For the first week of the semester, PhD student Molly James participated in the second annual Oceanhackweek, hosted by the eScience Institute at University of Washington in Seattle, WA. Oceanhackweek brings together a diverse group of people at all career stages and at every level of coding experience. The organizers state it best: “In contrast to conventional academic conferences or workshops, hackweeks are intensive and interactive, facilitated by three core components: tutorials on state-of-the-art methodologies, peer-learning, and on-site project work in a collaborative environment.”
Molly learned about and completed tutorials on data science tools in the oceanographic community. The topics of the tutorials included Github, cloud computing, Jupyter notebooks, python visualization tools, machine learning, and other open source resources. She also organized a “hack” project that addressed the issue of co-locating data from disparate data servers, in order to either validate or supplement a data set with another. Her group decided to approach this task by looking at over 30 ERDDAP servers hosted by different organizations. The group utilized Jupyter notebooks and python packages to create a user-friendly search tool that queries these multiple servers simultaneously. Despite having less than 5 days to work together, the team produced a beta-version of the search tool by the end of Oceanhackweek. The documentation and code development is available on their team Github code repository.
Other interested scientists of all levels should keep an eye out for the application to Oceanhackweek 2020! It is a great opportunity to build community and confidence in computing skills.