My first impression of Quirky, artistic genius with awesome hair was really based on nothing but a couple of pictures. First is the little thumbnail of a picture on the Su Lab’s main site: Sadly, these pictures do not adequately convey the programming genius that is Max Nanis. Did you know that rock star genius programmers can actually get an agent and be managed by a talent agency? It’s true! Combine those crazy programming skills with artistic talent that gets exhibited in places like the Smithsonian Institution National Museum of Natural History and San Diego International Airport, and you finally get a sense of Max’s sheer brilliance.

Since joining the Su lab in June of 2012, Quirky, artistic genius with awesome hair has been contributing to a variety of projects such as:

  • The proteinboxbot
  • – A bot which created wiki entries for genes lacking representation in wikipedia and seeded them with information from public databases. Currently, the ProteinBoxBot automatically updates protein infoboxes across the nearly 10,500 gene pages on the Gene Wiki

  • DataChart Browser
  • – A visualization tool for gene expression data currently available for use on its own or as a plugin in conjunction with BioGPS

  • The Cure
  • – An online game which uses the collective knowledge of the players in order to find new gene/disease association patterns from very large datasets.

  • Mark2Cure
  • – An online game using crowdsourced microtask methods to annotate biomedical literature in order to make current and future bodies of biomedical research literature more useful to biomedical researchers.

  • JS Decision Tree viewer
  • – A simple SVG based decision tree viewer to show a visually intuitive decision tree visualization

At a glance it is hard to comprehend how an unusually artistic programming genius ended up joining the Su lab. Then again, given that Quirky, artistic genius with awesome hair is represented by a talent agency, and that the genius-in-charge with insane mental organizational skills has an ability for spotting and recruiting talent, it makes perfect sense.