2021-06-29T17:03:24+02:00

Tim Hart, in an article at The Financial Times, wrote an interesting article about the use of spreadsheets in business and science. I just had to save this quote:

Or say you’re a genetics researcher typing in the name of a gene such as “Membrane Associated Ring-CH-Type Finger 1”, or March1 for short, or perhaps the Sept1 gene. You can imagine what Excel does next. It turns those gene names into dates. One study estimated that 20 per cent of all genetics papers had errors caused by Excel’s autocorrect Microsoft’s defence is simple enough: the default settings are intended to work in everyday scenarios. Which is the polite way of saying: Guys, Excel wasn’t designed for genetics researchers. It was designed for accountants (…) And yet when the genetics research community were wrestling with the autocorrecting genes issue, they resigned themselves to the hard truth that they would never wean people off Excel. Instead, the folks in charge — the Hugo Gene Nomenclature Committee — decided to change the names of the genes in question.

Wouter Van Rossem
Wouter Van Rossem

My research interests include distributed robotics, mobile computing and programmable matter.