Software and Data requirements for the 2015 iPTF Summer School

The iPTF summer school is going to feature multiple interactive sessions, wherein the students will work on problems that feature data from the PTF survey. The interactive sessions will be run exclusively in the python programming language (specifically using iPython notebooks), and the first session will include a brief introduction to Python.

We expect participants to have python installed and operational prior to arriving to the meeting. We also recommend some basic familiarity with the programming language prior to the meeting. An extremely detailed resource for learning Python can be found here: python bootcamp . Additional tutorials can be found online via google and AskJeeves. While there will be a brief Python tutorial during the summer school, those with even a few hours experience prior to the summer school will find the problems much easier.

For those that do not already have python installed, we recommend the Anaconda scientific distribution, which is available for free: at Anaconda scientific. Instructions for installation are available on the their website. One of the major benefits of the anaconda distribution is that Python and all of it's dependencies are installed in a single directory, ~/anaconda/, within your home directory. As such there are no hidden files, and administrator/sudo privileges are not needed for installation. Furthermore, the installation automatically adjusts the user's path such that the anaconda version of python is the default version. Finally, removing the package simply requires deleting the ~/anaconda/ directory.

For all those that are attending the meeting, we have developed a short python script to test whether your current version (anaconda or otherwise) of python contains all of the required packages for the bootcamp.

We have packaged all the data and IPython notebooks necessary for the summer school into a single tarball, which can be downloaded here. Copy the tarball into the directory where you would like to keep the summer school material, and unpack the tarball using the following command from a terminal command line:

$> tar -zxvf iPTF_2015SummerSchool_data.tar.gz

A number of directories, and files will then be unpacked. To test if you have the correct dependencies, change into the software directory and run test_python_packages.py:

$> cd bootcamp_software

$> python test_python_packages.py

This second command will check for packages, and report on any that are missing. It will also provide instructions for installation (assuming you have installed anaconda).

If there are no messages after you run that command, then your python installation has all the necessary packages for the iPTF summer school.

In addition to Python, we request that all students install an image display software, such as ds9 on their laptops. This software can be downloaded from here.