David PS

blog gallery projects

Python in astronomy - another amazing unconference.

26 Apr 2015 categories: conference   software   collaborations   python  

Last week I participated in what was my second unconference of the year. This one was about the use of python in astronomy, but there were also sessions covering git, project organisations, outreach, teaching, career building and open science. I’m interested in all that, so you can imagine how much happy and hyper I’ve been in this conference. I don’t want to keep this post too long, but I do want to give you a taste of what I’ve got from this awesome meeting.

All the py-curious!

  1. We have to move forward… if there is people on your way, skip them. In this case it was mentioned (by Kelle) that we should not try too hard to convince the deep IDL user to change to python, but instead concentrate our efforts on the py-curious ones… the rest will follow (or maybe not, but we don’t care).

  2. There are a lot of tools that we need to use in SunPy, some are already part of astropy, others are not yet but they will be… and others should be part of my everyday data analysis job. Some examples are astropy.models, gwcs (generalise wcs), spectra-cube, spectra kit tool, glue, toyz. From these gwcs has a lot of potential for the current development of the Hinode/EIS and IRIS capabilities within SunPy, they can convert between any coordinate transformations by combining a set of models (functions) in a very cool way. In the meeting Stuart and I had also some talk about ginga and coordinates transformations with Eri{c,k}.

  3. We have to find ways to make our code worth in science as papers do when looking for jobs. An analogy we have to make to those that think that software is nothing important tell them that software is as important as instruments, and therefore software papers are like instruments papers and be cited as such when used.- Check tweeter exact words.** I don’t agree 100% with this, mostly because software should be something alive, something that is always growing and improving. Therefore, we should have to keep these papers alive too.

  4. A 5-minute lighting talk is more than enough to provide a lot of information. So, next time you are going to give a talk… maybe you can do it in just 5. They were a lot at the conference and they were all great! All in time!

  5. I have so much to learn, and arxiver is going to help me in my daily paper reading task and lead a local programming group will help me on that too.

I could keep writing and writing about the conference, about all the resources that I learnt,, but sincerely, I’ve not absorbed them all. My Firefox window has 100s of tabs opened waiting review. I will write about them individually in the future, as I will absorb them. Meanwhile here are some posts written by some of the other participants:

And tomorrow… another exciting meeting, the Triennial Earth Sun-Summit (#TESS2015) in Indianapolis.