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2020 Research Boot Camp & Seminar Series

2020: GitHub / website

2021: GitHub / website

2022: GitHub / website

Welcome to the 2020 AstroPGH Research Boot Camp and Weekly Seminar Series for summer undergraduate students and early PhD students new to research. This program is designed to help you learn the basics of research, including coding, statistics, writing, and presenting.

We will start with a 1+3 day Python coding boot camp to help get everyone off the ground with their research.

Then we will have a weekly seminar series to discuss more advanced topics, including communication skills (reading, plotting, storytelling, and writing) that become more important as the summer goes on. My hope is to create a sense of community in spite of the remote operations this year, so that you can help others, can seek help, and can interact with each other.

Boot Camp

Installation and Setup


Please install Python 3 before the Boot Camp. I recommend using the Anaconda package manager for Python 3.7 and then install the following packages in the terminal:

conda install numpy scipy astropy matplotlib jupyter ipython
conda install -c astropy astroquery
conda install -c conda-forge jupyterlab

Test Your Installation

  1. Open a new terminal.
  2. Type ipython into the terminal to open an interactive python session (the prompt should say In [1]:).
  3. Copy this code:
    import numpy
    import scipy
    import astropy
    import matplotlib
    import astroquery
  4. Type into the iPython shell the word paste, and press enter.
  5. If no errors are raised, you’re ready for bootcamp. You may close the terminal window.

If you are having difficulties with installation, please do not hesitate to reach out to Brett Andrews on Slack or via email.

Git and GitHub



Time Monday (5/18) Tuesday (5/19) Wednesday (5/20) Thursday (5/21)
9:00-10:15 Python Basics Numpy I Astropy I Pandas I
10:45-12:00 Data Structures Numpy II Astropy II Pandas II
1:00-2:15 Functions and Modules Linear Regression Matplotlib II Pandas III, Git, and GitHub
2:45-4:00 Matplotlib I Resampling Debugging Altair

Seminar Series

Wednesdays from 2-3 pm EDT

Date Title Speaker
5/27 Effective Plotting Brett Andrews
6/3 Coding Best Practices Daniel Perrefort
6/10 #strikeforblacklives  
6/17 MCMC (notebook, emline.txt, sndata.txt) Alan Pearl & David Setton
6/24 From Passion to Action: Levers and Tools for Making Inclusive and Equitable APS
7/1 LaTeX and Overleaf Cat Fielder
7/8 How to Give Effective Talks Nathan Herring
7/15 Strategies for Reading Papers Rachel Bezanson
7/22 Nathan Herring Thesis Defense  
7/29 Overcoming Fear of Public Speaking Kuan Wang
8/5 Elevator Pitches Brett Andrews