Hirsch index

Recently people in our group have been calculating their H-indices. These indices can be used to assess the quality of your work, as it is an indication of how much you have been cited.

Using only the total number of articles written is not an adequate indication of quality, as it is possible that those articles were never cited (used) by others. Using the total number of citations can also give an incorrect view of quality, as perhaps it is only one article (for example a review article) that gets cited a lot, where the rest maybe never gets cited. Another solution would be to divide the total number of citations by the total number of articles, but then adding just one new article, which being new has not yet been cited, might reduce your index a lot.

The h-index is quite nice as it avoids all these pitfalls: take the maximum h for which at least h articles have been cited at least h times. You can make a list of all your articles, with the number of citations. Sort the articles in order of the number of citations, from high to low. Plot this. Now, where the x-value is the same as the y-value, that is your h-index.

Here is a personal example to the right. My h-index is 2, which is quite nice I think, for a PhD candidate around her 1.5-year point :)

Read more about the h-index, and also the criticism at WikiPedia. Publish or Perish can calculate it for you automatically, but the number it gives might be incorrect. It uses Google Scholar to determine your index, and I’ve come across a couple of problems with that. First of all your name might be incorrectly cited, or maybe you changed your name. In my case, Danny Oude Bos gets cited as D Oude Bos (correct), but also as DO Bos or even O Bos. Also, I got married last year, so now my name is D Plass-Oude Bos, adding a whole new range of possible permutations :$

LaTeX: mark TODOs in your drafts

When I work on an article, or bookchapter, or any text in LaTeX really, it is often nice to mark areas where you still have to fix something. Maybe something needs to be explained in more detail, or it has to be better motivated, maybe a reference needs to be included.

One way is to use some tag, like @TODO, in your text, and then if you want to see what still needs to be done, search for that tag. But personally I like for this to do to also be visually easy to be found. As most articles are in black-and-white, for print, the use of some colour is a nice way to do this. So here’s my code. Perhaps it’s useful for you too. It is also a nice simple example of how you can make your own commands in LaTeX :)

    \usepackage{color}
    \newcommand{\todo}[1]{\textcolor{red}{@TODO: #1}}

You can see I kept the tag, so I can also easily search for it in the PDF. That’s all! Now you can use it like this:

    \todo{this part really needs to be rewritten...}

Resulting in:

@TODO: this part really needs to be rewritten…

AlphaWoW wins BrainGain demo award

BrainGain is a Dutch research consortium consisting of researchers, companies and potential users of BCIs and CBIs. It is financed by the Smart Mix Programme of the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs
and the Dutch Ministry of Education, Culture, and Science, to support applied research.  It started in 2007 and will continue for 6 years in total.

Each year there is a consortium meeting bringing all partners together, so everybody is kept up to date of all the developments, new collaborations can be initialized, etc. At these meetings, also awards are presented for best poster, press, and demo.

For 2009, the demo award went to us for alphaWoW, “as it represents a promising industrial direction of adding a BCI-based channel to existing technologies that cannot be realised in any other way.” It is really awesome to receive such recognition. Thank you BrainGain!

In 2008, we also got the demo award, but then for BrainBasher, a simple fun game controlled with imaginary or actual movements, requiring only 10-15 minutes of training.

AlphaWoW at TEDxAMS!

Discovery 2009 – Photos!

Finally, as promised, here are the photographs made by Bram at Disco’09.

Media Attention Pt 2

I promised to update with the last interviews (again in Dutch, sorry), so here they are:

eNTERFACE Group V: A multi-control, multi-paradigm BCI game

A couple of people from our group (Christian, Hayrettin, and me) organized a workshop for eNTERFACE. Below is a video showing the prototype game that was made during those four weeks in Genua, Italy. It combines conventional control (keyboard) with multiple BCI paradigms: alpha modulates the speed (modulation of the primary keyboard control), and SSVEP for ‘eating’ (selection). We had a fun team to work with. I really hope we can give this project a follow-up next year!