Monday, July 7, 2008

SciPy 2008 Conference Program posted

The SciPy 2008 Program Committee has just finalized the conference schedule for this year's conference. So I wanted to take the opportunity to mention some of the many things that have been going on leading up to this 7th annual meeting.

Since 2002, the conference has been driven almost entirely by Enthought (Austin, TX) with on-site co-ordination and assistance by the Center for Advanced Computing Research (Caltech, Pasadena, CA). This year the community took a much larger role in conference planning. I am co-chairing the conference with Travis Vaught of Enthought. Gaël Varoquaux and Stéfan van der Walt have invested a huge amount of time in developing a TurboGears conference website. We have also created a much larger program committee and tutorials committee with members from Europe, Africa, and North America. You can see the entire list of organizers here. During past conferences Enthought has sponsored a small number of students. This year we are also very excited that the Python Software Foundation (PSF) has agreed to help Enthought fund more student sponsorships for this year's conference–bringing the number of students to ten for the first time.

The tutorial committee has decided to offer two tutorial tracks this year, rather than one. The first is a two day in-depth introductory course to scientific computing with Python. The advanced track consists of eight two-hour sessions covering a variety of topics from building extensions to graphical user interfaces.

The program committee has done an excellent job putting together a very interesting schedule. We are very fortunate to have Alex Martelli for our keynote address this year. Although the conference will last the same number of days, there will be a larger number of shorter talks this year (16 talks last year to 23 talks this year). This will be the first year that we'll be publishing a proceedings book for selected talks. Travis Vaught and I will be giving the first annual "State of SciPy" talk. We will also have an expert panel discussion at the end of the conference.

Finally, we are extending the post-conference code sprint from one to two days. Last year the coding sprint was very successful, but there was a feeling that one day was too short. We are hoping to get a large number of participants this year. We already have commitments from several core NumPy, SciPy, IPython, SymPy, Mayavi, Numscons, and ETS developers.

Early registration ends on Friday, July 11, 2008.

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