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2021 Python Boot Camp & Seminar Series

2020: GitHub / website

2021: GitHub / website

2022: GitHub / website

Welcome to the 2021 AstroPGH-TAMU Python Boot Camp and Weekly Seminar Series for summer undergraduate students and early PhD students new to Python. This program is designed to help you learn the basics of using Python for astrophysics research.

We will start with a 1+2 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) and statistics/machine learning. Our 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 3.8 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 or Paul Zivick on Slack or via email.



Time (EDT) Monday (5/24) Tuesday (5/25) Wednesday (5/26)
10:00-11:15 Python Basics Numpy I Astropy I
11:45-1:00 Data Structures Numpy II Astropy II
2:00-3:15 Functions and Modules Numpy III Matplotlib II
3:45-5:00 Matplotlib I Numpy IV Pandas

Seminar Series

Wednesdays from 2-3 pm EDT

Date Title Speaker
6/16 How to Give an Effective Talk Nathan Herring
6/23 Principal Component Analysis Biprateep Dey (Pitt)
7/7 Effective Plotting Brett Andrews
7/14 Coding Best Practices Daniel Perrefort
7/21 Gaussian Process Regression Cat Fielder

This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation grant number AST-2009251. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed on this website are those of the participants and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation or the participating institutions.