Erik Tollerud on AstroPy - Episode 32

Visit our site to listen to past episodes, support the show, and subscribe to our mailing list.

Summary

Erik Tollerud is an astronomer with a background in software engineering. He leverages these backgrounds to help build and maintain the AstroPy framework and its associated modules. AstroPy is a set of Python libraries that provide useful mechanisms for astronomers and astrophysicists to perform analyses on the data that they receive from observational equipment such as the mountain observatory that Erik was preparing to visit when we talked to him about his work. If you like Python and space then you should definitely give this episode a listen!

Brief Introduction

  • Hello and welcome to Podcast.__init__, the podcast about Python and the people who make it great.
  • Subscribe on iTunes, Stitcher, TuneIn or RSS
  • Follow us on Twitter or Google+
  • Give us feedback! Leave a review on iTunes, Tweet to us, send us an email or leave us a message on Google+
  • I would like to thank everyone who has donated to the show. Your contributions help us make the show sustainable. For details on how to support the show you can visit our site at pythonpodcast.com
  • I would also like to thank Hired, a job marketplace for developers, for sponsoring this episode of Podcast.__init__. Use the link hired.com/podcastinit to double your signing bonus.
  • Linode is sponsoring us this week. Check them out at linode.com/podcastinit and get a $10 credit to try out their fast and reliable Linux virtual servers for your next project
  • We are recording today on November 2nd, 2015 and your hosts as usual are Tobias Macey and Chris Patti
  • Today we are interviewing Erik Tollerud about AstroPy
hired-logo-dark-padding.pngOn Hired software engineers & designers can get 5+ interview requests in a week and each offer has salary and equity upfront. With full time and contract opportunities available, users can view the offers and accept or reject them before talking to any company. Work with over 2,500 companies from startups to large public companies hailing from 12 major tech hubs in North America and Europe. Hired is totally free for users and If you get a job you’ll get a $2,000 “thank you” bonus. If you use our special link to signup, then that bonus will double to $4,000 when you accept a job. If you’re not looking for a job but know someone who is, you can refer them to Hired and get a $1,337 bonus when they accept a job.

linode-banner-sponsor-large.pngUse the promo code podcastinit10 to get a $10 credit when you sign up!

Interview with Erik Tollerud

  • Introductions
  • How did you get introduced to Python?
  • What was the inspiration to create AstroPy and what kinds of astronomical research can it be used for?
  • Can you tell us what AstroPy’s modeling functions are and give us examples of where they might be used?
  • Are there any considerations that you need to be aware of when writing software libraries for practitioners of the hard sciences that would be different if the target audience were software engineers?
  • What are some of the most interesting applications that AstroPy has been used for?
  • Are there open data sets that are available for people outside of academia to do analysis of astronomical data using AstroPy?
    • Have there been any useful discoveries made in this way?
  • Could you please tell us about AstroPy’s Virtual Observatory capabilities?
  • What are some interesting use cases for AstroPy’s Cosmological calculations?
  • Are there other libraries available that provide similar capabilities, perhaps in other languages? What makes AstroPy unique among them?
  • Can AstroPy consume data directly from telescopes and other observational apparatus?
  • The amount of data generated from observing astronomical phenomena must be immense. What are some of the tools used to manage that data and how does AstroPy interface with them?
  • How might AstroPy be used to prove or disprove the cold dark matter hypothesis?
  • What are some of the architectural choices that have been made to allow for the AstroPy library to serve as the core for a number of other add-ons?
    • Does AstroPy provide a common data format to allow for easy interoperability between the various addons?
  • I noticed that AstroPy adheres to the PSF code of conduct, as well as having adopted an enhancement proposal process modelled after PEPs. Can you explain why that is important and what kind of an impact it has had on the community around AstroPy?

Picks

Keep In Touch

Links

The intro and outro music is from Requiem for a Fish The Freak Fandango Orchestra / CC BY-SA

Start the discussion at https://discourse.pythonpodcast.com