Coding and Analysis
I thoroughly enjoy coding, especially with higher-level languages where you can reap nearly immediate results from the logic you have just typed. I have primarily used Wavemetrics Igor Pro for analysis coding, but also used Javascript to code a custom Web calendar (code here), PHP for this site, and python for creating a program to control my TV without needing to reach for the remote.
I am a major fan of efficiency, so when I first started collecting and analyzing waveform data at the laboratory at UC Davis, I was confronted with a severe limitation in how data was analyzed. While the laboratory made use of Wavemetrics Igor Pro software (a fully scriptable waveform analysis tool), the uses of this were for small standalone macros.
This resulted in the need for a large amount of manual labor, be it importing data, processing counts and measurements, or creating a simple table or graph. For someone proficient with Igor Pro, it took about 30-40 minutes to process the data from a single recording session, with an inexperienced person taking about 2-3 hours to complete the analysis. As a result, it would often take several days of data processing after a recording session, before results were known.
To fix this, I created a full analysis suite, that cut out as many of the mundane manual tasks as possible, and resulted in a routine that was over six times faster. With good data, and experienced user could now get an entire recording session accurately processed in about 5-7 minutes. I developed the suite to be user-friendly as well, so with a small how-to guide, an inexperienced user could get the data processed in about 20-30 minutes.
In addition to cutting down data processing times, I included stereotyped reporting for the results, where once all analysis was completed, the program would compile a report sheet to keep the measurements organized. This allowed for quick review of the results, and an ability to see trends in the data without tabulation or further statistical analysis.