December Newsletter
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What's in this month's NumFOCUS newsletter?

  1. NumFOCUS End-of-Year Fundraising Drive
  2. Diversity in Scientific Computing Committee
  3. NumFOCUS Representative Needed in Europe
  4. Project Updates

It’s been a fantastic year for NumFOCUS and we would like to thank everyone involved. Contributions like yours help to build the global community of open source scientific computing and advance great projects like these: 


Support open source this season by donating to NumFOCUS' End-of-Year Fundraising Drive. Your tax-deductible gift will help us to:    
  • Fiscally sponsor 18 scientific computing projects    
  • Organize and sponsor conferences around the world    
  • Provide Diversity Scholarships to underrepresented groups    
  • Distribute grants to projects to increase sustainability of open source data science tools        

Diversity in Scientific Computing Committee

As we look forward to the new year, we are excited to form a committee for the NumFOCUS Diversity in Scientific Computing Initiative. We are currently looking for a committee chair to head up these efforts. If you are interested in serving as the chair or as a member of the committee contact us at Also, please subscribe to the DISC mailing list to participate in diversity discussions and get involved!

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Needed: NumFOCUS Representative in Europe!

With so many conferences coming up, our small staff relies heavily on volunteers to represent NumFOCUS. We need someone to be the official NumFOCUS representative for European events in 2017. This individual will help us promote NumFOCUS and connect with community members. Responsibilities may include running a booth, talking about our projects and of course handing out stickers!

If you are interested, live in Europe, and are able to travel, email us at Conference registration will be covered and a travel stipend provided if needed.

The Latest Updates from NumFOCUS Projects


Tutorials and talks about the Astropy package were featured in the recent User Training in JWST (James Webb Space Telescope) Data Analysis workshop held at the Space Telescope Science Institute from from Nov. 7 - 11.  A number of core developers were there to teach and interface with astronomers who will be analyzing JWST data after it is launched in 2018.  The JWST project provides funding for development of astropy itself along with other open-source projects that will form the core of JWST data analysis tools.

The end of November and early December saw a great crescendo of astropy development activity in advance of the  version 1.3 feature freeze on Dec. 7.  The target release date is Dec. 16.

 JuliaFEniCS 2016.2-
The FEniCS Project has made a new release, version 2016.2. The new release features several improvements and bug fixes, most notably improvements to XDMF input/output and the build system.
FEniCS web pages-
The FEniCS Project has released new web pages ( with new design.


    JuliaCon 2017 will be held at UC Berkeley June 20-24, 2017


We are happy to announce matplotlib v2.0.0rc1!

This is the first release candidate for the long awaited v2.0 release.  For the full details of what is new please click here. 


Announcing our first fellowship awarded to Dr. Nick Golding

rOpenSci's overarching mission is to promote a culture of transparent, open, and reproducible research across various scientific communities. To further promote these activities within specialized domains, through fellowships we provide support for collaborative research projects that strengthen one or more of rOpenSci's core efforts. We are pleased to award the first fellowship to Dr. Nick Golding to continue developing a framework for building and sharing reproducible species distribution models. Read our interview with Nick to learn about "the Zoon project", what he hopes to accomplish with this fellowship, and his perspective on rOpenSci.

New packages for geospatial data and text extraction
rOpenSci regularly releases new R software packages and we do our best to explain how to use them. Recent blog posts cover our growing suite of tools to work with geospatial data that can be used across disciplines like history, biology, business, tech, or public health, as well as new tools that enable extraction of text and data from images and pdfs. The tesseract package, for example, brings one of the best open-source OCR (optical character recognition) engines to R. This enables researchers or journalists, for example, to search and analyze vast numbers of documents that are only available in printed form.

Become a NumFOCUS Supporting Member

Supporting Members enjoy the right to vote on certain NumFOCUS actions, receive a 20% discount on PyData conferences, and are eligible for special discounts on products from our supporting partners and sponsors. 
Join as a Supporting Member
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