SURF Meeting 2024 - astropy/astropy GitHub Wiki

2024 Astropy Coordination Meeting

Key Information

Hosts: SURF and ASTRON
Dates: June 10–14, 2024
Venue: SURF, Moreelsepark 48, 3511 EP Utrecht, Netherlands
Timezone: Central European Summer Time (GMT+2)
Map: Google (showing venue, accommodation, restaurants, etc)

Travel & Accommodation

Requests for Financial Assistance

If you need financial assistance to attend the meeting, please submit a request to the Finance Committee.


Effectively everybody you will meet in the Randstad — the central, densely populated area of the Netherlands — speaks English at least as well as you do. It's usually best not to start a conversation by asking “do you speak English?” — of course they do, and suggesting otherwise implies they are perhaps a bit dim. If somebody starts speaking Dutch to you, it's fine to ask “do you mind if we speak English instead?”, or just reply in English.

That said, of course it's nice to have a few Dutch words to hand:

  • Goedemorgen / Goedendag / Goedenavond — good morning / day / evening. These are used fairly ubiquitously; it's common to greet strangers this way in a shop, restaurant, etc.
  • Hoi — informal greeting, used with people you know.
  • Dank je wel / dank u wel — thank you. The “je” form is informal; the Dutch use the informal tone with everybody (including strangers) who isn't obviously senior or significantly older.
  • Tot ziens — Goodbye.

Getting to Utrecht

Utrecht is easily accessibly by air and by rail (and also by car, if that's your thing).


If you are flying, head for Amsterdam Airport Schiphol (IATA: AMS). It's a major hub, and should be easily accessible by most airlines.

There's a railway station built right in to the airport; travel time to Utrecht by train is 30–45 minutes. See here for a journey planner, and refer to the material on rail travel below for more info. Note that you can buy single-journey tickets online or at ticket machines in the airport, but you may prefer to get an “OV Chipkaart” if you plan to use public transport more often while you're in the Netherlands; see below for details.


Utrecht Centraal, the biggest railway station in the Netherlands, is adjacent to the meeting venue. NS (“Nederland Spoorwegen”, the main railway operator) has a comprehensive website — available in English — with an excellent journey planner.

From the station, SURF is a two minute walk through the adjacent shopping mall (“Hoog Catharijne”); see the directions on their website.


Utrecht is easy to reach by road, but you'll probably find a car more of a hindrance than a help around the meeting venue and in the city centre: parking is likely to be expensive, and everything is easily reachable by public transport or on foot. If you can, come by train.


Given that the meeting venue is right in the heart of Utrecht, you have a few different options for accommodation:

Note that we did not negotiate a special rate at any of these hotels, and the above list is by no means comprehensive — there are lots of places you could stay in Utrecht.

Getting around in the city

The meeting venue is right next to the central station, and a short walk from the historic city centre. You should easily be able to find everything you need without ever needing to use public transport. However, if you do want to go a bit further afield, the following may be helpful.

Cycling is ubiquitous throughout the Netherlands, and there is excellent bike infrastructure in Utrecht (including the world's largest bike garage, which is almost directly underneath our meeting venue). If you aren't a confident cyclist, you may find it a bit intimidating, but if you're willing to give it a go there's a bike rental place very close to the meeting venue. Be aware that nobody here wears a helmet or special clothing when using a regular “city” bike to get around; the bike shop will probably rent you a helmet if you need one, but they might look at you funny. You do, however, need working lights if you are cycling after dark.

Otherwise, Utrecht has a good bus network, a few trams, and excellent connections to the main rail system. Local busses and trams are operated by U-OV, while NS operates most of the mainline rail services across the country. Both of them will sell you a range of different ticket types — see their sites for details — but if you plan to make a lot of use of public transport you may find it convenient to buy an OV-chipkaart (“public transport chip card”). This is a smartcard onto which you can load credit and then use it for travel across the entire Dutch public transport network, regardless of provider, by simply swiping in & out. NS provides a nice summary of how it works. As a visitor, you'll want the “anonymous OV-chipkaart”, which you can purchase from ticket machines at any station for a one-off cost of €7.50.

For route planning and finding your way, both Google and Apple Maps provide information on public transport in the Netherlands; they work fine, but many folks prefer 9292 which is maintained locally and may have more up-to-date information.


We aren't able to provide childcare at the meeting venue. However, if you are bringing children with you, you may find the following useful:

  • 24NANNIES can provide in-hotel childcare.
  • There's a list of expat-friendly daycare options provided by I AM EXPAT; one of them may be able to help.

Note that we can't provide personal experience or recommendations for any of these options.

Participating in Person

Meeting Location

Follow the directions on the SURF website in order to reach the meeting venue (look for “Route description Utrecht”). You'll arrive at SURF reception; you'll need to register there, and they will direct you to the meeting roo.

Note that there is currently construction happening around SURF. They have provided the following additional instructions:

The stairs between Moreelsepark and Hoog Catherijne are still closed. Also, at the entrance from Hoog Catherijne to SURF (the door next Albert Heijn), there is some work being done. It’s possible to walk past the orange fences, but not very clear. Alternatively, the street entrance from Moreelsepark to SURF offices are accessible. But that requires people to go all the way back towards central station, exit Hoog Catherijne and take the stairs between Hoog Catherijne and Central Station.


Eduroam is available throughout the SURF building, and is the preferred option if you have an account. Failing that, please ask at reception, and they will create a guest account for you.


See Day 4 schedule.

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Participating Remotely

Joining Meeting Sessions

Join remotely using Zoom:
Meeting ID: 956 2524 2240
Passcode: 493891

Morning check list for moderators:

  1. Host to make all SOC members co-hosts.
  2. Moderator to remind everyone to:
  • Use "raise hand" ✋ when they need to speak or ask questions.
  • Mute ❌🎤 when not speaking.
  • Help out with crowd-source meeting notes.
  • For fleeting discussions not suitable to be recorded in meeting notes, Slack is preferred over Zoom chat.
  • Be patient as we figure out any difficulties that might occur.
  1. Moderator should not be shy to enforce time limits on speakers and sessions. Unfortunately, there is no good way to do this other than interrupting the speaker verbally.
  2. Host and co-host to help people with breakout rooms, as needed.
  3. On the days when this is applicable, moderator needs to remind everyone in breakout rooms to regroup at the end.


Join the Astropy Slack workspace here.

Channels #meeting2024-general and #meeting2024-logistics have been created for this meeting. New meeting-specific channels can be created as required; please name them #meeting2024-... for ease of discoverability.

Other non-meeting specific channels are also available for use in the workspace.

Please note that Slack is not a place to keep permanent records; if important topics are discussed, please ensure the outcomes are recorded somewhere more appropriate.

Mailing List

No dedicated mailing list is available. If needed, use the astropy-dev mailing list but prepend "Coordination Meeting 2024:" before the actual subject line text.

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If you are not on this list, but plan to attend, please contact the SOC. Note: This is the initial sign-up, not a record of actual participation.

  • Tom Aldcroft (remote)
  • Larry Bradley (remote)
  • Clara Brasseur
  • Simon Conseil (remote)
  • Matt Craig (remote)
  • Kelle Cruz (remote)
  • Nadia Dencheva
  • Sarvesh Gharat
  • Moritz Günther (remote)
  • Derek Homeier
  • Jeff Jennings (remote)
  • Marten van Kerkwijk
  • Pey Lian Lim
  • Brett Morris (remote)
  • Stuart Mumford
  • Aarya Patil
  • Timothy Pickering
  • Adrian Price-Whelan (remote)
  • Robert Queenin (remote)
  • Clément Robert
  • Thomas Robitaille (remote)
  • Nathaniel Starkman (remote)
  • John Swinbank
  • Erik Tollerud
  • Maggie Trimpin (remote)
  • Eero Vaher
  • Benjamin Alan Weaver

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(SOC to add details and update as needed.)

Ideas were collected at astropy-project#349.

Crowd-sourced meeting notes is the main Google doc for writing down meeting discussions and breakout/sprint results. You may document a specific topic in much detail in a different Google doc, but please link that back in this main document and please make your doc group viewable and editable.

Day 0: June 9, 2024 (pre-meeting social)

A table has been booked at Oproer Biercafé from 19:00 until we get bored. Everybody is welcome, including partners, families, children, etc. Feel free to come and go as you please — there's no expectation that everybody be there from 19:00. If you're late and wondering whether we're still there, check in on Slack.

Note that despite the name (literally, "beer cafe"), Oproer is pretty family-friendly; there's even a children's play area. They also have a range of non-beer drinks (both alcoholic & otherwise) and nice (all vegetarian) food options.

Oproer is located at Beyaertdreef 5, 3562 GL Utrecht. That's a little out of the town centre, but walkable from Utrecht Centraal Station, or easy to reach by bus, bike, etc.

Day 1: June 10, 2024

Moderator: Nadia Dencheva

  • 09:00 AM - 12:00 PM: General / breakout session TBD
  • 12:00 PM - 01:30 PM: Lunch 🥪
  • 01:30 PM - 02:00 PM: State of Astropy (Derek Homeier)
  • 02:00 PM - 02:30 PM: Roadmap: Annual review and community input (Clara Brasseur)
  • 02:30 PM - 02:45 PM: Coffee break ☕
  • 02:45 PM - 04:30 PM: Finance (Aarya Patil) (discussion can continue in a breakout session if not enough time)
    • Funding: Lessons learned
    • Report from funded projects?
  • 04:30 PM - 05:00 PM: Vote for breakout session for Tuesday

Day 2: June 11, 2024

Moderator: Derek Homeier

  • 09:30 AM - 1:00 PM: Breakout sessions
    • 10:00 - 11:15 APE 14
    • 10:00 - 11:15 ruff
    • 11:30 - 12:30 Roadmap
    • 12:30 - 1:00 Report on breakout sessions
  • 1:00 PM - 02:30 PM: Lunch 🥪
  • 2:30 PM - 03:30 PM: State of APEs
  • 03:30 PM - 04:00 PM: Discussion on strategic planning role (Kelle Cruz)
  • 04:00 PM - 04:30 PM: Group photo 📷, coffee break ☕, vote for breakout sessions for Wednesday
  • 04:30 PM - 05:00 PM: Infrastructure report (Pey Lian Lim)
  • 05:00 PM - 05:30 PM: Technical discussion: typing (Eero Vaher)

Day 3: June 12, 2024

Moderator: Tim Pickering

  • 09:30 AM - 01:00 PM: Breakout sessions
    • 10:00 - 11:15 TBD
    • 11:30 - 12:30 Quantity 2.0 and Array API
    • 12:30 - 1:00 Report on breakout sessions
  • 01:00 PM - 02:30 PM: Lunch 🥪
  • 02:30 PM - 03:00 PM: Discussion: Are there big missing pieces in the Astropy ecosystem? (doc) (Adrian Price-Whelan)
  • 03:00 PM - 03:30 PM: Status and plans for spectral work in Astropy (Tim Pickering)
  • 03:30 PM - 04:00 PM: Coffee break ☕
  • 04:00 PM - 04:30 PM: Technical discussion: Array API (Marten van Kerkwijk) (see Quantity 2.0)
  • 04:30 PM - 05:00 PM: Community engagement (DEI and community report) (Erik Tollerud)
  • 05:00 PM - 05:30 PM: Plan for hack day

Day 4: June 13, 2024

Field trip to radio telescopes! Volunteer drivers are responsible for car rentals and passengers are required to chip in for rental cost. This trip is not paid for by Astropy. However, ASTRON is kind enough to provide lunch at no cost to us.

Local time Agenda Notes
09:30 AM Meet at Utrecht Central Station or Hertz.
Depart for ASTRON:
Oude Hoogeveensedijk 4, 7991 PD Dwingeloo
12:00 PM Lunch at ASTRON (provided)
Tour of Dwingeloo Telescope (organized by Tammo Jan Dijkema)
01:45 PM Depart ASTRON for Westerbork Synthesis Radio Telescope:
Schattenberg 2, 9433 TA Zwiggelte
Note: WSRT is a radio-quiet zone; please turn your phone off.
02:30 PM Tour of WSRT (provided by Albert-Jan Boonstra)
03:25 PM Depart WSRT for LOFAR Superterp:
Beeksdijk, Buinen
04:00 PM Tour of LOFAR (provided by Michiel Brentjens)
05:00 PM Depart LOFAR for Utrecht Central Station:
3511 CA Utrecht
(Or Hertz)
07:30 PM (approx) Arrive Utrecht Central Station or Hertz

Day 5: June 14, 2024

Tutorials/Hack Day. Page for general participants: 2024 Astropy SURF Tutorial & Hackathon

Time Hack Track
Room 3.3
Tutorials Track
Room 3.5
10:00 AM - 10:30 AM Welcome & Icebreakers
10:30 AM - 11:00 AM Hack Pitches (ideas) (See Hack Pitches)
11:00 AM - 11:30 AM HACK! Contributing to Astropy (Aarya Patil, Pey Lian Lim, Stuart Mumford, Clément Robert)
Installation help session (John Swinbank, Erik Tollerud, Nadia Dencheva, Clara Brasseur, Eero Vaher)
11:30 AM - 12:00 PM HACK! Units/Quantity (Clément Robert, Eero Vaher, Stuart Mumford, Derek Homeier)
12:00 PM - 01:00 PM Lunch
01:00 PM - 01:30 PM HACK! Intro to FITS (Stuart Mumford, Ben Weaver, Pey Lian Lim)
01:30 PM - 02:00 PM HACK! Coordinates & Time (Marten van Kerkwijk, Erik Tollerud, Eero Vaher, Aarya Patil)
02:00 PM - 02:30 PM HACK! Tables (Ben Weaver, Eero Vaher, Derek Homeier)
02:30 PM - 03:00 PM HACK! Modeling (Nadia Dencheva, Derek Homeier, Erik Tollerud)
03:00 PM - 03:30 PM HACK! Uncertainties (Erik Tollerud, Marten van Kerkwijk)
03:30 PM - 04:00 PM Hack Summaries/Reporting out (Erik Tollerud)
04:00 PM - 05:00 PM Borrel

Possible breakout/hack/sprint topics

Topics are collected here now (the list below will no longer be updated):

Note: For after-hours unofficial hack sessions, see here suggestions of possible places with food and WiFi. The SOC and LOC are not responsible for the choices made in these sessions.



Coordinated/Affiliated Packages:

  • ???


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Local Restaurants

The meeting venue is right in the heart of Utrecht; there are many options for dining and socializing close by, so you are sure to find something that suits your taste and your budget. While your LOC hasn't been able to try everything in the area, the following are personal favourites:

  • Tijm provides light meals and decent coffee right in the centre of town.
  • Blackbird is probably the best local speciality coffee place.
  • Anjappar is great for a curry, and is just a few minutes walk from the meeting venue.
  • SONMAT is a little further away, but serves exceptional Korean fried chicken.
  • GGULMAT is the sister of SONMAT, focused on bibimbap.
  • Miss Tajine has an amazing range of Moroccan-style stews and soups.
  • Indonesian food is very popular in the Netherlands. Try Selamat Makan or Djakarta, and ask for the “rijsttafel”.
  • If you feel like splashing out, try El Quatarine or venture a bit further out from the centre and check out Badhuis.
  • Also further from the centre — but worth the trip — is Oproer Biercafe, with a great range of local beers and vegan food.
  • Taplokaal Gist has a wide range of craft beers, some food options, and a great terrace on the waterfront. Pricey, though.
  • Cafe Olivier is a church of beer. Belgian beer primarily. It really is a church, and close to SURF.

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Code of Conduct

This meeting will be governed by the Astropy Code of Conduct. Our goal is to keep ours a positive, inclusive, successful, and growing community. We hold our community members, especially our core developers and project leaders, to a high bar of inclusive behavior.

Please report violations to any member of the SOC or Ombudsperson.

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  • Nadia Dencheva (STScI)
  • Derek Homeier (Aperio Software Ltd.)
  • Tim Pickering (MMT Observatory)

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  • John Swinbank (ASTRON)

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⚠️ ** Fallback** ⚠️