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 experimental 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, the earliest dates in HTML documents are from early 1998 (when I was 12), and the oldest text which resembles a website post dates 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 currently work as a research scientist in an electrophysiology / neuroscience laboratory at the University of Florida. 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 involves the neurohormone oxytocin, and investigation of how it modulates information flow through cortical microcircuits using a combination of patch-clamp electrophysiology, optogenetics, and two-photon imaging. Although I am also a dentist, I am not currently treating patients.
Associate of Science (AS)
Bachelor of Science (BS)
Zoology and Chemistry
Master of Science (MS)
Molecular Biology and Microbiology
University of Central Florida, College of Medicine
Burnett School of Biomedical Sciences
Doctor of Dental Medicine (DMD)
University of Florida, College of Dentistry
I also have a lot of experience developing with the common web-related programming languages (HTML, CSS, PHP, and SQL), and my go-to language for rapidly developing software is Python. With its open source nature, cross-platform support, and “batteries-included” mentality, I find that I get things done faster and cheaper in Python than any other language. I sometimes blend the two and develop web-dependent client apps which use Python to dynamically generate HTML/CSS to use the web browser as a cross-platform, network-accessable user interface, and a web-backed (PHP/SQL) to glue systems together. Although occasionally I make one-off projects for personal interest (one of my favorites is QRSS VD), most of my programming is work-related. Although a lot of my code is buried as text in my website posts, I’m slowly making it a point to post projects on my GitHub page.
Although it can be fun to write software to make a $1,000 computer do something interesting, I get a rush of excitement when I write code that loads onto and runs a $1 microchip! Embedded programming has just the right blend of code abstraction and hands-on building to keep me interested and coming back for more. Few things are as rewarding to me as writing code that has actions in the real world. Although I have experience with Parallax, Microchip PIC, and ATMEL AVR microcontrollers, the majority of my personal projects involve writing AVR GCC for ATMEL microcontrollers. The microcontroller section of my website has been growing steadily with such projects.
I am an 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. Occasionally I communicate with voice (SSB) and digital modes (PSK, RTTY, and Olivia). Occasionally I use VHF to participate in coordinating local events, such as races.
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. A useful piece of test equipment to have on hand is a frequency counter, and I have built about a dozen of them over the years.
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.
Open Source Software and Hardware
I am a strong supporter of the open source movement. Although some people have a knee-jerk reaction is to clutch their work and prevent others from seeing it (either due to their desire to make money from it or shyness to have other programmers see their work), I try to adhere to a general philosophy of making all of my work public and searchable. As a child of the internet who learned to program by googling other peoples projects, I hope that sharing my work can inspire others the way that I was inspired! I can’t think of a better way to pay it forward than to post all of my projects and code online. Although a massive amount of my code is copy/pasted into my website, I’m slowly making a shift toward hosting software and hardware projects on my GitHub page.
- Scott W Harden is active on GitHub: https://github.com/swharden
- Pictures of Scott W Harden are on http://swharden.com/photos/
Scott was diagnosed with cancer (T-cell lymphoma) in 2012. He began cancer treatment in 2018. His progress is chronicled on https://www.swharden.com/med/