ADASS Prize for an Outstanding Contribution to Astronomical Software

Awarded for the first time in 2020, the Astronomical Data Analysis Software and Systems (ADASS) Prize for an Outstanding Contribution to Astronomical Software is awarded every year at the annual conference. Eligible candidates are the developers of astronomical software ranging from those that have stood the test of time to those that are new and cutting edge. Depending on the software and the nomination, the award is given to either a group or an individual. Nominations can be for a single program, a package, or a library.

Nominations for this year’s ADASS Software Prize are due by midnight UTC on June 15th June 18. After that date, the Program Organizing Committee (POC) will review the nominations and descriptions and determine the winner. The winning software author, or a representative of the winning team, will be invited to give a talk at ADASS this year, have their ADASS conference fee waived, and receive a plaque.

WE20210612: This week in the ASCL

A mix of usual work on the ASCL this week, with two author-submitted codes assigned ASCL IDs and one new code entry added, three staged entries added, and twenty entries curated. We also released the list of codes added in May and sent emails out to nearly all authors with codes added in May; we still have a few emails to go. A surprising number of authors wrote back with kind words, which ASCL editors really appreciate! (Thank you!) A couple of these authors also added license and/or citation information to their repos, as we suggest in our notification messages. (Yay! Kudos to them!) We also scheduled eight random daily code posts (for Facebook and Twitter). A few members of the Advisory Committee (AC) met this week to discuss how to fill an upcoming open seat on the committee, and a later discussion floated the idea of making this an open call for nominations by the community, with self-nominations welcome and encouraged. I like this idea and will bring it up with the whole AC this week.

I did not get any writing done; I did talk about writing, however, with a colleague who has already outlined a paper to which I will be contributing. In SciCodes work, we have a schedule for presentations, thanks to Tom Morrell and members of SciCodes who have volunteered to present or find presentations. And I did make it back to my office at UMD. It apparently takes a pandemic to make me clean (and dust) my desk, or maybe it was the need to set up a new monitor. In any case, it is lovely to be back!

Photo of office desk

May 2021 additions to the ASCL

Twenty-two codes were added to the ASCL in May:

ATARRI: A TESS Archive RR Lyrae Classifier
BHPToolkit: Black Hole Perturbation Toolkit
BlackBOX: BlackGEM and MeerLICHT image reduction software
ClaRAN: Classifying Radio sources Automatically with Neural networks
COMPAS: Rapid binary population synthesis code

CUDAHM: MCMC sampling of hierarchical models with GPUs
encore: Efficient isotropic 2-, 3-, 4-, 5- and 6-point correlation functions
Kepler’s Goat Herd: Solving Kepler’s equation via contour integration
MCALF: Velocity information from spectral imaging observations
MeerCRAB: Transient classifier using a deep learning model

orvara: Orbits from Radial Velocity, Absolute, and/or Relative Astrometry
PDM2: Phase Dispersion Minimization
PFITS: Spectra data reduction
Pyrat Bay: Python Radiative Transfer in a Bayesian framework

PyTorchDIA: Difference Image Analysis tool
RandomQuintessence: Integrate the Klein-Gordon and Friedmann equations with random initial conditions
SISPO: Imaging simulator for small solar system body missions
SpheCow: Galaxy and dark matter halo dynamical properties
TesseRACt: Tessellation-based Recovery of Amorphous halo Concentrations

The Sequencer: Detect one-dimensional sequences in complex datasets
ZOGY: Python implementation of proper image subtraction

WE20210605: This week in the ASCL

A productive week, with nineteen code entries added, nineteen existing entries curated, and three entries staged. We also had some activity on Advisory Committee work and planning future presentations for the SciCodes Consortium. This coming week, I plan to work on papers, my own and also a collaborative effort, and ASCL editors will likely send out publication notices to authors whose codes were added in May. And I hope to finally return to working in my office at UMD; I’ve missed being on campus and seeing colleagues.

WE20210529: This week in the ASCL

It sometimes surprises me how much work there is around the ASCL rather than on it. Back in 2010 when I started working on this resource, pretty much all I did was add code entries, one after another, every evening after work and on weekends. (At least it seemed that way.) Now, a lot of the work I do is related to the ASCL, as it’s on software issues (discoverability, citation, metadata, and so on) and other tasks such as coordinating and participating in meetings, but not actually on the ASCL itself.

So it was this past week. Since the previous week had both ASCL Advisory Committee (AC) and Scicodes meetings and this past week had a FORCE11 Software Citation Implementation CodeMeta Task Force meeting, this week involved work related to these three meetings. For example, Daniel Garijo, Hervé Menager, Lorraine Hwang, and I wrote and submitted an abstract for the PeerJ Computer Science call for papers for a special issue on software citation, indexing, and discoverability, determined how we would work together, and set up our online space for this work. Now all we have to do is write the paper! Daniel, Hervé, and Lorraine are leading this effort, though I will help out, as will others. I also met with a few AC members to talk more about our strategic plans.

Still, ten existing entries were curated, mostly through determining daily random code social media posts for the first week of June, which will be staged later this weekend, and a few through our regular examination of entries. Two author-submitted codes were assigned ASCL IDs along with one other code, and three entries were added to our staging area. This weekend, I’ll be processing staged entries to get them into production, and also will be adding that lovely find of a few weeks ago, the PFITS code from 1990.

WE20210522: This week in the ASCL

Last week, it was all nearly the “usual ongoing tasks.” This past week, it was not. Sure, we curated ten records, added three to our staging area, and corresponded with a few authors about site links that were not working, and there was some writing, too, but most of this week’s work was to prep for and hold meetings, the first with all ASCL editors and Advisory Committee members, and the second for the SciCodes coalition. Because of differing time zones, each of these meetings involved two Zoom sessions, one early and one late. Though the need to accommodate different time zones is the reason for holding early and late sessions for the meeting, this also gets more work done, as the different sessions end up focusing on different topics and/or the second session advancing work done in the earlier one.

The Advisory Committee meetings were part of a continuing conversation about the ASCL’s strategic plan and looking ahead to the next five years. We want to make some changes and want to be thoughtful about them. We would like to hear from our users, too, on what they’d like the ASCL to be doing and working on. How can we best engage them? That is an important element of our planning going forward. If you have ideas on this, please let us know ( or comment below); we are eager to hear your thoughts!

WE20210508: This week in the ASCL

I’m late with this update, the result of taking most of the weekend off from ASCL activities. Activities for the week that was included curation of 26 ASCL entries and staging for three new entries; the list of April additions was also published. We determined dates and times for an ASCL’s Advisory Committee meeting, which is now scheduled for later this month. I have started work on a paper on a year-long project, writing the abstract and outline for the paper and collecting information for specific sections; I hope to be done with the paper by the end of June. On Thursday and Friday, I attended the 11th Summit of Information Providers in Astronomy, Astrophysics and High Energy Physics, which was held virtually this time. It was great to see everyone, and I look forward to meeting again in the future in person! Our NASA ADAP project officially ended on Friday, so that has freed me up to take a little more time off this week to get out into nature.

April 2021 additions to the ASCL

Thirty-one codes were added to the ASCL in April:

Bagpipes: Bayesian Analysis of Galaxies for Physical Inference and Parameter EStimation
cmblensplus: Cosmic microwave background tools
CTR: Coronal Temperature Reconstruction
dense_basis: Dense Basis SED fitting

EPIC5: Lindblad orbits in ovally perturbed potentials
Freeture: Free software to capTure meteors
GAMMA: Relativistic hydro and local cooling on a moving mesh
GGchem: Fast thermo-chemical equilibrium code

globalemu: Global (sky-averaged) 21-cm signal emulation
hera_opm: The HERA Online Processing Module
Hilal-Obs: Authentication agorithm for new moon visibility report
LaFuLi: NASA Langley Fu-Liou radiative transfer code

LAPACK: Linear Algebra PACKage
Librarian: The HERA Librarian
linemake: Line list generator
lofti_gaiaDR2: Orbit fitting with Gaia astrometry

Mo’Astro: MongoDB framework for observational astronomy
OpacityTool: Dust opacities for disk modeling
OpTool: Command-line driven tool for creating complex dust opacities
pfits: PSRFITS-format data file processor

Posidonius: N-Body simulator for planetary and/or binary systems
PyBird: Python code for biased tracers in redshift space
RadioFisher: Fisher forecasting for 21cm intensity mapping and spectroscopic galaxy surveys
RJObject: Reversible Jump Objects

Skye: Equation of state for fully ionized matter
Skyoffset: Sky offset optimization and mosaicing toolkit
SpaceHub: High precision few-body and large scale N-body simulations
Spectractor: Spectrum extraction tool for slitless spectrophotometry

SpectRes: Simple spectral resampling
SSSpaNG: Stellar Spectra as Sparse Non-Gaussian Processes
TES: Terrestrial Exoplanet Simulator

WE20210501: This week in the ASCL

Curious as to when an entry was first published on the ASCL or was last edited? I get to that in this post, but first, the week that was.

It was interesting, with it being the second week of the Neuroinformatics Assembly, which started with a session on Towards neuroscience-centered selection criteria for data repositories and scientific gateways; a session later in the week, FAIR roadmap workshop, was also pertinent to the ASCL (and the SciCodes consortium). In addition to attending those (and catching bits of other sessions), I also attended the monthly FORCE11 Software Citation Implementation Working Group Codemeta Task Force (whew, that’s a mouthful!) meeting on Wednesday. ASCL founder Robert Nemiroff and I met virtually this past week, too, as we do periodically.

But it wasn’t all meetings all week. Twenty-three new code entries were created this week, bringing the total for April to 31; a list of them has been scheduled to appear on this blog on Monday Tuesday. A lot of emails were sent out to authors, and a Doodle poll was set up and sent to the ASCL Advisory Committee members, this to determine when to meet this month. Twenty-three existing entries were edited, some through staging the daily random code social media posts through May 10, and others as part of our regular effort to examine every record that hasn’t been edited in the past three years (as mentioned in this previous weekly update).

You can easily see when an entry has been curated by clicking the Discuss button in the entry to go to the Forum thread for that code:The Forum post for the code shows the creation date of the record (in most cases) at the top of the entry, and the most recent edit date and time at the bottom of the post.
If a code is submitted by an author through our Submissions form, it appears immediately on the ASCL and a forum post is created at the same time. When the entry is sequestered by an editor for processing, the forum post created upon submission is usually deleted and a new one created after the code is assigned an ASCL ID and then published (moved back into production). This — the deletion/recreation of the forum post — doesn’t always happen, however, so there are some forum entries that carry the date of submission rather than the date of publication.

You may also notice that some forum posts have a bit of formatting weirdness going on, that the result of an update to the phpbb. Someday, we’ll fix that, but as that has no effect on the contents of the forum record, that’s definitely way down on the to do list.

Questions? Comments? Please let me know in the comments section below.