Jessica Lu

Rumor Mill 2014-2015 Is Now Open!

by Jessica Lu July 25, 2014

I have started the new rumor mill pages for 2014-2015 (YIKES, already?!?) and I have relegated the 2013-2014 pages to the archives. All links to “Rumor Mill” will still work and point to the postdoc rumor mill page for the new year. Remember, we have a page for postdoc/term positions and a page for faculty/staff positions. Here […]


Read more →

Slim down your bloated graphics

by Jessica Lu January 17, 2014

This post was originally written by Erik Petigura who is a graduate student at UC Berkeley and visitor at the IfA, Hawaii working on exo-planet hunting. The post was modified by Jessica R. Lu to incorporate suggestions from a Facebook Astronomers Group thread on the same topic.  Have you ever encountered a paper or proposal PDF […]


Read more →

Advanced Design Patterns in Python

by Jessica Lu January 8, 2014

If you have been using python for a few years, I suggest looking over the following tutorial: Advanced Design Patterns in Python The tutorial covers some of the basics of comprehensions, generators, decorators, context managers, descriptors, and meta classes. If you don’t know what any of these things are, the tutorial will at least give […]


Read more →

Ethics and Diversity Poll

by Jessica Lu September 2, 2013

This is a guest post by Caitlin Casey (IfA, Hawaii) and Kartik Sheth (NRAO) who recently hosted a “Diversity and Ethics” Seminar at the Aspen Center for Physics.   The “Gray Zone” of Academic Ethics Your student gets a nasty email from a colleague insulting her work.  You think your other colleague has plagiarized a […]


Read more →

Python Tip: Re-sampling spectra with pysynphot

by Jessica Lu August 12, 2013

This post was inspired by a question from John Johnson. Have you ever wanted to plot a model spectrum at lower resolution? Or compare a model spectrum with an observed spectrum? Have you ever wanted to shift several observed spectra to a common redshift to stack them up? In all these cases, you would need to resample […]


Read more →

Rumor Mill 2013-2014 is Now Open

by Jessica Lu August 10, 2013

I have started the new rumor mill pages for 2013-2014 (yes it IS time for job-hunting season again) and I have relegated the 2012-2013 pages to the archives. All links to “Rumor Mill” will still work and point to the postdoc rumor mill page for the new year. Remember, we have a page for postdoc/term positions and […]

{ 1 comment }

Read more →

Options for Saving in Python

by Jessica Lu July 29, 2013

Question:  What is the best way to store data that is easily readable and writable in Python? Answer: There isn’t a single correct answer as it will largely depend on how large your data set is, how fast you have to read/write it, and whether it needs to be readable by other applications or languages. […]


Read more →

Python in Latex with Sympy

by Jessica Lu January 30, 2013

The final output for scientific research is typically a paper published in a scientific journal. There may be electronic versions of figures and tables that accompany the paper. However, the links between the input data (e.g. images, spectra, time series), the analysis (e.g. code, databases), and the output paper (LaTeX, EPS figures) is often weak. Everyone has […]


Read more →

Too Much Rumor Mill

by Jessica Lu January 24, 2013

This is my annual plea to everyone that is frantically checking the rumor mill: please sign up to receive email updates instead. You can “monitor” individual wiki pages and receive an email every time the page is changed, along with a summary of the changes. Setting this up requires a few steps: Sign up for an account […]


Read more →

Why do you think there is a gender gap?

by Jessica Lu October 30, 2012

A new sociological study has been released surveying male and female scientists to find out what they say about the gender gap in sciences. A nice summary of the work is given in the blog post below (re-posts by  Women in Astronomy and  John Johnson brought it to my attention). The quotes from the interviews of […]


Read more →