We had a number of interesting visitors at Berkeley today. Guido van Rossum, the creator of Python, came to a special meeting of our Py4science group. Fernando Perez started the meeting with a 15-minute whirlwind overview of scientific computing with Python. He started by quickly presenting the basic stack of scientific software in Python, which most of us use. And he finished by highlighting some of Andrew Straw's recent work, the central role Python plays at the Space Telescope Science Institute, some of Enthought's contributions to the community, and the FOSSEE project run by Prabhu Ramachandran.
After Fernando finished his introduction, we heard nine short 4-minute lightning talks in rapid succession. This format really underscored how important Python is for so many different scientific disciplines. In addition to several presentations by faculty, staff, and students from UC Berkeley and LBL, we were fortunate to have two other visitors. William Stein spoke about Sage before running upstairs to present at the number theory seminar. And Ondřej Čertík spoke about sympy.
Following the formal presentations, Fernando facilitated an open discussion with Guido where we talked about everything from the transition to Python 3000 to the unladen swallow project. Hopefully, Fernando will post more details including links to the slides on his blog soon.