Happy new year! And plans for 2024..

Firework Bouquet

We’re already 2% into 2024, but there might still be time to wish you a happy new year, and hint towards the plan for 2024. (click for more…)

I intend 2024 to be the year where we take things a little more slowly and focus a bit more to try and resolve some symptoms of overworking. While it was fun last year doing 14 presentations, being involved on several papers, doing a few videos and releasing 17 research datasets, it was absolutely exhausting to combine that with normal work. (Apropos, running stats for 2023 will follow in a future blog post.) This meant that some work has fallen by the wayside that deserves to be finished. Spending the final months frantically trying to get the MOUSE running again also did not help.

This year, besides the GISAXS post-doc project and several student’s projects, we’re planning to take a look at how to refactor the MOUSE instrument itself. The last experience has revealed how the instrument is held together by some obscure and inflexible pieces underneath, and so when one of those pieces goes, the whole stack collapses like a house of cards. We’ve already made the initial steps robustifying it and gaining some more automation in the process, and word on the street has it that there are other Xeuss owners looking to do the same. Hopefully, we can work something out together.

The same goes for the data corrections, or rather the entire data flow. By developing a standard base class upon which particular data flow steps can be composed, it should be possible to more consistently take the data from its collection through correction to the interpretation. In other words, we would have a system like RunDeck to orchestrate individual data flow steps like we do now, but with more consistency and traceability in the underlying methods. At the moment, these underlying methods are a bit of a hodgepodge of “whatever works”, that we amassed over the years. Much work remains to be done on this, and it isn’t more than a few ideas and some code snippets at the moment, but I suspect it will prove useful.

Lastly, this year will have the SAS conference in Taiwan as well. I have no idea yet what I might be talking about, except perhaps highlighting the benefits of a holistic approach when running a laboratory, if that is of interest.

Add some sailing and diving, and before you know it, the year will be over.

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