java developer wanting to pursue bioinformatics visualization - where to go?

Kevin Garwood zaredbaron at yahoo.co.uk
Thu Jun 21 02:21:36 EST 2001


Hello,

I'm looking for information on a niche field I'd like
to pursue -- visualization in bioinformatics.  I am a
skilled software developer who has worked on medical
imaging, high energy physics and immunology
applications.  I've always been a fan of cool graphics
and simple user interfaces.  The more I look into this
field, the more I realize that eventually, with all
the data you collect, you're going to need something
to visually marshall the facts in a way that doesn't
cause cognitive overload. 

Whether you're doing some fantastically complex
operations with GenBank files or you're trying to
visualize proteins or molecules, you're going to need
something to help you see it all better.  The
alternative future is one where the researchers end up
turning into eggplants because they're incapable of
translating the abstract into the concrete for all the
data they get bombarded with.
They'll need help!

Please feel free to click on my resume:

http://uk.geocities.com/zaredbaron/resume/resume.html.


I've been working for a year in bioinformatics and I
must say, either the field is very interesting in
general or the place I work at is great.  But I would
ask generally, as a software developer who knew
nothing of biology before:
"Is the field of bioinformatics at a mature enough
stage, and are the data 'clean' enough to warrant
heavy research into graphically visualizing complex
data?"

I'd like to know, and I don't expect an answer to
necessarily be a resounding 'Yes'.  There seems to be
a lot of scripts and programs that hang precariously
together and try to process data from large scale
databases where the data quality isn't as good as it
could be.  Could you please provide some thought on
this issue, and suggest what research labs I might
look to for opportunities?

I'm looking into the Xerox Research Park an IBM's Deep
Computing Institute, but could anyone add some other
suggestions?


Thanks very much,
Kevin


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