2018 Fellows: Kimberly Orr & Nabarun Pal
NumFOCUS and Matplotlib are pleased to announce the selection of Kimberly Orr and Nabarun Pal as the 2018 John Hunter Matplotlib Summer Fellows.
About the Fellowship
The John Hunter Matplotlib Summer Fellowship, named in memory of Matplotlib creator John Hunter, sponsors one to two students to work full-time for 3 months on Matplotlib during the summer (in the northern hemisphere), supervised and mentored by a senior contributor from the project. The fellowship is designed to help prepare recipients to become active contributors and core maintainers of Matplotlib.
Kimberly grew up in Cedar Park, Texas, where she initially discovered her love of programming in her high school computer science classes. She has just completed her junior year as a computer science and statistics double major at Valparaiso University. Kimberly is actively involved in Valpo’s student chapter of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM), where she enjoys promoting women’s involvement in the field and sharing her passions for software engineering and data science.
When not doing schoolwork or working as a Teaching Assistant for introductory CS classes, Kimberly enjoys playing oboe in the university’s symphony orchestra and playing handbells in the university’s handbell choir. After college, she hopes to pursue a career in software engineering and/or data science.
Excerpt from Kimberly’s Application
As a research intern at the University of Notre Dame last summer, I did research in network science to develop a method to compare complex networks. As a part of this internship, I became familiar with Matplotlib and ggplot as I created charts to visualize the results of the method that I developed. In my statistics colloquium, each year, we discuss and debate what goes into making good visualizations in a variety of settings. This class sparked my passion for data visualization and, in my spare time, I now enjoy reading articles and blog posts about different types of visualizations, visualization grammars, and the various software tools that are available. In my software development and design course, I became very familiar with GitHub and the Bokeh plotting library as I led a team through an intensive semester-long project to build a web application to perform data visualization and analysis on data uploaded by users. In this project, I helped teach team members how to use GitHub and I became my team’s expert on the Bokeh and Pandas libraries.
Nabarun Pal is a final year undergraduate student at Indian Institute of Technology Roorkee. He hails from Agartala, the capital of Tripura in Northeast India. He is enthusiastic about open source software development. In his free time, he loves to code, read books or tinker with embedded hardware. Nabarun can also discuss about Internet of Things, Electronics, Robotics with equal spirit. His journey with the field of software and robotics started in his schooling days. He has been representing the college in competitions such as Inter IIT Tech Meet, ABU Robocon, Mercari Hackathon etc. and was involved in projects related to the above domains. He actively participates in conducting open lectures for students in the domains of Introductory Robotics and Control through a curated community of around 2000 members. Besides all the technical stuff, he is an avid foodie, a music buff and loves to read books on his Kindle.
Excerpt from Nabarun’s Application
During my period of study at the university, I have done several projects and internships related or not related to software development. But most projects had a software component as this was the part I was most concerned with since my junior high school. The internship that I did during my previous summer break was a great learning opportunity and answered my questions on whether to pursue robotics or software engineering as a career. The work done under my mentor was very enlightening in a sense which helped shape my thought process, and to the extent that I could have the opportunity to present my work at PyData Delhi 2017, PyCon India 2017 and FOSSASIA Summit 2018, with the last two being nearly similar. My endeavours with Python started three and a half years back and can definitely say that I am proficient in Python and between an Intermediate to an Advanced user of Python. Last summer, during the internship, I co-authored a functions-as-a-service framework, firefly, helping the data scientists to deploy web services from Python functions just by using a configuration file or directly from the command line. I knew Git since my sophomore year at university but the learnt the real power of it the moment I started contributing to open source projects. I am familiar with Numpy, Pandas and Matplotlib on an operational level through my projects on predictive modelling.
About John Hunter
John Hunter was the creator of Matplotlib and one of the founding board members of NumFOCUS. Husband to Miriam and father to three daughters—Clara, Ava, and Rahel—was diagnosed with cancer in late July 2012. He passed away on August 28, 2012 from complications arising from necessary cancer treatment.
NumFOCUS sponsored projects have helped me immeasurably in my work. I can’t imagine not giving back and supporting them in turn.