programming

The Whys and Hows of Licensing Scientific Code

by Jake VanderPlas March 10, 2014

Jake Vanderplas is the Director of Research in the Physical Sciences at the University of Washington’s eScience Institute. He is a maintainer and/or frequent contributor to many open source Python projects, including scikit-learn, scipy, matplotlib, and others.  He occasionally blogs about Python, data visualization, open science, and related topics at Pythonic Perambulations. You may find [...]

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Students: Apply to work on Astropy as part of the Google Summer of Code!

by Tom March 3, 2014

As one of the co-ordinators of the Astropy project, I am very happy to announce that Astropy will be participating in the Google Summer of Code (GSoC) 2014 edition! For anyone not familiar with GSoC, it is a program that allows students around the world to spend three months during the summer contributing to an [...]

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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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