[Mesa-users] Grad stellar structure & evolution course

Bill Paxton paxton at kitp.ucsb.edu
Fri Oct 6 12:25:27 EDT 2017


Hi,

Excellent to hear your support for this idea.

Sean mentioned “pre-compiled MESA binary”.  Can teacher and TA deal with getting students setup with this using the current distribution setup for mesa?  Is the jupyter/python interface higher priority than changes from the mesa side to make installation easier?  If you could only have one of those, which would it be?   I think I can guess your answer, but I want to be sure I’m not just hearing what I’d like to hear. ;)

Cheers,
Bill



> On Oct 6, 2017, at 9:13 AM, Michael Zingale <michael.zingale at stonybrook.edu> wrote:
> 
> I agree that this would be awesome.  To be able to have an entire lesson in a jupyter notebook and interact with MESA entirely through python wrappers would really help with educational uses.
> 
> On Fri, Oct 6, 2017 at 11:32 AM, Sean M. Couch <couch at pa.msu.edu <mailto:couch at pa.msu.edu>> wrote:
> I think the top of my wishlist, particularly for using MESA as a teaching tool, would be a Python/Jupyter notebook interface. We use a lot of Jupyter notebooks and Python in our instruction and it is very approachable for students new to programming/computation. An interface to MESA could provide utilities for changing inlists, running a pre-compiled MESA binary, and automagically plotting output in the notebook.
> 
> Sean
> 
> 
> ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> Sean M. Couch
> Assistant Professor
> Department of Physics and Astronomy
> Department of Computational Mathematics, Science, and Engineering
> National Superconducting Cyclotron Laboratory/Facility for Rare Isotope Beams
> Michigan State University
> 567 Wilson Rd <https://maps.google.com/?q=567+Wilson+Rd&entry=gmail&source=g>, 3250 BPS
> East Lansing, MI  48824
> (517) 884-5035 <tel:(517)%20884-5035>    ——    couch at pa.msu.edu <mailto:couch at pa.msu.edu>    ——    www.pa.msu.edu/~couch <http://www.pa.msu.edu/~couch>
> 
> 
> 
> 
> On October 5, 2017 at 5:29:35 PM, Bill Paxton (paxton at kitp.ucsb.edu <mailto:paxton at kitp.ucsb.edu>) wrote:
> 
>> 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! 
>> 
>> Cheers, 
>> Bill 
>> 
> 
> 
> 
> -- 
> Michael Zingale
> Associate Professor
> 
> Dept. of Physics & Astronomy • Stony Brook University • Stony Brook, NY 11794-3800
> phone:  631-632-8225
> e-mail: Michael.Zingale at stonybrook.edu <mailto:Michael.Zingale at stonybrook.edu>
> web: http://www.astro.sunysb.edu/mzingale <http://www.astro.sunysb.edu/mzingale>
> github: http://github.com/zingale <http://github.com/zingale>
> 

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