Scilab: An Interview with Sylvestre Ledru

Scilab is one of the most popular FLOSS projects in the scientific computing area, in part due to its longevity, continuous development and community support. In this interview, Sylvestre Ledru, Scilab developer and operation manager for Scilab Enterprises, shares with us Scilab’s history and future. Enjoy!

F4S: Why and when did Scilab come to be?

It is a (very) long story. It started basically at the same period as Matlab to promote the research of researchers at Inria in France.

In the 80′s, Inria decided to publish it under the name Basile with the sources (at this time, free software was not what it is now).

Scilab became more and more popular. That is why Inria decided to create a consortium in 2003 to support Scilab and ensure a more industrial oriented development. After 4 years, Digiteo was founded to improve, document and stabilize the software. Scilab Enterprises was founded in 2010 to provide the, now usual, free software business model on Scilab.

These are our top 3 Scilab supporters:



Scilab is supported since 2003 by the Consortium which includes industrial and academics …

FLOSS for Neuroscience: An interview with the NeuroDebian team

This time we bring you an interview with Michael Hanke and Yaroslav O. Halchenko, leaders of the NeuroDebian project. NeuroDebian is a turnkey platform (using Debian as its foundation) that offers a huge bundle of FLOSS software for neuroscientists. Enjoy the interview!

F4S: Does NeuroDebian have sponsors?

NeuroDebian Team: Strictly speaking, we have no sponsors. But we had and have patrons — first and foremost Dr. James V. Haxby, who enthusiastically continues to support NeuroDebian in various ways, including an endless supply of  Godaddy renewal coupon codes to keep our project affordable and under-budget.

We were also both very fortunate to have Ph.D. advisors (Dr. Stephen J. Hanson and Dr. Stefan Pollmann) that, very early on, saw potential in this endavour and allowed us to devote an unreasonable amount of time to it. We also got support from our users and collaborators: a number of institutions around the globe now host mirrors of NeuroDebian repository.

Recently we also joined the INCF Task Force on Neuroimaging Datasharing from whom we have received support for community outreach and technical collaborations.


F4S: Please, give us a …

Making robots with open source: An interview with Steve Cousins, CEO Willow Garage

This week’s FLOSS4Science interview is with Steve Cousins, President and CEO of Willow Garage, creators of the PR2 robot and the TurtleBot, both based on the open source ROS (Robot Operating System) platform and powered by this hosting company‘s cloud computing platform. Roboticists, enjoy the interview!

F4S: Please, give us a brief introduction about your company Willow Garage.

Steve: The goal at Willow Garage is to help the personal robotics revolution arrive as soon as possible. To that end, we have three distinct areas of focus: hardware, software and research.

On the hardware front, we are most widely known as the creator of the PR2 robot, arguably the most advanced mobile manipulation robot in the world today. It’s sold (and has been given away) as a platform for development to robot researchers worldwide. In having a common hardware platform, and by providing robot researchers with a robot (instead of them having to build their own), Willow Garage is accelerating personal robot development and also providing a framework for researchers to share information with each other. We also recently introduced a one-armed version …

Interview: SciRuby Team

This week we interviewed three members of the SciRuby team (a collection of tools for scientific computation written in the Ruby language): John Woods, John Prince and Claudio Bustos. We think you will find this a very interesting an throurogh interview.

F4S: Please, give us a brief introduction about yourself.

 John Woods: I’m a Ph.D. student at the University of Texas at Austin, in Molecular Biology, working with Edward Marcotte. My research involves methods for searching for deep homology – in other words, finding genes that cause birth defects based on what related genes do in other species. I’m very grateful to be supported by a U.S. National Science Foundation fellowship.

I’m also a community organizer, in the political sense. It’s actually very similar to organizing an open source project. You find people who share a common goal, you bring them together, and you find a way to get it done.

F4S: What is SciRuby?

 John Woods:  The SciRuby Project is two things: a community and a set of libraries. We think Ruby is a great language, and so do a lot of other …

The History of Science Books

history of science books

Science Books are one of the oldest evidence of human knowledge. From the time being that our ancestors have learned to study different phenomena or unusual event until the time that questioning our existence have made the scientist to seek “answers” aside from those found from the scriptures.

Science Books of Today and It’s Future

physics chemistry

Science Book, mostly text book are still the most common use today especially to those developing countries. But with the emergence of internet and computer that those information’s can just be found on fingertips, the future of science book is also going “digital”.…

The Importance of Science Books For Students

science books


The book should be considered to be great which is written or designed in accordance with the objectives and aims of science teaching. Such books can give different types of assistance to the students and teachers. By making use of such book, different points of interest are gotten by both learned and learner.

A good science book functions as a guide while surrounding the syllabus. Such sort of book turns out to be a piece of the syllabus due to its important contents. For the most part it is seen that books are followed in the situations where other instructional guides are not available because of the different reasons. In this manner, the course of the science gets a sort of solidarity through the assistance of books.

The information which is conferred through the instructor in practical form can be made comprehended by the students in composed form through books. Not just this, when students obtain information of various types from science books, then propensity for self-study gets created among them, as a consequence of which, their reliance on teacher gets lower to certain …