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Quansight presence at SciPy'19

Published July 15, 2019



Ralf Gommers

Yesterday the SciPy'19 conference ended. It was a lot of fun, and very productive. You can really feel that there's a lot of energy in the community, and that it's growing and maturing. This post is just a quick update to summarize Quansight's presence and contributions, as well as some of the more interesting things I noticed.

A few highlights

The "Open Source Communities" track, which had a strong emphasis on topics like burnout, diversity and sustainability, as well as the keynotes by Stuart Geiger ("The Invisible Work of Maintaining and Sustaining Open-Source Software") and Carol Willing ("Jupyter: Always Open for Learning and Discovery") showed that many more people and projects are paying more attention to and evolving their thinking on the human and organizational aspects of open source.

I did not go to many technical talks, but did make sure to catch Matt Rocklin's talk "Refactoring the SciPy Ecosystem for Heterogeneous Computing". Matt clearly explained some key issues and opportunities around the state of array computing libraries in Python - I highly recommend watching this talk.

Abigail Cabunoc Mayes' talk "Work Open, Lead Open (#WOLO) for Sustainability" was fascinating - it made me rethink the governance models and roles we use for our projects, and I worked on some of her concrete suggestions during the sprints.

Finally, the number of people interested in helping grow the community and projects was a highlight. In my own talk I identified a number of things that we (the NumPy project) were not doing well or not doing at all, and for literally every single concrete item or action I mentioned I had one or more people come up to me to volunteer their time and expertise. So I'll definitely be sticking my hand up with a "we could really use some help here" more often in the coming months.

Contributions by Quansight people

Carol Willing gave a fascinating keynote, Jupyter: Always Open for Learning and Discovery.

Anthony Scopatz must have lost out on some sleep: he gave a talk, Inequality of Underrepresented Groups in Core Project Leadership, co-taught two tutorials, Xonsh - Bringing Python Data Science to your Shell and RAPIDS: Open GPU Data Science, and entertailed us hosting the lightning talks every day (together with Paul Ivanov).

Aaron Meurer taught the RAPIDS tutorial with Anthony, and co-organized a Birds-of-a-Feather (BoF) session about SymPy.

I gave a talk, Inside NumPy: Preparing for the Next Decade and co-organized and moderated a BoF: Mechanisms and Governance Issues for Funding Open Source Software in Science (a lot of ideas to follow up on from that!).

Chris Ostrouchov, Travis Oliphant, and Ivan Ogasawara gave lightning talks (I may be forgetting someone here, it was impossible to keep track of everything that was going on). James Bourbeau and Dharhas Pothina were also present; all of us stayed for the sprints, where we did everything from helping new people make their first open source contributions to in-depth design discussions, code review, and sketching out how the organizational structure of NumPy should be transformed.

I hope to see many of you at SciPy'20 next year!

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