The WSL Biodiversity Center is pleased to announce the forthcoming two-day workshop «Practical introduction to Julia for modelling and data analysis in biodiversity and earth sciences», co-organized with the Glaciology Group and taught by Victor Boussange (Ecosystems and Landscape Evolution) & Mauro Werder (Glaciology).
Practical introduction to Julia for modelling and data analysis in biodiversity and earth sciences
Julia is a modern programming language that combines productivity and performance. Similarly to more mainstream scientific languages such as Python, Matlab and R, it is a high-level programming language that allows convenient and rapid development iterations. Yet, while Python, Matlab and R show poor performance when it comes to compute intensive operations such as optimization, Julia shows similar performance as low level, compiled languages such as C. As such, the Julia programming language can greatly accelerate research in the natural sciences, enhancing researchers’ productivity, allowing to generate programs that are readily optimized for large datasets and fine spatial resolutions, and allowing to combine state of the art ML methods in a seamless pipeline.
In this hands-on workshop, participants will learn the fundamentals of the Julia language and its use in environmental and earth sciences, such as biodiversity and glaciology research. The workshop will cover topics including basic syntax, data types and structures, control flow, and working with external libraries. The workshop will be held over two days, with the aim of gradually covering increasingly more technical tasks.
The workshop will be led by Victor Boussange and Mauro Werder. Victor is a computational ecologist working on the modelling of ecosystem dynamics. He has developed several Julia packages including HighDimPDE.jl to simulate high-dimensional PDEs, and PiecwiseInference.jl for the inference of ecosystem model parameters. Mauro is a glaciologist working on modelling and measuring glacier hydraulics. He has been developing Julia packages since the early days of the language, and teaches a courses at ETH Zürich making use of and based around Julia.