ccc-gistemp summer project update

This guest post is written by Filipe Fernandes, who worked all summer on our ccc-gistemp project, thanks to the excellent Google Summer of Code. The summer is now past, although Filipe continues to work on our code. This is his third post, here are the first and second.

We finally arrived at the final stage of the Google Summer of Code program. I’m happy I could be part of such an interesting and exciting project. Most of all I’m glad I ended up working with the Climate Code Foundation (CCF). I won’t read nor write code the same way after being mentored by CCF’s David Jones.

In fact, both David Jones and Nick Barnes were a fantastic duo to work with. They live in a “hybrid world” of computer and climate scientists. That unique experience makes them the perfect mentors for people like me, who had little training in software. Developing the project under the CCF supervision was a great learning opportunity for me.

My project was focused on the ccc-gistemp (the CCF implementation of NASA GISTEMP). The project changed a little bit during the GSoC, but its general ideas survived:

  • Make ccc-gistemp more user-friendly;
  • Improve ccc-gistemp running time using NumPy arrays;
  • Transform ccc-gistemp into an accessible piece of software for end users.

Since the midterm I have implemented a few improvements towards those goals:

  • Comma Separated Value alternative for ccc-gistemp outputs. Now the GUI can open the results directly in a spreadsheet program like excel.
  • GUI support for a rudimentary “project management system.” It means that the user can to make multiple runs with different options and compare them later.
  • A SUSE studio appliance with pypy+ccc-gistemp+data+GUI interface that can be executed as a virtual machine, live CD or Amazon EC2 instance. [1]
  • A NumPy alternative for step 3.

The last one turned out to be more challenging than expected, and it is still a work in progress that I wish to continue pursuing after GSoC.

There are also several things left to be done:

  • More (elaborated) graphics and plotting output for the GUI;
  • A project management via an ini- like file;
  • Full NumPy support (from steps 1-5);

I would like to thank my mentor David Jones for all the wisdom he shared with me during the GSoC. I also would like to extend my thanks to all CCF/CCP mentors (Nick, Julien, Kevin and Jason) who promptly helped all the students. Finally, I would like to thank my colleagues Daniel and Hannah for their valuable opinions and feedback on my work. I’m going to miss our Monday meetings and Friday code reviews.


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