programming

How does an astronomer break into data science? Interview with Dr. Andrea Leistra

by Jane January 29, 2014

Data Science is a rapidly growing field, with natural opportunities for astronomers moving to industry.  Recently, we’ve heard from  Jessica Kirkpatrick about becoming a data scientist at Microsoft: part 1 and part 2.  We’ve also heard from Stephanie Gogarten on switching to biostatistics at UW. Let’s pick up where Jess and Stephanie left off, and […]

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AAS Hack Day 2014

by Elizabeth January 22, 2014

On Thursday, January 9th, a band of intrepid astronomers gathered for the second AAS Hack Day. Hack Days are traditional events in software development circles, where people with skills, ideas, and the willingness to dedicate a day of their lives get together to make interesting projects happen. Much like the first Hack Day at AAS […]

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Astropy v0.3 Release

by Guest January 15, 2014

This is a guest post by Erik Tollerud, a member of the Astropy Coordination Committee and a Hubble Fellow at Yale University. His research focuses on Local Group dwarf galaxies and their connections to cosmology. In November 2013, we published the second public release (v0.3) of the Astropy package, a core Python package for Astronomy. Astropy is a […]

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Plotting to a File in Python

by Jess K September 20, 2013

Have you ever wanted to save a Python/Matplotlib image directly to a file instead of having it displayed in an X11 window? I needed to do this for a project where I used qsub/PBS to submit jobs to a cluster and I wanted to plot some results for each run and save them to a […]

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How to Make Awesome Latex Tables

by Jess K September 13, 2013

Sometimes the normal tables in LaTeX just don’t do it for you.  You want to do something fancier or customize the table in a way that you just can’t do using the normal tabular environment.  This is why I like using the Deluxetable style in latex.  Deluxetable makes tables that are more flexible, and overall […]

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Conference highlights from SciPy 2013

by Guest September 4, 2013

This is a guest post by Matthew Turk, an NSF Postdoctoral Fellow at Columbia University. This summer saw the twelfth edition of the annual SciPy conference in Austin, Texas from June 24th to 29th. Python users will recognize the name of the SciPy package, which includes a core scientific toolkit, but the SciPy conference has a […]

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Visualizing Astronomical Data with Blender

by Guest August 5, 2013

This is a guest post by Brian R. Kent, an astronomer at NRAO. Astronomy is a visually stunning science.  From wide-field multi-wavelength images to high-resolution 3D simulations, astronomers produce many kinds of important visualizations.  Astronomical visualizations have the potential for generating aesthetically appealing images and videos, as well as providing scientists with the ability to […]

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10 Best Practices for Scientific Computing

by Chris Crockett August 1, 2013

Astronomy Computing Today offers 10 Best Practices for Scientific Computing, itself a summary of a paper by Wilson et al.: Best Practices for Scientific Computing. Software is now considered by many as a scientific instrument, and it has assumed the same importance as “telescopes and test tubes”…[however it] is not yet developed, tested and validated with […]

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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. […]

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Ureka! – A new easy-to-install IRAF + PyRAF distribution from STScI and Gemini

by Guest July 15, 2013

This is a guest post by Christine Slocum, a software engineer at Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI), on behalf of the Ureka team. Last month, STScI and Gemini announced the first public beta release of the Ureka binary installer for common astronomical software (primarily for the UV/Optical/IR community). The goals of the Ureka installer are […]

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