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Birds-of-a-feather sessions

We usually hold Birds of a Feather sessions in the evenings. This is a great occasion to discuss issues directly with the community, rather than on a mailing list.

Current schedule and locations for the BoFs can be found on the schedule on the conference site.

Proposed BoF sessions

Please add/vote for topics below!

  • Topic (coordinator: Person)
  • Attendee 1
  • Attendee 2
  • Chris Kees
  • David Goldsmith
  • Jon Guyer
  • Astronomy (coordinator: James Turner)

    Meet at 19:30 on Thursday on the steps in front of the (Beckman Institute) lecture hall and we'll probably head off somewhere for more drinks/food following the reception.

  • James Turner
  • Christopher Hanley
  • Perry Greenfield
  • Joe Harrington (can attend 5pm Wed - 8pm Fri)
  • Craig Allen
  • David Warde-Farley
  • Gael Varoquaux
  • Fernando Perez
  • Charles R Harris
  • David Goldsmith
  • Pauli Virtanen
  • Joe Harrington (can attend 5pm Wed - 8pm Fri)
  • Cython (coordinator: Dag Sverre Seljebotn)
  • Darren Dale
  • Kurt Smith
  • Dag Sverre Seljebotn
  • Christopher Barker
  • David Warde-Farley
  • Joe Harrington (can attend 5pm Wed - 8pm Fri)
  • David Goldsmith
  • Dav Clark
  • Andrew Straw
  • Gökhan Sever

Partial Differential Equations

List possible topics/areas of interest here.


Co-ordinating our development of astronomy libraries and whatever else people bring up.

Machine Learning/Probabilistic Modeling

What I (David W-F) am interested in is primarily reusable tools for doing {maximum likelihood, Bayesian} probabilistic modeling in Python. Lately a lot of options have popped up for quickly specifying and fitting/simulating models, including:

Obviously PyMC is the most promising given our preferred programming language but the others include interesting ideas too, for example Infer.NET features a compilation step whereby models are compiled to fast machine code; HBC can do the same by generating C code.

Some possible topics might include:

  • The learn scikit - what's it good at, what's it missing?
  • The maxentropy module - it took me a while to stumble upon it and recognize it as what I know as exponential family models. Could this code be reused, expanded, made more flexible?
  • The old idea of porting Kevin Murphy's Bayes net toolbox, which DavidC got permission to incorporate under the BSD license but none of us actually got around to doing. :) [Edit: there is a Python toolbox available at]
  • Things that make complicated models easier to implement and test, i.e. automatic differentiation (Sebastian Walter's pyadolc project is really cool and looks promising!)
  • New algorithms that might deserve a place in scipy.cluster, ways of improving the existing implementations
  • Package interoperability, data formats
  • Accelerating adoption among the machine learning community who are by and large MATLAB users
  • ??? (your idea here)

C Coders

List possible topics/areas of interest here.


Some topics:

  • Move towards PEP3118 as the primary array protocol rather than ndarray?
  • Cython templates?
  • Native SIMD in Cython -- good or bad?
  • Future direction of Cython in general


Topics to discuss:

  • Wrapping up NumPy docstrings: review process
  • scipy package docs
  • Tutorials
  • The SciPy User Guide: TOC, editorial process, timing
  • Organizing/indexing the Cookbook

Organization, Funding, and Future Direction of SciPy

I'd like to spend a strict 10 minutes on each of these, cutting off discussion and moving on after each item. After all 6 items, we can continue discussion on any item:

  • What are our long-term goals?
  • What are our current strengths and weaknesses?
  • How is our current Steering Committee/grass-roots model working?
  • Would funding help? What would we do with it? Would it require a change in how the community operates?
  • How can we get funding?
  • In the large, how should we proceed?

Behavioral Science and Data Wrangling

  • Overview of programming with and for beginning programmer / scientists (from Euro-CNS 2009)
  • Approaches to data storage / management / visualization (i.e. w/ netCDF or HDF5)
  • Stimulus presentation / Response collection (or more general experimental issues)
  • Hardware interfaces for I/O (LabJack, arduino?)

SciPy: SciPy2009/BoF (last edited 2015-10-24 17:48:23 by anonymous)