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About - Stereology Informatica

About

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Stereology Informatica is a website dedicated to education. The main interest is to provide a central point where information about stereology can be easily located. The website is designed to be expanded as more portions become ready for use.

The bulk of the website is free. The contents can be located in search engines such as Yahoo! and Google. A small portion of the website is accessed through the use of free accounts. The use of accounts is to restrict the use of the site to legitimate purposes.

The first website I wrote was the Stereology Information Center. The next website I wrote had been tentatively named Stereothena. The idea was to blend together the word stereology with the goddess of wisdom, Athena. There is a subtle difference between wisdom and knowledge. Wisdom is a higher level abstraction than knowledge, which is a collection of information. Wisdom encompasses many things including right from wrong, good from bad, and how people behave. The Greek god of knowledge was Apollo. To blend stereology and Apollo the word becomes Stereopollo. That did not have a nice ring to it. A better choice of a name became Stereology Informatica. The name is clear and simple. This website is about stereology information.

Author learning human anatomy with his family at the Children's Museum

I presently reside in Blacksburg, Virginia. This part of Virginia is Hokieland. The Hokie is the mascot of Virginia Tech where I am working on a Masters in Computer Science.

Living in a university town is wonderful. It provides great cultural benefits and exposes my youngsters to people from all over this fabulous world of ours.

My interests of outdoor sports, such as hiking, camping, and observing nature are rubbing off on the family. One of the ongoing efforts this summer has been a monarch farming. These gorgeous butterflies can easily be raised from caterpillars collected in the field. My children are excellent at predicting when caterpillars will form a chrysalis and when a butterfly will emerge.

The inspiration to create this website was based on the realization that the internet is often not a place to obtain good information. A quick historical review should point out that:

  1. Qualitative mistakes have happened often
  2. Quantitative mistakes have also been frequent
  3. These mistakes have been made because this field is trickier than it appears

There is a tendency to think that stereology is simple, because formulas look simple. If stereology were really simple, then it should not have taken a 100 years to create an unbiased counting method. Textbooks should not have incorrectly stated the structure of the mammalian liver for 99 years. Even though a well worked out method may appear simple it is important to realize that it took a considerable amount of effort to conceive and implement the method. Each method has to be mathematically correct, and be possible to perform in practice.

Back in high school there was a joke about founding a new branch of mathematics that would be particularly easy to use. We called it ocular mathematics and gave it one axiom. This was stated as, "If it looks right, it is right." This axiom is more commonly used than people would like to admit. I believe we all use it from time to time. The goal here is to present the material as simply as possible without resorting to ocular mathematics.

Robert Boehringer

This climbing photo is, as my wife would say, "from a previous lifetime."

Approaching long ledge on the Salathe route - about 800 meters up El Cap

Approaching long ledge on the Salathe route - about 800 meters up El Cap.