This is the personal website of Dave Bulkin.

I'm a senior software engineer at MathWorks where I specialize in data visualization. At MathWorks I work on the design and implementation of language features to support new charts and layout options, as well as improvements to existing charting functionality. Some of my favorite user-facing features that I've worked on include nexttile, swarmchart, and bubblechart.


Before I was a software engineer I was a neurobiologist. My research was focused on how signals are encoded in populations of neurons. While traditional neuroscience has often measured activity one neuron at a time, and relied on an oversimplified 'average', modern approaches look at many neurons simultaneously and use analyses that reveal the rich structure embedded in their covariance.

My graduate work in Jenni Groh's lab at Duke University investigated how the brain combines the auditory and visual senses. As a postdoctoral associate in David Smith's lab at Cornell University, I looked at how neurons in the hippocampus encode events and resolve mnemonic interfence. In Melissa Warden's lab (also at Cornell) I began developing new technologies to integrate endoscopic calcium imaging with tissue clearing and genetic analyses. These approaches will open a new door in neuroscience, allowing researchers to link anatomy with physiology at the population level.

I loved a lot of things about my life as an academic. Working at the cutting edge of science was an amazing experience, and I always felt at home in the lab. Teaching was my favorite part of academic life, and by the far the hardest thing to give up. However I grew increasingly frustrated with the politics of academia, the growth of an academic elite, and the trend toward favoring 'impact' even at the cost of truth. I know that many great scientists will fight to fix this system, but it wasn't a fight I could keep fighting. Given a lifelong passion for computer programming, I decided I could best support a brighter future by developing software tools for scientists and engineers. I was really fortunate to find a great environment to do this at MathWorks.
In my spare time I like to work on software projects for those in need. If you have a vision of how the world can be better, and are limited by an unfulfilled software requirement, please reach out. I'll be highlighting some of these projects here soon, if you'd like to see some of this work please contact me. I work entirely in C++, which means I'm well suited to projects where performance is important. I've also been learning rust, and I think it's the future of systems programming and I hope to make the jump one day!

Thanks for visiting, and drop me a line if you have any questions.