TRANSFORM 2019

Yesterday I announced that we’re hatching a new plan. The next thing. Today I want to tell you about it. The project has the codename TRANSFORM. I like the notion of transforms: functions that move you from one domain to another. Fourier transforms. Wavelet transforms. Digital subsurface transforms. Examples:The transformative effect of open source software on subsurface science. Open source accelerates our work!The transformative effect of collaborative, participatory events on the community. We can make…

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The next thing

Over the last several years, Agile has been testing some of the new ways of collaborating, centered on digital connections: It all started with this blog, which started in 2010 with my move from Calgary to Nova Scotia. It’s become a central part of my professional life, but we’re all about collaboration and blogs are almost entirely one-way, so…In 2011 we launched SubSurfWiki. It didn’t really catch on, although it was a good basis for…

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Reproducibility Zoo

The Repro Zoo was a new kind of event at the SEG Annual Meeting this year. The goal: to reproduce the results from well-known or important papers in GEOPHYSICS or The Leading Edge. By reproduce, we meant that the code and data should be open and accessible. By results, we meant equations, figures, and other scientific outcomes.And some of the results are scary enough for Hallowe’en :)What we didAll the work went straight into GitHub,…

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Café con leche

At the weekend, 28 digital geoscientists gathered at MAZ Café in Santa Ana, California, to sprint on some open geophysics software projects. Teams and individuals pushed pull requests — code contributions to open source projects — left, right, and centre. Meanwhile, Senah and her team at MAZ kept us plied with coffee and horchata, with fantastic food on the side. Because people were helping each other and contributing where they could, I found it a…

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Volve: not open after all

Back in June, Equinor made the bold and exciting decision to release all its data from the decommissioned Volve oil field in the North Sea. Although the intent of the release seemed clear, the dataset did not carry a license of any kind. Since you cannot use unlicensed content without permission, this was a problem. I wrote about this at the time. To its credit, Equinor listened to the concerns from me and others, and…

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Reproduce this!

There’s a saying in programming: untested code is broken code. Is unreproducible science broken science? I hope not, because geophysical research is — in general — not reproducible. In other words, we have no way of checking the results. Some of it, hopefully not a lot of it, could be broken. We have no way of knowing.Next week, at the SEG Annual Meeting, we plan to change that. Well, start changing it… it’s going to…

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FORCE ML Hackathon: project round-up

The FORCE Machine Learning Hackathon last week generated hundreds of new relationships and nine new projects, including seven new open source tools. Here’s the full run-down, in no particular order…Predicting well rates in real time Team Virtual Flow Metering: Nils Barlaug, Trygve Karper, Stian Laagstad, Erlend Vollset (all from Cognite) and Emil Hansen (AkerBP). Tech: Cognite Data Platform, scikit-learn. GitHub repo.Project: An engineer from AkerBP brought a problem: testing the rate from a well reduces…

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Machine learning goes mainstream

At our first machine-learning-themed hackathon, in New Orleans in 2015, we had fifteen hackers. TImes were hard in the industry. Few were willing or able to compe out and play. Well, it’s now clear that times have changed! After two epic ML hacks last year (in Paris and Houston), at which we hosted about 115 scientists, it’s clear this year is continuing the trend. Indeed, by the end of 2018 we expect to have welcomed…

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How good is what?

Geology is a descriptive science, which is to say, geologists are label-makers. We record observations by assigning labels to data. Labels can either be numbers or they can be words. As such, of the numerous tasks that machine learning is fit for attacking, supervised classification problems are perhaps the most accessible – the most intuitive – for geoscientists. Take data that already has labels. Build a model that learns the relationships between the data and labels.…

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Are there benefits to pseudoscience?

No, of course there aren't.  Balance! The scourge of modern news. CC-BY by SkepticalScience.com Unless... unless you're a journalist, perhaps. Then a bit of pseudoscience can provide some much-needed balance — just to be fair! — to the monotonic barrage of boring old scientific consensus. Now you can write stories about flat-earthers, anti-vaxxers, homeopathy, or the benefits of climate change!*So far, so good. It's fun to pillory the dimwits who think the moon landings were…

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