Computer science is no more about computers than astronomy is about telescopes. ~ Edsger Dijkstra

Yesterday my Dad asked me, “Who are you to the astronomical community?” In my day to day life I am a graduate students. I have been taking classes, passing exams (most recently my qualifying exam, yay!), and learning everything I can about supernovae. But there are so many ways in which this does not encompass me. A year ago I was the keynote speaker at the Python in Astronomy conference, sharing my experience founding and running a group of graduate students, post-docs, and faculty to discuss software and coding techniques in the same way group meetings discuss science. I have maintained the Python lesson for Software Carpentry and started and continue to run the Software Carpentry Workshop at the winter AAS meeting. More recently, I am co-PI of an AIP Venture Partner grant to create a Data Carpentry lesson for astronomy. Each one of these projects reflects my path to graduate school, which took me through secondary teaching certification and the Space Telescope Science Institute. I love each and every one of these roles and it is the combination that makes me who I am. Some days I am running meetings and other days I am learning a new aspect of spectral analysis that I know I will repeat on every paper I publish. I think who I am to the astronomical community depends on what day you’re asking.


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