J Lawson

John Lawson

This is the personal website of John Lawson.

I am a PhD student working at Durham University, supervised by Pavel Tumarkin and John Parker. The main focus of my research and work is in cluster algebras and the geometric applications of them.

Side projects and interesting things

  • I recently gave a talk at the maths department informal computing seminar (link) on using the optimizers built into compilers to give a significant performance increase in code.

    Title slide

  • After a trip to the US, I set about creating a video of the clips and photos from my time there. Having no experience of any video editing software I looked around for something free and open source, with Blender frequently coming up as a suggestion. Blender is best known for animating 3D models but also contains a fully functional video sequence editor (VSE).

    After a little while playing aroud with it, the one thing that really annoyed me about blender’s VSE was how it imported images. Unless the image you import is exactly the same size as the render target Blender will squash it and mangle it to that size. In the video I was looking to import a large portrait photo and pan from the bottom to the top, so I needed the image in its original aspect ratio and ideally at its full resolution. Initially I manually added transfrom layers to rescale the image back to its proper aspect ration, but quickly got bored of doing this and wrote an add-on to do it for me.

    The finished video:

  • Following the shock decision by the UK to leave the EU, many ideas were put forward as to the reasons behind why so many people voted the ways that they did.

    In an effort to learn more about data handling in python, using pandas, matplotlib and other fun stuff I scoured the internet for data and set about plotting graphs.