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Happy birthday, Ada Lovelace

12 December 2012 Leave a comment

It’s a bit late here down under. But I’m going to say it anyway: Happy birthday, Ada Lovelace. Here’s a nice synopsis about the first computer programmer.

2011 Spies Prize: Robert Bradshaw

18 July 2011 Leave a comment

This year, Robert Bradshaw is the winner of the Annual Spies Sage Development Prize. Congratulations, Robert! Here is the prize citation:

Robert Bradshaw has been an extremely active and productive Sage developer for over five years. Additionally, he has been a leader, both in maintaining the community and in important design decisions.

He is probably best known for his work on Cython, which is critical for the performance of many key parts of Sage, and his work designing and implementing the coercion model, which makes many powerful mathematical constructions possible. However, his interests and significant contributions are wide-ranging, including: exact linear algebra, arithmetic of elliptic curves, L-functions, 3-D plotting and parallel building. A recent project is the patchbot tool, which automates testing contributions posted on trac. Moreover, he is an important contributor to trouble-shooting and design discussions in the sage-devel forum and is also the third most numerous poster of all time in the sage-support forum.

For his many important technical contributions, and his long-time and continuing involvement in the Sage community, Robert Bradshaw is awarded the 2011 Spies Sage Development Prize. This award carries a prize of $500 from the Sage Foundation (thanks to Jaap Spies).

Happy Software Freedom Day 2010

19 September 2010 Leave a comment

Saturday 18th September 2010 is Software Freedom Day, a day to celebrate and raise awareness of free and open source software in your city. This year’s celebration for Melbourne, Victoria was held at the State Library of Victoria. The various stalls were setup in the library’s Experimedia venue, while a series of parallel talks and workshops went on in three different rooms. The timetable for the talks and workshop is below and some photos I took during the day are available.

I caught up with many familiar faces during the day and made many more new friends. One of my friends brought me a packed lunch so I would have something to eat during the day. It was also nice to meet Richard Jones for the first time, the person who originally wrote gdmodule, which is a component of Sage. Thanks, Richard!

During the day I coordinated the short talks: looking after the speakers, arranging to get them to the venue in time to adequately prepare their talks, introducing speakers, and chasing them around the library to ensure they know where the talk venue is. I find it rather inconvenient that the talks and workshops venues were cut off and rather far from where the main stalls were. I think this contributed to visitors’ confusion about where the talks and workshops were held. But I was surprised that each talk and workshop were very well attended. Volunteers during the day wore a distinctive orange t-shirt. (I joked early on in the day that it was an Orange Revolution.) Volunteers guided visitors to the talks and workshops venues. I myself played the role of a guide during the day, walking from one end of the library to the other. At the end of the day, one of the library staff joked that I must had walked a few miles or more.