Q: Who is this hackathon for?
A: This hackathon is open to any researcher engaged in paleoclimate research interested in adding the Pyleoclim package to their scientific toolkit. The computing environment will be a JupyterLab server, and all computations will be cloud-based, so no local installation of the packages and Python will be required, although a familiarity with the Scientific Python stack (i.e., pandas, numpy, matplotlib…) is expected. Attendance will be limited to 50 scholars, with priority given to US-based applicants, ECRs and people from groups traditionally underrepresented in the geosciences.
Q: Do I need to know Python to attend this hackathon?
A: Familiarity with the Scientific Python stack is expected.
Q: What are the technical requirements?
A: The computing environment will be a JupyterLab server, and all computations will be cloud-based, so no local installation of the packages and Python will be required. To attend, all you need is a computer, a stable internet connection, and access to Zoom and Slack.
Q: How do I register for the workshop?
A: Please fill out this form by Oct 7th, 2021.
Q: What will the schedule look like?
A: The hackathon will be held virtually, and take place over two days (Feb 18-19 2021) in the Pacific Standard Time zone (UTC-8) where the instructors are located. The morning lectures will be recorded via Zoom and made available through our Slack channel for delayed viewing. The schedule can be found here. Schedule is subject to change. If you are participating in this Hackathon, make sure to connect through Slack to stay up-to-date.
Q: What will be expected of me?
A: Two days of your time, your first newborn, $0.00, and a willingness to experiment with new tools (coping with the minor frustrations that climbing any learning curve necessarily entails). On the last day, you will be expected to present what you managed to get through with your team, and share what you have learned in the process. (we were joking about the first newborn).
Q: Will I be working alone?
A: You will be working in teams of 4-5, expertly crafted by the organizing committee to balance out knowledge and time zone. That is, we’ll strive to put you with other folks on the same time zone as you are, making sure there is at least one decent Python programmer in each team to make sure that’s not holding up progress. If you are registering with a buddy and would like to be on the same team as them, please let us know!
Q: What will I get out of this?
A: Data analytic superpowers of unmatched proportions in this corner of the galaxy, that’s what! Seriously, code is only a facilitator of methods. At some point, if you want to use the tools in your research, you have to do the background reading to understand them. But we promise to make it easy for you to use and experiment with them, which helps developing an intuition for what they do. You will also meet fellow researchers at various career stages, hence building your professional network.
Q: Will PaleoHack make me a Python expert in 2 days?
A: That would be nice, but no. If you don’t know any Python at the start, you will not learn it all here. The more knowledge you have going in, the more you should get out of the event. However, the event is designed for people of all levels to work and learn together about such topics as:
- Understand the basics of paleo data structures
- Manipulate these structures
- Understand age model ensembles
- Process paleo timeseries for analysis (e.g., binning, interpolation, detrending)
- Apply spectral and wavelet analysis, with appropriate uncertainty quantification
- Correlate a paleo timeseries to a climate field
- Compare a paleo timeseries to climate simulations and reanalysis datasets, in the time and frequency domain.
- Generate publication-quality graphics
There are 8 practicums that cover these notions. You may or may not get through all of them on the first go, but you will learn something any which way!
Q: Can I attend PaleoHack more than once?
A: Yes. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and depending on your data science proficiency going in, it make take a couple of rounds to get everything out of PaleoHack. For now, we are giving priority to new participants, but if you make a strong case that you would benefit from a second round, we’ll consider it.
Q: What if I love Pyleoclim so much I can’t stop using it?
A: that’s a good problem to have. If you really love working with LiPD and Pyleoclim, we’ll make it easy for you to keep using those tools after the workshop, either on your personal computer (a decent laptop should suffice) or in the Cloud.
Q: OK, I’m sold. What happens next?
A: Please register here by Oct 7th, 2021.. Once you have, the organizers will review applications and email you back by Oct 20th. If you are selected, you will be asked to:
- do a little background reading
- log onto the JupyterHub platform
- run two introductory notebooks (in “Press play” mode)
This is to make sure you can hit the ground running on Oct 28.
Q: My application was not accepted. What did I do wrong?
A: You did nothing wrong! There are many possible reasons, but in the past the lead causes of rejection have been:
- rationale for attending is not sufficiently articulated: You need to explain why it will advance your scientific career to do this. Vague responses to the questionnaires are often dismissed.
- too many people from the same research group. While we are honored that some PIs are encouraging their entire labs to apply, we strive to balance opportunities between universities/countries/continents. Therefore, we’ll only take 1-2 people from the same research group at a time.
- minimum requirements not met: as written earlier, we think the training is pretty good, but it cannot perform miracles. If you truly have never worked with paleoclimate data OR Python, we recommend that you gather a bit more experience with either (or both) before trying again. That way it will be much easier on you, your teammates, and us.
If you don’t get in on the first try, you likely will on the next round. Persist!