London Numerical Cosmology Hack Day

The first London Numerical Cosmology Hack day took place in October 2013. The details of the day including links to resources are contained in the following advert for the day:

Want to learn how to hack together a python ODE solver in 2 mins? Read on!

We are organizing a hack day on Python on the  “Hacking Python”! Python is one of the fastest growing scripting/programming language today. Its simplicity and power, coupled with the increasing availability of powerful scientific libraries, have seen it being rapidly embraced by scientists including cosmologists in recent years.

We are aiming at the “total n00b” in this hack day — so if you are a student, postdoc, supervisor or just curious about what the fuss python is about, please do sign up in the doodle poll here :

Supervisors — do encourage your students to come!

“Hacking Python” will be held at the seminar room S7.06 at King’s College London (Strand Campus) from 2pm to 5.30pm. Your instructors are (round of applause)  Andrew Jaffe (Imperial), Andrew Pontzen (UCL) and Tom Richardson (KCL). The topics covered will be the following :

2pm-3pm — Intro to Python (Andrew Jaffe)
pointers to resources (, etc)
basic python syntax
differences from C/C++, fortran, idl
data structures: lists, dicts, tuples
defining functions
importan libraries
3.30pm-4pm  — Advanced features (Andrew Pontzen)
important but subtle python points
       * dynamic binding (variables are references, mutable vs immutable objects)
* evaluation at definition
lambda calculus
function decorators
5 minute pointer to existence of objection oriented programming
4pm-4.30pm — Coffee Break
4pm-4.45pm — ODE + Nbody solvers (Andrew Pontzen)
Hands-on on constructing ODE solvers and N-body solvers
4.45pm-5.30pm  – sampler + pyMultinest (Tom Richardson)

Hands-on on writing Monte-Carlo code on python and pyMultinest

We plan that the hack day will be very “hands-on” — so bring your laptops with python installed! The recommended package is enthought canopy (the express version is free) :

If you are interested to do hands-on work on pyMultinest, install it here :

We hope to see you on the Oct 17!



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