The first annual NumFOCUS Awards Dinner was held at the NumFOCUS Summit on the evening of Saturday, September 22, 2018.
As part of building a culture of recognition and mutual respect, we recognized award recipients who have made substantial contributions to our projects, to our ecosystem, and to the open source scientific computing movement. These awards are meant to highlight exceptional technical, community, and organizational efforts supporting our projects.
We also took time to recognize and honor new contributors to our community — these contributors were selected by the leaders of their project for particular recognition.
NumFOCUS congratulates and thanks all honorees for their outstanding contributions to our community.
Community Leadership Award
Ian was instrumental in launching and growing the PyData London conference and meetup chapter — the largest and most active in the world (over 8k members!). His tireless efforts and good humour (spelled the British way) helped build an incredibly robust community of PyData enthusiasts in the UK. Many regard Ian as a mentor and role model, and he continues to successfully champion new growth for PyData in Europe and elsewhere.
Project Sustainability Award
Kelle has been an incredibly effective advocate for Astropy within the astronomy community. Her work to help organize and formalize the processes and governance of the project have created a strong structure for future growth of the project. Kelle has also been a leader in creating and maintaining a culture of inclusion within Astropy, which has resulted in successful recruitment and retention of a diverse contributor base. Her efforts have meaningfully advanced Astropy along the path to long-term sustainability for the project.
Corporate Stewardship Award
Shahrokh has been a champion of NumFOCUS projects and programs within Microsoft for a number of years. Thanks to his advocacy, PyData Seattle was held at Microsoft for the first time in 2015 and then again in 2017; Microsoft has also played host to PyData NYC as well as, most recently, the NumFOCUS Summit. Shahrokh is an evangelist and active participant for corporate support of open source scientific computing.
New Contributor Acknowledgments
While a long-time contributor, Lia Corrales has stepped up in the last year as the content lead for the Astropy Tutorials. As part of this she has organized several tutorials workshops and co-working time, and her efforts have brought new life to this previously under-supported yet important element of the Astropy Project.
Simon Conseil has been a steady contributor to the astropy core package since 2015, with more than 100 pull requests merged. He has more recently taken on the daunting role of being a maintainer for a complex and abstruse I/O package in astropy which interfaces with FITS, the dominant data format in astronomy. The original (and sole) developer of this package left the project several years ago, and Simon has now taken on a leadership role for this package. He has contributed important new functionality and made fixes to the FITS code and participated in reviews that were not at all trivial.
Karel van de Plassche
Karel has made contributions to Bokeh infrastructure, including a Docker container, as well as fixed several bugs related to Bokeh data sources. He has also provided valuable support help to users on the Gitter chat channel.
Eugene first arrived on the Bokeh tracker in early 2017. He has made more than 40 issues, resulting in useful discussions and 20 valuable completed PRs. He himself has made a dozen PRs so far, making improvements to documentation, thread safety, and Bokeh widgets.
Anthony is one of the more recent new contributors, and showed up with a laser focus. He added missing hit-testing capability so several glyphs, and made fixes to bugs in hit-testing in others.
Bang-Shiuh Chen is a graduate student at Purdue University who is using Cantera as part of his research. He has rapidly matured from the early days as a new user with no experience with C++ or contributing to open source software, to implementing new capabilities, submitting them as pull requests, and working with the other developers to fully integrate these features into Cantera. The new features implemented by Bang-Shiuh, which include calculation of transport properties for ionized species and the implementation of a model for simulating ionized flames, extend the physical modeling capabilities of Cantera in a way which will be useful to many other Cantera users. The modifications made in order to add this model are in a part of Cantera, the 1D flame solver, which many users are interested in modifying but often struggle with due to the complexity of the numerical methods involved. Bang-Shiuh’s additions can serve as a blueprint for future users who wish to make similar modifications.
Through her participation in the Google Summer of Code program this year, Yuanjie made two very important contributions to the Cantera software community. First, she developed a plug flow reactor model with surface chemistry, which has been incorporated as an example to be distributed with the software download. This is an item that has been on the wishlist for a number of Cantera users and developers for some time, and her work both addresses an important need in the community and also serves as a platform that can be extended with additional capabilities going forward. Second, Yuanjie’s participation serves as an exemplary case for how to broaden the base of Cantera developers and contributors. Through her interactions with other developers and her ability to incorporate improvements to her code, Yuanjie serves as an important example for how other Cantera users can become Cantera developers and make significant contributions to the code base.
Christopher Wright (CJ) is one of the newest members of the conda-forge core team. However, in that short amount of time he has lead a revolution in the automation of conda-forge package updates and migrations. CJ, together with the GSoC student Justin Calamari whom he mentored with summer, implemented what has become affectionately known as “The Bot,” which is a feedstock modification framework capable of “topologically crawling” conda-forge’s dependency graph. This tooling is now being used to solve one the panoply of challenges that face conda-forge on a daily basis. This includes the hardest task to-date: a complete rebuild of all conda-forge packages using new compilers in order to be ABI compatible with modern versions of C++. Thanks to CJ and the rest of the Bot team that worked with him, conda-forge will be able to complete this herculean task in just a few weeks, rather than the years it took to perform previous smaller, more benign migrations.
There are many advantages to having software packaged in popular distribution formats. For one, it makes it easy for users to try out a package without committing a lot of time to compiling from source. Ubuntu packages are one of the most popular ways for users to install FEniCS. During our transition from Python2 to Python3, Drew was very helpful in packaging FEniCS for Ubuntu and Debian. Now he has taken up the challenge of packaging the
latest version, with pybind11 as a dependency. Keeping all the dependencies working can be very time consuming! We would like to recognize his contribution to the sustainability of the FEniCS community.
Pietro has, over the last few months, helped create significant new libraries that make building web user interfaces in Julia state of the art. He’s been one of our GSoC students this summer, but has made significant contributions both before and after, taking ownership of large parts of our web UI platforms.
Michael has helped expand the Julia ecosystem by working on providing interoperability with other languages, frameworks and databases. He has also been very active in helping new users on our forums.