A laboratory for data exploration

Using the power of data, visualization, and computing to explore, from the byte to the big bang.

News Archive

Sam Walkow presents at HICSS

January 30, 2023

Sam Walkow presented her paper titled: “Infrastructure in Crisis: A Values-Driven Framework for Transparent Contextual Decision-Making in Emergency Situations” at the 56th Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences (HICSS). The paper introduces a framework for decision-making in technology and development in crisis situations.

NSF Funding to help understand the Earth's upper mantle

November 16, 2022

A recent award through the NSF Frontier Research in Earth Sciences (FRES) program will connect members of DXL with a multi-institution team of researchers working to understand the mechanical nature of the Earth’s upper mantle. The project, “inveStigating the Transient Rheology of the Upper Mantle” (iSTRUM) seeks to incorporate observations from seismology, geodesy, and laboraroty experiments of rock deformation within a single modeling framework to refine our understanding of the underlying physical laws that control the motion of the upper mantle across timescales.

Shin-Rong Tsai joins the DXL!

July 1, 2022

The DXL is pleased to welcome Shin-Rong Tsai, who will be working with us on a variety of projects, but especially on extending her work on libyt to support in situ visualization of simulations using yt.

Funding for yt-napari

November 16, 2021

Thanks to a recent grant from the Chan-Zuckerberg Initiative, DXL members have started some exciting work connecting the open source napari image viewer with yt. The project will develop a yt-napari plugin to improve interoperability with yt, allowing yt users to easily load their data into napari.

PONDD for Data Delivery

August 1, 2021

In collaboration with lead PI Amy Roberts of CU Denver, the DXL has been awarded a CSSI grant to support data delivery mechanisms for astrophysics datasets under NSF OAC-2103778.

Chris Havlin joins DXL

July 1, 2020

The Data Exploration Lab welcomes Chris Havlin as a Research Scientist in the School of Information Sciences! Chris brings with him extensive experience in the geosciences and computational sciences, and we’re excited to work together on projects.

Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation support yt development

November 1, 2019



September 1, 2019

In collaboration with Materials Sciences researchers at the University of Illinois, we are proud to work on the QMC-HAMM project. This work is funded by the Department of Energy (DOE DE-SC0020177) under the working title: “From accurate correlated quantum simulations to mesoscopic scales,” and is led by David Ceperly from the University of Illinois.

DIGI-MAT awarded

September 1, 2019

The DIGI-MAT program, under NSF-1922758, has been funded! This program, led by PI Harley Johnson, is an NRT program to train graduate students in data and informatics for materials science research.

Sam Walkow participates in Mozilla Working Open Cohort

March 2, 2019

Samantha Walkow, an Informatics PhD student advised by Assistant Professor Matthew Turk, has been accepted into the Mozilla Open Leaders Program. The 14-week mentorship and project management program focuses on internet health and openness. Walkow is part of a cohort in the “culture track,” in which participants learn how to design and build an open culture that promotes participation and inclusion.

Crops in Silico funded by FFAR

January 1, 2019

The five year, $5M project “Crops in Silico - Increasing Crop Production by Connecting Models from the Microscale to the Macroscale” (FFAR-602757) led by Amy Marshall-Colon with co-investigators including Meagan Lang and Matthew Turk of the DXL has been funded! This project will support the development of digital models for crop growth and address the needs of a population living in a rapidly changing climate.

widgyts first release

December 19, 2018

Members of the DXL have been working on widgyts, a custom Jupyter widgets package to work with yt. The first official release, 0.3.0, was announced this week. You can read the official release announcement here and use the widgets in a live demo on the yt hub.

Elisha joins the DXL

October 25, 2018

Hi! I’m Elisha, an intern from Uni High. I’m so excited to work here! I’ll be periodically posting blog updates about my work in the DXL!

Madicken attends the Grace Hopper Celebration

September 28, 2018

Madicken, a postdoc in the DXL, was sponsored along with three other NCSA staff members by the NCSA Director’s office to attend the Grace Hopper Celebration. Over the past few days, she has been at GHC with 22,000 other attendees in Houston, TX. Madicken is particularly interested in the open source track, which is new at GHC this year.

Mapping Radar Data in yt

August 17, 2018

The Data Exploration Lab collaborated with the ARM Climate Research Team from the Argonne National Laboratory in a week long coding sprint to create and improve functions for weather radar data in yt. A front end to support and display radial datasets was created, allowing yt to render 2D radial grids and slice plots.

unyt released

June 12, 2018

The project unyt has been officially released! Nathan Goldbaum has extracted the unit-handling code from yt and provided it as a fast, standalone library for use in other python projects.

SWC Curriculum Advisory Committee

May 7, 2018

DXL postdoc Madicken Munk joined the Software Carpentry Curriculum Advisory Committee as a curriculum advisor for the Software Carpentry lesson stack in The Carpentries. Congratulations, Madicken!

NSF SI2 PI meeting

May 1, 2018

DXL research scientist Nathan Goldbaum attended the NSF Software Infrastructure for Sustained Innovation PI workshop in Washington DC. Nathan presented a poster and gave a lightning talk on updates and developments in yt.

JLESC Workshop

April 19, 2018

DXL PhD student Colleen Heinemann attended the 8th Joint Lab for Extreme Scale Computing (JLESC) workshop in Barcelona, Spain.

URSSI Workshop

April 12, 2018

This past week DXL research scientist Nathan Goldbaum attended a workshop for the US Research Software Sustainability Institute (URSSI) in Berkeley, CA.

Art and Analytics

March 9, 2018

Cray Inc. featured DXL PhD student Colleen Heinemann and her work in a video this week. Very cool Colleen!

DISC Unconference 2017

November 30, 2017

DXL group member Nathan Goldbaum attended and participated in the 2017 Diversity and Inclusion in Scientific Computing (DISC) Unconference held at PyData NYC 2017.

Binder Workshop 2017

October 30, 2017

DXL group member Kacper Kowalik attended the 2017 Binder Workshop in Davis, CA.

ADASS 2017

October 27, 2017

DXL research scientist Nathan Goldbaum attended the Astronomical Data Analysis Software and Systems (ADASS) conference in Santiago, Chile over the past week. Nathan gave an invited talk on Extracting Insights from Astrophysics Simulations.

NumFOCUS Summit 2017

October 11, 2017

DXL members Matt Turk and Nathan Goldbaum both participated in the NumFOCUS Summit on sustainability in Austin, TX.

Madicken joins the DXL

September 1, 2017

Madicken Munk has joined the DXL as a postdoc. Welcome Madicken!

SciPy 2017

July 17, 2017

Meagan Lang and Nathan Goldbaum attended SciPy 2017 this past week in Austin, TX. They presented a talk on yt and hosted a yt-focused sprint.

Crops in silico 2017

June 29, 2017

DXL research scientist Meagan Lang attended the Crops In silico symposium and workshop in Oxford, England over the past few days. Meagan gave an invited talk on her work for Crops in silico, entitled A Computational Framework for Connecting Models Across Languages and Scales.


March 13, 2017

Nathan Goldbaum attended the Docathon, a hackathon for documentation, at the Berkeley Institute for Data Science this past week. Nathan worked on documentation fixes for yt.

Turk joins Faculty

September 9, 2016

DXL Group Leader Matt Turk has joined the University of Illinois faculty, joint between the School of Information Sciences and the Department of Astronomy.

Alex Lindsay joins the DXL

September 1, 2016

In collaboration with the ARFC, Alex Lindsay has joined the DXL as a postdoc. Welcome, Alex!

yt Hub

May 6, 2016

We have launched the yt hub, a platform for data sharing and analysis. For more information, visit hub.yt or read Kacper’s announcement


April 10, 2016

OpenGL-based interactive data visualization has been merged into the development version of yt.

New Website

March 30, 2016

The DXL has launched a new website, based on the Regolith project.


March 29, 2016

Nathan Goldbaum presented his work on releasing large datasets via NDS Labs at PyAstro16, along with a lightning talk on PyMinecraft.