[Revised 2015/04/21 to add links – thanks to Henry Roe for help with this.]

First day of Python in Astronomy workshop at the Lorentz Center was quite the hoot. Started off with a brief intro from the Lorentz Center workshop organizers. Summary: they do a ton of behind-the-scenes work so participants can do as much interacting with each other as possible. Awesome!

Then everyone at the meeting introduced themselves in one-minute or less. This was great; gave a good chance for everyone to see everyone else’s face and hear a little about what they are interested in. And all were capable of arranging themselves in alphabetical order with no prompting, which is more than I can say for a certain university’s graduates at convocation.

The first invited talk was by Kelle Cruz of Hunter College. She focused on communications channels for growing the network of people interested in using and contributing to Python in astronomy. Her talk listed the various channels, their good and bad points, and her suggestions for what we as a community should do next. Kelle ended on an inspiring note, pointing out that there is no “they” as in “they should do something”: if you think there is something to be done, you should do it (or organize it).

Lunch was lovely and eaten outside by some participants; apparently the weather is unusually nice for this time of year. I just found out that the sandwich I ate was steak tartare. Fingers crossed for no food poisoning.

In the afternoon we had 2 unconference sessions. First session featured:

then coffee, then

  • GitHub tutorial, led by Matt Craig. No notes but Matt recommends this interactive git branching tutorial
  • Monte Carlo sampling methods and packages (J. Zuntz, notes here)
  • Python packages for working with spectra (W. Kerzendorf)

I think there were also some smaller discussions but I can’t quite tell from Geert’s picture of the whiteboard.

The day was finished up with wine and cheese and then dinner. I had dinner with two former grad students from my department who are not here in Leiden, which was great fun. They helped me do my first bike ride through Leiden and I am happy that I didn’t injure anyone (or embarrass myself too much).

More tomorrow. And links, I promise links.