Weatherall Technical Applications

Technical Writing & Editing
(selected works)

Kate Weatherall

Technical Writing

Structuring a Web Site: Mapping, Modularity, Metaphors, Hierarchy, and Non-Linearity
Technical Communication thesis produced under supervision of Technical Communication Department Chair, Dr. Carole Yee.

My research analyzes the technical communicator's role in re-forming text into a structure containing the richness of the client's theory, while allowing the user to absorb information in his or her own way. My thesis discusses the importance of interpreting, translating and providing a path which enables understanding through effectively using multiple structural elements.

Structural elements must be put into place to reach the widest possible audience. These elements include mapping, the outline structure of the website; modularity, the visual structure of the website using graphics and programming; metaphors, icons or other common elements; hierarchy, the different levels which comprise the links and nodes; and non-linearity, the method users traverse the entire website.

Technical communication skills are essential to successfully advancing ideas and concepts. Effectively presenting information creates a vital link to the world and a more productive work environment.

Uranium in Socorro County
Geology research thesis under the guidance of Dr. David Norman, Geology Department, New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology.

My geology research thesis discusses the sources and chemical properties of uranium and, the possibility of uranium byproducts leaching into the groundwater of Socorro County, New Mexico. Of concern is whether these byproducts are adversely affecting the environment. My hyposthesis was motivated by the fact that for nearly half a century New Mexico was a principle producer of uranium, and at one time produced more than 37% of the uranium found in the United States. The sources of uranium in Socorro are from both the extensive natural occurrences as well as from the testing of artillery shells, which contain depleted uranium, at the Energetic Materials Research Center (EMRTC).

Exchanging Files with Other Computers
Wrote a fifty page chapter within the book, A Busy Student's Guide to UNIX.  The presentation is  a tutorial approach to learning FTP  (File Transfer Protocol) using UNIX. This book was produced under the guidance and supervision of Dr. Jonathan Price.

Wrote and conducted several in-depth interviews for New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology's student newspaper, including interviews with the college's president regarding imminent and controversial budget cuts,  a president of a software corporation, and most notably an interview with the thirtieth annual Jansky Lecture award recipient Jocelyn Bell-Burnell.

In my interview, entitled The Woman who Discovered Pulsars: An Interview with Jocelyn Bell-Burnell, Jocelyn Bell describes life as a graduate student mapping twinkling quasars under the direction of Tony Hewish when in 1967 she came upon unusually regular radio waves. The precision of the waves being so perfect, she thought that it must be interference of some sort, or perhaps extraterrestrial life signalling from a far off planet. At first, she jokingly labelled them LGM's (Little Green Men). Then a few months later she discovered another, LGM 2, and knew that, indeed, it couldn't be extraterrestrial life nor interference -- both were too unique in their identities. In February 1968 Hewish and Bell published an article in Nature magazine that discussed these findings; they had discovered the first pulsar. In 1974 Tony Hewish received the Nobel Prize in Physics for this discovery.

Tech Notes
Wrote, designed, and published monthly newsletters as president of the Society for Technical Communication Student Chapter.


Technical Editing

Getting Started in AIPS++ Manual
Familiarizes the user with the basic philosophy, terminology, and structure of AIPS++ and helps the astronomer start the useful processing of radio astronomical data, especially those from aperture synthesis arrays. This document is written in a semi-tutorial style. This is an introductory computer manual consisting of 60 pages.

  • Edited
  • Added graphics
  • Reformatted
  • Produced .helpfiles
  • Produced LaTeX to HTML translations

The Glish 2.6 User's Manual
Glish provides a uniform way for programs to communicate without knowing about one another. Communication occurs because the programs are written in terms of events, i.e. name/value pairs. In the usual case, programs receive an event, perform an action in response to that event, and possibly generate one or more new events associated with the response. Programs can also spontaneously create events in response to external actions, such as a piece of hardware signaling that some condition has changed, a timer going off, or a person interacting with a graphical interface. This computer manual consists of ~300 pages.

Glish consists of three parts:

  1. the Glish language for writing scripts specifying what programs to run and how to interconnect them;
  2. a C++ class library that programs (Glish clients) link with so they can generate and receive events and manipulate structured data;
  3. an interpreter process for executing Glish scripts and acting as a central "clearinghouse" for forwarding events between processes.
  • Edited
  • Added graphics
  • Produced LaTeX and HTML translations

AIPS++ Newsletter
The AIPS++ Newsletter was published quarterly in both HTML and postscript format and provided general information of the Astronomical Information Processing System. This information included ongoing software updates,  and it's progression and changes. Produced under the direction of the AIPS++ Consortium.

  • Copyedited
  • Produced online translation in HTML and .pdf
  • Published on website
In addition to the above publications, Kate has written software reference guides, feasibility studies, proposals, and recommendation reports. Publications are available upon request.


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