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Designing user interfaces
February 11, 2019 @ 4:15 pm - 5:45 pm
Speaker: Felix Black (TU Berlin)
As mathematicians, we often write useful programs that perform a variety of calculations and mathematical algorithms. These programs are generally not meant to be released in a commercial setting, but are used to illustrate research results. However, since the programs are meant to be shared with coworkers and other researchers, our programs should be easy to use and offer an intuitive way to handle user input, but in practice, this is often not the case: Programs are configured by editing source code scripts or functions, or by creating configuration structures that contain the necessary fields that are required as input. This way of handling user input has the disadvantage that it is not intuitive and since source files may need to be changed, it is error prone. Furthermore, the user needs to be familiar with the programming language of choice. In this talk, we will discuss how to circumvent this problem by building a graphical user interface. We will consider a toy example of a program written in Matlab / Octave that can create pictures of famous fractals, but needs several input parameters. Step by step, we are going to create a graphical user interface for this program, eliminating the need to configure the program by editing source files.