Vivek Rai

Contributing to Wikipedia WikiProjects

Wikipedia is one of the largest openly editable, web-based encyclopedias with free content. Since its inception in 2001 [1], it has grown to over 34 million articles and now attracts 450 million unique visitors amounting to a staggering 20 billion page views per month [2]. Not to mention that it is continually reviewed, refined and updated every moment [3].

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BLAST+ and Its Inconsistencies

BLAST+ is an amazing tool and does it job in a pretty decent way. However, anyone who has worked with it for some time and with some non trivial details has his own horror stories to tell. For the past few months where I have been engaged in development of SequenceServer, we got a lot of opportunities to see the ugly inconsistencies crept within the otherwise beautiful program.

BLAST+ is the newer and improved version of legacy BLAST executables with improved performance and feature inclusion. It goes through close to two cycles of release every year and includes further performance patches or fixes introduced against community bug reports.

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Introduction to Functional Programming

I had heard fascinating tales of Functional Programming and how it has been a food for thought to many exceptional programmers. Over a year ago when I was looking for Python mastery tips on the web, I came across this question on StackOverflow, that laid down an ultimate path for progression from an apprentice to guru. The highest voted answer recommended one to discover Haskell after they have learned almost all the key features of Python and embrace functional programming in the end. As much as I would have loved to explore it then and there; however, it wasn't possible until two weeks ago that I could actually delve into the subject with all my seriousness and attention. It's not that I didn't make any effort at all during this time. It's just that I wanted to have a guiding course that I could follow and use it to keep track of my progress.

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Wikipedia Resume

It's been a couple of years since I made my first edit on Wikipedia. Over these years, I have garnered over 1600 [1] edits of which most are on However, as you may notice, my contribution was highest during the first years and quickly it dwindled to a handful of rare patrol edits over the next two years. A part of the answer lies in the fact that I began my undergraduate studies in the same year and ever since then I could find very less time to edit or create articles.

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Curated List Of Biology Resources

It always has been a dreaded task for me to study during the examinations. For those who may not be aware of my college's curriculum, may note that we have a mid-semester and an end-semester evaluation exams; one during September and the other in November. However, I appreciate the idea of a more integrated and continuous evaluation schemes where the progress of students and their understanding is continuously being monitored through small, concept based tests, quizzes or other discussions than few life changing exams. Moreover, these require one to divert all their attention exclusively towards the exams, and it's preparation thereby hampering all the other engagements of a student. Regardless, I won't discuss the pros and cons of such a system because I have a more interesting thing to share.

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