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Python for Astronomers

Sérgio A. G. Sousa, Daniel Thaagaard Andreasen, João P. S. Faria
CAUP

In Astronomy, like in many other scientific research areas, the exploration of data is essential. The exploration of data includes many topics, including the:

  • gathering of data, coming from simulations or observations;
  • manipulation of the data, to create new readable/usable scientific data;
  • visualization of data, to understand what is going on with the data;
  • communication of the results, using figures for reports/papers/presentations;
There are many tools available for this purpose, but in most of the cases, it is really necessary to create our own tools, making use of programming languages.

Python is a widely used general-purpose, high-level programming language. Its design philosophy emphasizes code readability, and its syntax allows programmers to express concepts in fewer lines of code than would be possible in languages such as C. Although python is outstanding to solve quick problems, such as most the ones needed for the exploration of data, it can also be used to implement more complete and heavy applications.

In this hands-on course it will be presented the more important capabilities of Python and specialized libraries for the exploration of scientific data, with special focus for Astronomy.

Level: All interested people;

Requirements: The attendees should have a basic knowledge on programming. The goal of these advance course is not to teach how to program from scratch. For the practical classes the attendees should have ipython working proprely. Note that the course is based on Python 2.7. (Not Python 3)

There will be theoretical and practical classes. The theoretical parts are open to everyone. The practical classes are limited to 18 people, and are subject to registration.

Those wanting to attend the practical classes should express their interest by sending an e-mail to Carlos J. A. P. Martins with cc to Sérgio A. G. Sousa. The following order of preference will be followed in allocating the places:

  • CAUP students (ie, members of CAUP's training unit)
  • Other CAUP members
  • Everyone else

The 18 people with places will be contacted in begginning of November.

Sessão 1: Theory Class 1: Python Introduction and basic syntax
18 novembro 2014

Attendance limit: unlimited
Venue: Auditorium

Sessão 2: Theory Class 2: Python - Numpy
20 novembro 2014

Attendance limit: unlimited
Venue: Auditorium

Sessão 3: Practical Class 1: Basic Syntax, File Input/Output, Numpy
20 novembro 2014

Attendance limit: 18
Venue: Class room

Sessão 4: Theory Class 3: Python - Matplotlib - Scipy
27 novembro 2014

Attendance limit: unlimited
Venue: Auditorium

Sessão 5: Practical Class 2: Python - Matplotlib Exercises - part 1
27 novembro 2014

Attendance limit: 18
Venue: Class room

Sessão 6: Practical Class 3: Python - Matplotlib Exercises - part 2
4 dezembro 2014

Attendance limit: 18
Venue: Class room

Sessão 7: Practical Class 4: Astronomy modules and Scripting
11 dezembro 2014

Attendance limit: 18
Venue: Class room