AAS 243

Jan 6-7, 2024


Instructors: Azalee Bostroem, Ralf Kotulla

Helpers: Peter Teuben

General Information

The Carpentries project comprises the Software Carpentry, Data Carpentry, and Library Carpentry communities of Instructors, Trainers, Maintainers, helpers, and supporters who share a mission to teach foundational computational and data science skills to researchers.

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Data Carpentry develops and teaches workshops on the fundamental data skills needed to conduct research. Its target audience is researchers who have little to no prior computational experience, and its lessons are domain specific, building on learners' existing knowledge to enable them to quickly apply skills learned to their own research. Participants will be encouraged to help one another and to apply what they have learned to their own research problems.

For more information on what we teach and why, please see our paper "Good Enough Practices for Scientific Computing".

Who: This lesson assumes you have a working knowledge of Python and some previous exposure to the Bash shell. These requirements can be fulfilled by: a) completing a Software Carpentry Python workshop or b) completing a Data Carpentry Ecology workshop (with Python) and a Data Carpentry Genomics workshop or c) independent exposure to both Python and the Bash shell. If you’re unsure whether you have enough experience to participate in this workshop, please read over this detailed list, which gives all of the functions, operators, and other concepts you will need to be familiar with. In addition, this lesson assumes that learners have some familiarity with astronomical concepts, including reference frames, proper motion, color-magnitude diagrams, globular clusters, and isochrones. Participants should bring their own laptops and plan to participate actively.

Where: Room 225, Ernest N Morial Convention Center, 900 Convention Center Blvd, New Orleans, LA. Get directions with OpenStreetMap or Google Maps.

When: Jan 6-7, 2024. Add to your Google Calendar.

Requirements: Participants must bring a laptop with a Mac, Linux, or Windows operating system (not a tablet, Chromebook, etc.) that they have administrative privileges on. They should have a few specific software packages installed (listed below).

Accessibility: We are committed to making this workshop accessible to everybody. For workshops at a physical location, the workshop organizers have checked that:

Materials will be provided in advance of the workshop and large-print handouts are available if needed by notifying the organizers in advance. If we can help making learning easier for you (e.g. sign-language interpreters, lactation facilities) please get in touch (using contact details below) and we will attempt to provide them.

Contact: Please email abostroem@gmail.com for more information.

Roles: To learn more about the roles at the workshop (who will be doing what), refer to our Workshop FAQ.

Who can attend?: This workshop is open to American Astronomical Society Meeting 243 attendees and registration is managed through the AAS website. This course is aimed at astronomers at all stages of their education and careers. Participants are expected to have shell and Python knowledge equivalent to the Software Carpentry Python Curriculum (https://swcarpentry.github.io/python-novice-inflammation/): the ability to write a function in Python, familiarity with Python built-in types such as lists and dictionaries, and the ability to navigate directories using the command line. In addition, this lesson assumes that learners have some familiarity with astronomical concepts, including reference frames, proper motion, color-magnitude diagrams, globular clusters, and isochrones.

Registration is for both days and due to the cumulative nature of the workshop, participants are expected to participate in both days fully. Participants will need personal computers and to be able to install software in advance of the workshop. A group list will be compiled approximately one month prior to the workshop to distribute software requirements and provide collaborative troubleshooting. More information on the Data Carpentry project can be found at https://datacarpentry.org and on this curriculum at https://datacarpentry.org/astronomy-python/.

Code of Conduct

Everyone who participates in Carpentries activities is required to conform to the Code of Conduct. This document also outlines how to report an incident if needed.

Collaborative Notes

We will use this collaborative document for chatting, taking notes, and sharing URLs and bits of code.


Please be sure to complete these surveys before and after the workshop.

Pre-workshop Survey

Post-workshop Survey


Day 1

Before starting Pre-workshop survey
8:00 am Optional Installation Help
9:00 am Introduction
9:30 am Basic Queries
10:30 am Break
11:00 am Basic Queries Cont.
11:30 am Coordinate Transformations
12:00 pm Lunch
1:00 pm Coordinate Transformations Cont.
2:00 pm Plotting and Tabular Data
3:00 pm Break
3:30 pm Plotting and Pandas
4:30 pm Wrap up
5:00pm Done

Day 2

9:00am Transform and Select
10:30 am Break
11:00am Join
12:30pm Lunch
1:30pm Photometry
2:30pm Visualization
3:00pm Break
3:30pm Visualization Cont
4:45pm Post-workshop survey
5:00pm Done


To participate in a Data Carpentry workshop, you will need access to software as described below. In addition, you will need an up-to-date web browser.

We maintain a list of common issues that occur during installation as a reference for instructors that may be useful on the Configuration Problems and Solutions wiki page.

The setup instructions for the Data Carpentry Astronomy workshops can be found at the curriculum site.