Scott W Harden, DMD, PhD
What do you get when you integrate a passion for electrical engineering and computer programming with a career in molecular biology, dentistry, and neuroscience? My name is Scott Harden, and I’m still figuring it out! I was born in 1985 and have lived in Florida for most of my life. Sometimes when I see or create something interesting, I document it on this website so I can reflect on it later or inspire others. Although it is difficult to pinpoint when this website was started, I have flat-file HTML files which date back to 1998 (when I was 12) blog-style website posts which go back to June 16, 2001 (when I was 15). I plan to keep contributing to this website, and I look forward to watching it grow as I do.
- I work as a research scientist in an electrophysiology / neuroscience laboratory. My academic interests are focused on central and peripheral cellular neurophysiology, and my technical interests lead me integrate advanced electrical and optical techniques to answer emerging biological questions. My recent work investigates how neurohormones modulate information flow through cortical and thalamic microcircuits using a combination of patch-clamp electrophysiology, optogenetics, and two-photon imaging.
- I also develop hardware and software for commission operating as the CEO of Harden Technologies, LLC.
- Although I am also a dentist, I am not currently treating patients.
- Associate of Science (AS)
- Bachelor of Science (BS)
Zoology major, Chemistry minor
- Master of Science (MS)
Molecular Biology and Microbiology (biotechnology)
University of Central Florida
- Doctor of Dental Medicine (DMD)
University of Florida College of Dentistry
- Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Biomedical Science, Neuroscience concentration
University of Florida College of Medicine
I have a strong personal interest in computer programming, and I especially enjoy working on open-source projects. You can see what I’ve been working on lately by reviewing my GitHub page. My areas of expertise are divided into four broad categories:
- Python programming
My strongest development language is Python. With its open source nature, cross-platform support, and “batteries-included” mentality, I find that I can get things done faster and cheaper in Python than in any other language. Example Python projects I have made include:
- Windows programming (C#)
I recently have been investing a lot of time improving my skills at writing Windows applications. I am especially interested in creating software which displays data (often for scientific applications), and I have a personal interest in developing interactive graphing software. Although I find Python useful for rapidly developing scripts for me to use, I find a lot of value in the simplicity of being able to create simple click-to-run Windows applications that anyone can use. Example C# projects I have made include:
- ScottPlot – An interactive data graphing library for .NET
- Sound Card ECG – a graphical application to display ECG signals received through the microphone (video demonstration)
- Scan-A-Gator – A scientific tool for calculating calcium levels from ratiometric line scan images
- C# Data Visualization – a collection of programming examples which display data using Visual Studio
- Web programming (HTML/CSS, PHP, and SQL)
I often find that many of my projects benefit from using dynamically-generated web pages as an alternative to developing a more rigid graphical interface. Professionally I use PHP to provide a front-end to browse scientific data and dynamically call Python analysis routines based on user input. I find this type of analysis pipeline to be a fantastic way to provide network-level access to advanced analysis scripts without requiring clients to install any special software (every computer has a web browser). However, most of my web programming projects are not open-source.
- Embedded programming (AVR-GCC) & Electrical engineering
There’s something exciting about writing software that does something in the physical world! I enjoy microcontroller programming, and my favorite architecture is the AVR series. I write code in C (AVR-GCC) and load it onto the microcontroller using a USBTinyISP. I love how embedded programming blends the fields of computer science and electrical engineering! Software wise I write C in VS Code, simulate circuits using LTSpice, and design PCBs with KiCad. A few of my favorite projects include:
I am a semi-active amateur radio operator. My call sign is AJ4VD (previously KJ4LDF). I own a Yaesu 857-D (ultra-compact 100W HF/VHF transceiver), but lately I rarely operate. When I do operate, I prefer using CW (Morse code) on 7 MHz. I enjoy building radio transmitters, receivers, and test equipment. A landmark website post is from Jan 16, 2011 when I made my first contact (in Morse code) with a radio transmitter entirely built by me (also in a youtube video). Although I have experience designing and building receivers as well, I have yet to build a radio frequency transceiver in a single enclosure (this is an ultimate goal of mine)
I am passionate about ultra narrowband, ultra low power, ultra slow speed communication mode “QRSS”. The gist is that extremely simple circuits (often fewer than a dozen components) can generate a stable (5 Hz frequency shift keying at 10 MHz) low power signal (milliwatts of RF) to slowly send short messages (about 1 letter per minute) over extremely long distances (globally). These circuits are sometimes termed manned experimental propagation transmitters (MEPTs). To learn more, visit M0AYF’s What is QRSS? page, and glance at some of the posts on my website involving QRSS and radio frequency. Also worth noting is my ongoing real-time QRSS Plus project.
Scott was diagnosed with cancer (peripheral T-cell lymphoma) in 2012 and he began treatment in 2018. Treatments have included chemotherapy, radiation treatment, and an autologous bone marrow transplant. Scott’s medical updates are chronicled on https://www.swharden.com/med/