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Astronomical Research using Python
Submitted by Yogesh Wadadekar (@yogeshw) on Friday, 15 September 2017
Technical level: Intermediate
Python is now the dominant language in astronomy. It is used for in a variety of diverse applications including telescope control, data acquisition and processing, image visualisation and analysis and in simulations of the evolution of the Universe. In my talk, I will review some of the existing usage scenarios in optical and radio astronomy and how Python will play a central role in the analysis of massive datasets that will be produced by the telescopes of the future. This talk is tailored to any Python programmer with a interest in cutting-edge science and engineering applications.
I will first give a broad overview of where Python finds usage in current astronomical research. I will next describe a future international radio telescope where the capabilities of Python (and indeed of all computing) will be stretched to the limit. I will outline the Indian effort in meeting these challenges and how Python experts can contribute.
A working knowledge of Python and a open mind to brainstorm on the challenges ahead will be required.
Yogesh Wadadekar did his B. Tech. (Metallurgical Engg.) from IIT-Bombay. In 1994, he joined IUCAA for his Ph.D. In 2000, he finished his Phd on the optical and radio properties of faint radio sources. He then went to the Institut d’Astrophysique de Paris as a postdoctoral fellow in 2001 and later moved to the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore, USA in 2003, where he worked with data from the Hubble Space Telescope. During 2006-07, he worked at the Dept. of Astrophysical Sciences, Princeton University, as the Astronomical Software Scientist for the Sloan Digital Sky Survey. Yogesh joined the faculty of the National Centre for Radio Astrophysics, Pune in October 2007. He has been programming primarily in Python since 2003.