Focus Summer School

Focus Summer Schools (FSS) provide IDEAS trainees with technical skills in programming and scientific visualization integrated with their research focus.

Many students typically learn these skills “on the fly”, because taking relevant, full courses are too time consuming, or the available courses are too specialized.  IDEAS offers an intermediate, effective solution with two focused summer courses, which provide hands-on, lab-like experience on these topics–both of which are critical to data-enabled science and engineering careers.


Computer Programming (FSS Programming)

Professor: Suzan van der Lee

This is a self-paced on-line course to introduce students to scientific computing for processing and analyzing geophysical, astrophysical, and other data.  The main programming language that will be introduced is python. Python tutorials are preceded by tutorials on unix and awk. The course focuses on basic skills, such as exploring, reading, sorting, plotting, comparing, assessing, and fitting data in a bare-bones unix/python environment. The course prepares students for more demanding coding course- and homework that they will face in data-intensive graduate programs and labs.


For a more detailed overview of the programming course, please explore the FSS-Py Course Syllabus and module overviews.  The linked images are taken from the online course, so as to provide an example of what the course looks like for those who enroll.  For more information about enrolling, please contact


Visualization for Multi-Dimensional Data (FSS Visualizations)

Professor: Aaron Geller

This course will introduce students to the basic theory and practice of visualization in research. Students will be offered hands-on sessions on several popular visualization tools and libraries such as Matplotlib, Paraview, Vtk and D3.js. The course will focus on loading, displaying and manipulating 2D, 3D and tabular data, programming visualizations from scratch and deploying visualizations on the web. The course will also include sessions on visualization design, perception/cognition and advanced topics that will expose students to additional resources available to visualization practitioners. Students joining the course are expected to have a working knowledge of python, unix shell scripting and git/github.

View 2016 Student Visualization Projects.
View 2017 Student Visualization Projects.
View 2018 Student Visualization Projects.
View 2019 Student Visualization Projects.