Tuesday, February 19, 2008

More library time

So, here I am, in the Columbia library again, wondering if what I am doing is going to make any difference in the world.


Well, now that sounds quite depressing. I really don’t think that way much of the time, although, I don’t know, maybe I should. Right now, I’m writing a computer program that will look at radiological images (such as MRI) and then decide whether those images have problems. The disease I am beginning with is aneurysms and stenoses of the brain vessels. There is a set of equations that detail how vessels should be growing as they get closer to the heart, and how their diameter should be shrinking as they split into two, etc. So, hopefully, since there seems to be some sort of order to the madness of the crazy blood vessels in the brain, we will be able to get some analyzable data out of it.


Right now, I am hand-copying an old (circa 1997) kernel of a genetic programming application. I am copying it by hand because I want to be able to look at every line and say, oh yes – that’s why that’s in there. It’s a pretty good way to learn a programming language, I’ve found. This particular language being C++.


Oh, and in case you couldn’t tell, genetic programming is going to be used to detect problems in these vessels. (Please?)