Alex C. Viana's blog

  1. Writing a FITS File Bigger Than Your Memory

    Tue 08 April 2014

    I've listed Erik Bray(GitHub) as a co-author on this post. Erik is one of the PyFITS developers and this post was born out of an email chain where he explained most of what follows to me, several times.

    "I’ve always thought that one of the the great ...

  2. Working with NumPy Arrays and SQL

    Mon 07 April 2014

    Lately I've been doing a lot (millions) of calculations involving small NumPy arrays of HST PSFs. Naturally, I wanted to save the output of these calculations to for later analysis. I put all the results in a MySQL database so I could easily select subsets of the data for ...

  3. Fitting 2D Gaussians with agpy

    Thu 30 January 2014

    Update 01/30/2014: Adam has split his gaussfitter code off into it's own GitHub repository here ("PR's Welcome!"). This removes some dependencies and changes the import statement but as of right now everything else is the same. I've maintained the old links to the original agpy ...

  4. Faster File Existence Testing with Sets

    Sun 19 January 2014

    It's Time to Think about Performance

    Lately at work I've been thinking a lot about the performance of my code. In the past most of my work fell into one of two performance categories: (roughly) overnight or (roughly) right now. In either case I didn't really care ...

  5. 2014 Summer Internship Opportunity

    Thu 16 January 2014

    The Moving Target Pipeline group at the Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI) in Baltimore, Maryland seeks a graduate or undergraduate student for a paid summer internship through the Institute's Space Astronomy Summer Program (SASP). The intern will work with our group to develop, test, and run our software pipeline ...

  6. Guilty As Charged

    Thu 19 December 2013

    Earlier this month the wonderful Randall Munroe at XKCD posted this great strip poking fun at the decrease in commit message quality as a project ages.

    Oops, something broke.

    As the meme goes, "nailed it".

    Oops, something broke.

    (I did finally get everything to work BTW.)

  7. That Time I Made a Metaclass

    Wed 04 December 2013

    "If you don't know what a metaclass is you don't need to use one."
    - David Beazley

    I was shooting some messages back and forth this morning with some current and former coworkers on Twitter on the topic of Python Metaclasses. One coworker said metaclasses was something he'd ...

  8. The Joy of "Screen"

    Sun 24 November 2013

    Because I frequently work remotely as well as run long processes I recently gave up my desktop system at work in exchange for a laptop and a couple of virtual machines. I use the laptop for day-to-day work but offload longer computations or automated processes to my VMs. But before ...

  9. A Basic Automation Setup for Astronomy: Part 1

    Sat 23 November 2013

    For one of my projects at work I engineered an automation platform for one of our instrument teams. This platform allows us to automatically execute 20+ daily scripts, written in a variety of programming languages, as data is coming down from the telescope. All the scripts for our team, from ...

  10. The Data are Inconclusive

    Thu 21 November 2013

    "Give me a point and I can draw a line. Give me two points and I can draw a curve. That's astronomy." - Anonymous Professor.

    Ran the full pipeline the PSF data for the first time. The data are inconclusive.

    Oops, something broke.

    Haha, oh error bars. Who hasn't made a plot ...

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