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Bringing open source to astronomy March 28, 2009

Posted by Sarah in astro 2.0, science.
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A very interesting paper was posted on astro-ph this week on software development in astronomy. Authored by Benjamin Weiner of Steward Observatory in Arizona and many colleagues, the paper is one of many on the State of the Profession submitted to the 2010 Decadal Survey for astronomy and astrophysics (lots of interesting papers in this category, check out the full list here). The position paper describes a problem that I think is well known in the astronomy community: that software development for instruments and large simulations is not adequately funded, and that the developers do not get the recognition they deserve for their extremely valuable work. They call for changes in the way that software development is tackled in research. I entirely agree.


My favourite online tools September 2, 2008

Posted by Sarah in me, random.
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Over the last few months I’ve been experimenting with online tools with mainly two goals: (i) social networking, as I was fed up with the format of the traditional social networking platforms like Facebook and MySpace, and (ii) productivity, to help me manage and plan my workload. I have just one laptop and some disk space on our work servers and am constantly travelling, so back ups are *very* important. Working on several projects also makes good diary keeping, notes and to do lists are essential for keeping on top of things. I also recently got an iPhone so am still exploring the best ways of syncing between my phone and laptop. Oh yeah, and some things are just fun!