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I'm a Chemistry major going into my senior year. I really like chemistry, and I am planning on going to grad school for a PhD. I'm interested in computational chemistry and quantum mechanics.
I've only been using Linux for about 7 months, and only on my two computers at home. I don't have any 'real' Linux experience (read: admin experience) and I only have a basic understanding of languages (Python and C). I'd like to develop stuff to support chemistry computations or even work entirely in the IT field, but I have no experience. How should I go about getting more experience?
not sure, but regarding chemistry-specific applications, how about looking at what's going on already? freshmeat lists 71 chemistry-related projects - maybe search through those, grab a few and start working through the source. if you find something interesting, contact the maintainers - I'm sure they would welcome your help on the projects, and you can learn and contribute at the same time
Does it have to be Chemistry? I am about to finish my PhD in experimental particle physics and have learnt a lot about programming and linux in general because the software always has to be at the cutting edge of what is possible. So if you are interested in IT for science in general perhaps a PhD in this subject could be the way to go? (particle physics is all based on quantum field theory which is just an "extension" of the quantum mechanics you use in chemistry I guess so will be possible to make the transition). Specifically I know about OO design, am fluent in C++/FORTRAN and perl/bash/csh scripting languages and do a lot of bookkeeping of files. I know a lot of PhD grads who went straight into the IT industry after graduating so this is definitaltely a good route (though I hear IT in a a recession right now,. so maybe IT isnt the way to go anyway?). Anyway that is my 2 cents.
When I was in college I majored in math, minored in chemistry, and took every undergraduate and graduate genetics course that Va Tech offered. My first application program was a statistical program that I wrote for free for a genetics professor. Fritillary butterflies live in isolated pockets in valleys in the Apalachian mountains. My program calculated the emigration rate from each isolated pocket to other isolated pockets. To gather the data I caught fritillaries with a butterfly net, recorded any existing paint dots on the fritillaries, painted new dots to indicate the latest capture, and let them go.
So go check with your chemistry professors and see if they need any programming help.
Also if you see any fritillaries go by with paint dots on them please let me know.