1,770 reputation
510
bio website vyznev.net
location Helsinki, Finland
age
visits member for 2 years, 7 months
seen Jul 24 at 0:27

I'm a PhD student in biomathematics, working on stochastic individual-based models of evolution in spatially structured populations. My other interests include cryptography, programming games and puzzles, photography and graphic design.

I started programming (in AmigaBASIC) when I was 10 years old. Nowadays, I'm most comfortable using Perl, C and JavaScript. I know Java and PHP too, but I can't really say I like them. I also know some Python, but not as much as I'd like.


CC-Zero Please consider any (original) code I post to Stack Overflow and other Stack Exchange sites to be released under CC-Zero unless stated otherwise. You may do whatever you want with it and don't have to credit me in any way, although of course that would be nice.


I'm the main author and maintainer of the Stack Overflow Unofficial Patch (SOUP), a user script for browsers with GreaseMonkey-compatible user script support (Firefox, Chrome, Opera, possibly Safari) that fixes or works around a number of outstanding issues with the Stack Exchange user interface.

I tend to answer a lot more questions than I ask. Some answers I'm rather proud of:


Jul
4
comment HSL Lightness vs Eye sensitivity
I'm not sure this is really the best possible SE site for this question; my answer below, at least, has very little biology in it. There's no "Colorimetry Stack Exchange", but I'd think this would be on topic e.g. at Graphic Design. Alas, they don't have MathJax... maybe Physics would be a better fit? Or Cognitive Sciences?
Jul
4
answered HSL Lightness vs Eye sensitivity
Jun
12
awarded  Nice Answer
Jun
11
comment How is the fluoride in toothpaste absorbed?
I'm a bit dubious about that "more poisonous than lead" quote: it's repeated (in various mutated forms) on many anti-fluoridation websites, but I wasn't able to find anything like it in the claimed source (which, apparently, is actually a book, not a journal issue). That said, Google provides only a rather inconvenient form of snippet search access to the book, so, without an actual copy, I can't be quite 100% sure that it's bogus.
Jun
11
answered How is the fluoride in toothpaste absorbed?
May
25
comment How does yeast dissolve in sugar?
If if you find that impressive, try baking something that calls for a mashed banana. It's typically listed as a liquid ingredient for a reason.
Mar
21
comment How do I calculate the change in allele frequency in a haploid population under selection?
Ps. As a mathematician, I'd like to register my objection to using the notation $\frac{dx}{dt}$ for "allele frequency change per generation"; it properly denotes the rate of allele frequency change over time (presumably in a continuously breeding population, for such a rate to be well defined). Even if we measure time in (average) generations, it's not hard to come up with examples where the two are not equal.
Mar
21
comment How do I calculate the change in allele frequency in a haploid population under selection?
Here's a simple consistency check to show that $\Delta x = \frac{x}{1-sy}$ can't possibly be the right answer: in a pure monomorphic $A_1$ population, there obviously cannot be any change in allele frequencies through selection, so $x = 1$ should imply $\Delta x = 0$. Your formula, however, yields $\Delta x = \frac11 = 1$ in that case.
Mar
13
answered Is Natural Selection like a Copy Editor?
Mar
13
comment Is Natural Selection like a Copy Editor?
I know, I'm just saying that the only reasonable answer is, put briefly, "In some ways it is, and in some ways it isn't." It doesn't really help that the "statement" you're asked to evaluate is really two statements, and they're not really equivalent. (Copy editors don't just "work only with what is already present," at least not in the same sense as natural selection does.) Sorry if that seems unhelpful, but that's how I see it.
Mar
13
comment Is Natural Selection like a Copy Editor?
Is a railway car like a weasel? Honestly, I don't think it's a very good question. I hope it at least doesn't ask for a yes-or-no answer.
Mar
13
comment Is Natural Selection like a Copy Editor?
If I had to compare natural selection to a job in the publishing industry, I'd say it's more like a commissioning editor -- that is, the guy who decides what to accept and what to throw in the garbage bin.
Mar
12
comment How would constantly growing nails have aided early human?
An interesting theory, but I'm not sure how it can explain the fact that all great apes have essentially human-type nails, as do most other primates. While some primates are indeed more or less monogamous, many are not; this includes our closest evolutionary relatives, the chimpanzees and bonobos, which nonetheless have very human-like nail morphology.
Mar
12
answered Why ducklings are yellow?
Mar
12
answered How would constantly growing nails have aided early human?
Mar
12
comment How would constantly growing nails have aided early human?
I don't think this is a very good answer. It sounds like you're arguing that the constant growth of human nails is just a useless vestigial trait. Yet the change from claws to flat nails in our evolutionary history is a non-trivial one, and must surely have involved some considerable selection pressure. Had it been advantageous at the time for our nails not to grow during adulthood (or at all!), that, being a comparatively minor change, surely could've evolved as well.
Dec
24
awarded  Yearling
Aug
25
awarded  Good Answer
Dec
24
awarded  Yearling
Sep
28
comment What causes the characteristic 'gleam' in the eye of a living being?
+1 for "dead people don't blink."