 
could have.     - Lee Iacocca

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