Robby DeMartino’s Week 1 Blog
This is my week 1 blog! I have been working this past week on getting started on the projects. This week, I mostly focused on the Exoplanet project (see last week’s blog!). Specifically, I have been learning how to use the python library Pandas. Pandas is a great python library that allows for access and manipulation of databases and spreadsheets. In both projects, Pandas is a crucial tool for reading and modifying the data provided to us by NASA and the ESA.
I also learned how to access and use the ASDRP server cluster using the SSH command in the Linux terminal. SSH allows students to remotely send commands from their computers to the server’s computers. In the setup at ASDRP, this requires utilizing a program to remotely access and use the server’s Linux terminal. This means that one must be able to utilize the Linux terminal. While I have some familiarity with the command line because I use Arch Linux on my personal computer, I have always been more comfortable using a graphical user interface (GUI) for the purposes of file navigation and manipulation. Luckily, Mr. Downing provided me with a very helpful instructional PDF and introduced me to the program Midnight Commander. Midnight Commander (see Figure 1a) is an incredibly useful program that allows for the navigation and manipulation of files using a terminal user interface (TUI). While most programs that you use on a daily basis probably run independently and in their own window (see Figure 1b), programs that have a TUI run within a terminal window (see Figure 1). Midnight Commander allowed me to easily use and explore the server.
Finally, I also began the process of trying to understand the code that the research groups had previously written. I am very grateful that both past and present researchers meticulously documented their code which made the process of untangling the meaning much easier. All in all, it was a very productive week. Thank you so much for reading this blog post and if you have any questions, please leave a comment and I would be happy to do my best to answer it.
Robby 🙂 DeMartino