Blog

This is my blog. Sometimes in these posts I’ll talk about research or art projects I’m involved with, sometimes I’ll just ramble about other stuff which is keeping me up at night. If you’re interested in a certain topic, click on a tag to see just the posts with that tag:

If anything here sparks your interest (or your ire!) then get in touch (twitter, email) or discuss on HN.

LENS'21 final gig 2pm June 6 @ sideway

If you’re a fan of LENS, the ANU Laptop Ensemble, then you’re welcome to come to the S1 2021 end-of-semester gig. Here are the details

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ACMC'21 + Synthmoot: Connections announced for August 26-28

Great news on the local computer music conference front: the Australian Institute of Music is hosting the ACMC conference in Sydney/Melbourne/online at the end of August ‘21. I’ll be there—and if you’re a computers-and-music-adjacent artist then you should think about submitting a paper, artist talk or performance as well.

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A short list of Extempore livecoding tricks

Yesterday’s LENS class discussion turned into an AMA of how I do certain things when I’m livecoding in Extempore. As promised, here’s a blog post where I’ve put together all of the things we’ve discussed (with a bit more explanation). If you’re in the LENS ‘21 class this’ll hopefully be a helpful complement to yesterday’s class discussion. If you’re not in the class, then maybe you’ve always been curious about certain things I (over)use in my livecoding sets? This is maybe a bit too niche to go in the general Extempore documentation, but if you’ve got any questions then you can hit me up on Teams (for LENS students) or the Extempore mailing list (everyone else).

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benswift.me analytics/tracking update

I haven’t had any sort of client-side analytics (e.g. Google Analytics) on benswift.me for a long time (since around 2012 I think—several iterations of the site ago). I use an ad-blocker myself, and the whole tracking & analytics thing just strikes me as a bit gross.

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Bulk-add students to MS Teams from a csv file

My institution now uses MS Teams for lots of things, including organising classes & communicating with students. It’s not perfect, but it’s not terrible, and the pros & cons of Teams as a pedagogical platform are best left for another post.

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ANZSRC FoR Codes 2020 edition

The Australian Research Council (well, technically the Australian Bureau of Statistics and their NZ counterparts) have updated the Field of Research codes which Aussie/NZ academics use to classify their work.[^interdisciplinary-complaint]

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Simple pdf papers/reports with markdown, pandoc and bibtex

I’ve long raged against the machine of my institution’s default LaTeX template for dissertations and other reports, which is:

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How to cite code? Leading by example

In our Computing Education Reading Group yesterday we looked at Sheard et. al.’s paper on Strategies for Maintaining Academic Integrity in First-Year from ITiCSE ‘17. It was a great discussion, with lots of new questions raised as directions for future work.

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Respectful Learning Memes

Note: this post was noticed by the good folks at the ANU Centre for Learning and Teaching, and they asked if they could syndicate it on their Interact blog—so you can read it there as well.

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Independent Study Contract writing tips

Many students here at the ANU School of Computing take a capstone project at the end of their undergraduate degree. There are a few different variations (e.g. half-year vs full-year, “research” vs “implementation”, etc.), but overall these projects are a chance for students to put together all the skills they’ve learned in their degree program in a supervised project where they’re the boss.

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Configuring Spacemacs org-roam & org-noter for academic writing bliss

I’ve always had a decent memory, and so I’ve never really had a formal system for keeping track of who said what and in which paper. When it comes time to write something of my own I end up mostly just going from memory and re-google-scholaring things from scratch (often finding later that I already had that paper in my Zotero database already). As I get older my memory isn’t as sharp, so I think it’s time to use a more systematic workflow for writing—keeping notes about stuff I’ve read & linking the ideas together.

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Student project: animated 3D code rendering engine

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Creative Computing ANU Extension course

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Parental leave, take 2

Our family has recently grown by one member. I’m proud and exhausted and happy; it’s a really wild (and mostly very nice) cocktail of feelings. If you follow me on twitter you might have already heard this exciting news.

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mbsync v1.3.2 breaking change: SubFolders config required

As part of my ongoing quest to Emacs-all-the-things, I’m a long-time satisfied user of the mu email client. I even wrote the latest CI infrastructure setup for the project as a way to give back to Dirk-Jan and the rest of the awesome mu team.

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ACMC2020: tools for organising a virtual conference

I’ve been a bit quiet on this blog for the last few weeks[^weeks] because I’ve been organising ACMC2020: the 2020 Australasian Computer Music Conference. From the conference landing page:

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LENS 2020 final gig stream tomorrow at 8pm

LENS S1 2020 final gig poster

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Two-way OSC communication between Extempore and Pd

Because Extempore and Pd are both multimedia programming environments, they both speak OSC straight out of the box. If you need to send messages (numbers, strings, other data) from one program to the other over the local network[^lan] then OSC is a pretty good way to do it.

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A call-up to fight covid19

As with many folks at the moment (both in Canberra and around the world) I’ve been called up into a covid19 taskforce (an initiative of the ANU’s Software Innovation Institute, in partnership with the RSCS & other parts of the ANU). I’m the technical lead on the part of the project which is trying to wrap up epidemiological simulation models into usable & robust tools for seeing & understanding what the results of said models mean for the Canberra health system. How can we predict what will happen, and how can we manage our finite resources to deliver the best care possible—these are the questions we need to answer as the world settles in for (perhaps) a long period of on-and-off distancing & isolation. I’ll be able to share more details in the future, so if you’re interested in that sort of thing then come back to check for updates on this blog (I’ll use the covid19 tag).

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LENS Online - the Laptop Ensemble in a time of covid19

Well, as with all ANU courses, we’re taking the Laptop Ensemble (COMP2710/MUSI2205) course online.

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