Graeme Winter, author of the xia2 x-ray crystallography data processing software, got his start programming during a stint as an astrophysics graduate student working on software to simulate galaxies. He left astrophysics behind, leveraging his newly minted programming skills to land himself a job as a programmer in crystallography at the Medical Research Council's Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge, UK.
Crystallography stuck. It wasn't the programming that hooked him, but the mathematics. "Each step in the crystallographic process involves several different areas of mathematics, so I quite enjoyed that aspect of it," says Winter, who is now a scientist at the UK's Diamond Light Source.
The idea for xia2, originally xia, short for Crystallographic Infrastructure for Automation, came to Winter while working at LMB on a graphical …Read More.