NumFOCUS History

Founded in 2012…

In the early Oughts, the open source scientific computing community was reaching a critical point of maturity for Numeric/Numpy, IPython, Matplotlib, and SciPy. By 2010, a critical mass of projects were in need of a more formal structure to provide support and help to organize the community.

…enter NumFOCUS!

Travis Oliphant (author of NumPy), Fernando Pérez (author of IPython), Perry Greenfield (author of Numarray and Astropy), John Hunter (author of Matplotlib), Jarrod Millman (release manager for SciPy), and Anthony Scopatz (who came up with the name “NumFOCUS”) became the founding board of NumFOCUS. Leah Silen was selected as the founding Executive Director. In fall of 2012, NumFOCUS received 501(c)(3) public charity status as a nonprofit in the United States. 

Early financial support for NumFOCUS was made possible through the generosity of our first corporate sponsors and the launch of the PyData educational event series. 

Continuum Analytics (now Anaconda) provided integral support on many levels during the early years of NumFOCUS. This included space for the first NumFOCUS office, support staff, and salary of the Executive Director. They also launched the first PyData and contributed many resources and funds to the early events which made it possible for event proceeds to directly support NumFOCUS.

“I am proud of the work I did to help start NumFOCUS. I’m proud of the funding and people-time that Continuum provided (even as a strapped startup) to get NumFOCUS and PyData started. It has been amazing to watch the community-based, organic, and independent growth of NumFOCUS. It took effort and resources to jump-start, but now it is moving along with a diverse community driving it. It is a great organization to join and contribute effort to.

~Travis Oliphant, Founding Board Member

Microsoft made a large donation in 2013 for NumFOCUS to use to support IPython, our first fiscally sponsored project. A donation from J.P. Morgan was also received that year to support our women in technology programs (now Diversity & Inclusion in Scientific Computing — DISC) and the John Hunter Technology Fellowship.

NumFOCUS Corporate Sponsors

Bloomberg logo
Microsoft
Facebook wordmark
rstudio
AWS logo
Two Sigma logo
NVIDIA logo
QuantumBlack log
IMC logo black & white
Netflix
Colruyt Group logo
Moderna logo
Optiver logo with orange triangle
Chicago Trading Company
Geotab logo
QuanSight
CarGurus logo
Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation
Alfred P. Sloan Foundation

Bloomberg logo
Microsoft
Facebook wordmark
rstudio
AWS logo
Two Sigma logo
NVIDIA logo
QuantumBlack log
IMC logo black & white
Netflix
Colruyt Group logo
Moderna logo
Optiver logo with orange triangle
Chicago Trading Company
Geotab logo
QuanSight
CarGurus logo
Alfred P. Sloan Foundation
Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation