[Mesa-users] Grad stellar structure & evolution course

Bill Paxton paxton at kitp.ucsb.edu
Thu Oct 5 17:29:20 EDT 2017

It would be valuable to get some feedback from folks who have used mesa in courses about what might be done to make that easier and more valuable.  In particular, what would stop you from using it in a course for students without programming experience?  There’s a lot that can be done with mesa just by editing inlists and never looking at a line of code, let alone writing any.

Is the command line interface a barrier to non-programming students?  I imagine many of them have never used a command line interface!   Would it help to have a simple GUI that replaced the terminal by a more familiar interface of buttons and text fields?

Or is the initial installation and compilation a show stopper for students without programming background?   What would be a useful workaround for that?  

What else?   It’s time to generate a wish list.   Feel free to endorse the worthy project of a new mesa-based textbook, but some of the current blocks to using mesa in the classroom might be solved more quickly than a new text can be created!


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