May 2023 Newsletter

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Announcing Our Newest Sponsored Projects: GeoPandas, Holoviz, and scverse

If you're already using or not yet familiar with these projects, we invite you to visit their websites to learn more about their applications, communities, and opportunities to contribute.

  • GeoPandas makes working with geospatial data in Python easier. It combines the capabilities of pandas and shapely, providing geospatial operations in pandas and a high-level interface to multiple geometries to shapely. GeoPandas enables you to easily do operations in Python that would otherwise require a spatial database such as PostGIS.

  • HoloViz is a set of interoperable tools for making sense of data at any scale, primarily through visualization in a web browser. These high-level tools are systematically layered, allowing users to quickly build with high-level interfaces and drop down to lower levels when precise control is required. This layered approach results in visualizations that are immediately usable but can then continue to be inspected, pulled apart, reconfigured, and recomposed as needed. Whether conducting exploratory analysis or building complex dashboards, HoloViz tools are designed to work together to solve the entire problem of understanding and communicating data visually: hvPlot (interactive plotting built on Bokeh, Matplotlib, and Plotly), Panel (interactive apps and dashboards), Datashader (server-side rendering of large datasets), Colorcet (perceptually based colormapping), HoloViews and GeoViews (declarative high-level data description and plotting), Lumen (low-code and no-code plotting and apps), and Param (support for declarative parameter-based coding).

  • scverse is a consortium of foundational tools for the analysis of omics data in life sciences. It was founded to ensure the long-term maintenance of these core tools. scverse core tools facilitate sharing data through common formats and provide foundational support for single-cell datatypes and analyses. These tools benefit from shared maintenance and development in the scverse GitHub organization. scverse core tools are expected to interface with and be supplemented by other tools in the ecosystem. scverse strives for synergy and interoperability with the ecosystem of packages built around these core tools to ultimately provide users a cutting-edge and varied selection of analysis methods.


Now Hiring - Open Source Science Program Manager 

We're looking for someone who would like to work with the open science community to facilitate a network for communication, collaboration and needs assessment. The Open Source Science (OSSci) Program Manager will also help NumFOCUS projects connect with researchers across academia, government, and industry. If this sounds like you or someone you know, please let us know. 

You can learn more about the position and how to apply on our blog.

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JuliaCon 2023 

Tickets are available, and the schedule has been released for JuliaCon 2023 online and in person, July 25-29.

The conference will feature talks and workshops showcasing the Julia programming language and its uses and applications. Please visit for more information.

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PyData Updates

PyData London - June 2-4

Don't miss out on our 8th annual PyData London in just a few weeks. Get your tickets now!

PyData Amsterdam - September 14-16

Kicking off our fall conferences, we will be heading to PyData Amsterdam September 14-16. We would love you to join us as an attendee or a speaker. Submit a talk or tutorial proposal by June 11.

PyData Seattle 

NumFOCUS and the PyData Seattle committee would like to thank everyone for making PyData Seattle 2023 a fantastic conference. With 500 attendees from around the globe, we appreciate your participation in the conference and look forward to continuing to build our community.


SciPy 2023

Tickets are available, and the schedule has been released for the 22nd annual SciPy Conference in Austin, TX, July 10 -16. SciPy brings together industry, academia, and government attendees to showcase their latest projects, learn from skilled users and developers, and collaborate on code development. We hope to see you there.

Want to lead a BoF? The call for BoF proposals is now open. Birds of a feather (BoFs) are a way to build communities through guided open discussions around topics of interest. The deadline for proposals is June 17. Learn more at

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OSSci Updates

The inaugural IEEE Symposium on Open Source Science (OSS) will showcase the impact of open-source technology on scientific advancements and highlight OSSci. It will bring together experts from academia, research, and industry to discuss how open-source software is helping drive discoveries and breakthroughs in various scientific fields, including cybersecurity, material sciences, climate and sustainability, healthcare and life sciences, etc.  Submissions are now open for the inaugural IEEE OSS Awards and the OSS Expo! Click here to learn more.
OSSci will also be participating in Scale by the Bay - November 13–15, Oakland, CA
Join Scale By the Bay (SBTB) for its 10th-anniversary community conference for developers and global leaders in data, operations, ML, and the art and craft of software engineering. New this year, an “Accelerate by the Bay” track focused on accelerating science through open sourcewill feature OSSci. Call for proposals is now open! Learn more at
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Sponsored Project Announcements

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The ArviZ project is expanding, and are happy to announce its new member: PreliZ.

PreliZ is a Python package aimed at helping practitioners choose prior distributions. It is built on top of SciPy and ipywidgets, among other packages, of the Python scientific stack. Currently, it includes tools for prior elicitation of 1D distributions, like the roulette method and the maxent (maximum entropy) function, and also tools for predictive elicitation. One of the main goals of PreliZ is to facilitate predictive elicitation, where information provided in the space of observable quantities is converted into valid prior distributions.

There is still a lot of work to do, and the project is looking for feedback from the community to improve PreliZ and make it more useful.

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Astropy is hiring a Community Manager.  Please amplify this posting among your networks! 

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  • C-Blosc2 2.9.1, with support for dynamic plugins, has been released.  Check out this blog post for more information.
  • Python-Blosc 2.2.1, with the latest C-Blosc2 included, is now public. With that, dynamic plugins can be used from Python, too!

PyTables project
Blosc will utilize a NumFOCUS grant to leverage multi-dimensional Blosc2 super-chunks with the HDF5 enhanced direct chunk capabilities.  

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Blog posts

Sign up for a free, hour-long Dask tutorial session. The next sessions are on May 24 and June 7 at 11 am EDT.

Dask will be at PyData London in June! Thanks to those who attended PyCon DE & PyData Berlin and PyData Seattle.

Hiring Update
Coiled is hiring! You can view and apply for open positions here.

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Get Your Brain Together Hackathon, May 22-23! Click here for more information. 

Blog post
Check out the recent post by ITK on the Jupyter Blog on how to "Embed interactive itkwidgets 3D renderings into JupyterLite deployments".

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Julia is excited to announce the release of Julia 1.9, the fastest version of Julia to date. Read more in the announcement blog post!

Tickets are still available for JuliaCon 2023 both online and in person July 25-29. Consider joining the world's largest Julia event!

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Check out this recent blog announcement about new work at LFortran!

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Matplotlib is excited to announce support for PEP484/mypy compatible type hints. Type hints are slated to be released with Matplotlib v3.8.0, due out this summer. While still considered provisional for the initial rollout, the project welcomes downstream projects which are type hinted to test out using our type hints to help ensure their correctness early.

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The SolvationAnalysis package is now published in the Journal of Open Science Software (JOSS).

Outreach and Mentorship


  • MDAnalysis is hosting its first-ever user group meeting (UGM) in Lisbon, Portugal, on September 27-29, 2023! Save the date and stay tuned for more information and announcements.
  • The project seeks partnerships with organizations that want to collaborate with MDAnalysis to offer online teaching workshops. If you are interested, please fill out this Google form.
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Mars Lee has been selected as the technical writer for NumPy for this year’s GSoD program. The title of her project is “NumPy Contributor Journey Comics”. To learn about the project roadmap, read Mars’ blog post on Medium.

Contributor Experience Project
Pamphile Roy (SciPy) and Marco Gorelli (pandas) join the Contributor Experience Lead Team to support the work on the CZI grant “Advancing an Inclusive Culture in the Scientific Python ecosystem” in their projects.

May Ireland, the DEI consultant on this grant, presented at the PyConUS’23 Maintainers Summit her findings from the discovery stage of developing a DEI action plan for the four funded projects:

As part of the CZI DEI grant, NumPy, SciPy, Matplotlib, and pandas, the four funded projects have released a report highlighting areas of focus for the coming months. Members of the broader open source and open science communities are invited to participate in a series of the Culture Labs to discuss and actively work on improving communication, conflict mediation, and creating a culture of belonging in our communities. For more information, click here

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Contributing tests to pandas is a great way to get started as a new contributor in our community. Check out an upcoming New Contributor Meeting by visiting the pandas contributor community calendar.

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The monthly release was version 23.4 (and a patch 23.4.1). The main change is that Python 3.10 and 3.11 is now supported. 

PyBaMM received three GSoC contributors and is looking forward to working with them.

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The R-universe node stack now provides data export links, which use webr to convert pkg datasets on the fly to JSON (via jsonlite), xlsx (via writexl), csv (via data.table), etc. Try it yourself, for instance with the webchem package's two datasets.


Call for maintainers


Affiliated Project Announcements

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AiiDA v2.3 was released on April 17.

This is a minor release that comes with various new features and many bug fixes. The release adds direct support for running codes within Docker containers in any workflow. The usability of process functions has been improved significantly, with automated type checking through type annotation and support for variadic arguments.The change log contains a complete overview of all improvements and fixes.

The minor version 4.3 of our flagship aiida-quantumespresso plugin has been released, which comes with some major new features:

  • Support for Hubbard corrections in Quantum ESPRESSO > v7.1 by implementing the HubbardStructureData data type.
  • The XpsWorkChain to compute the XPS spectra using core-hole pseudo potentials and the pw.x code.
    Improved support for phonon calculations with the ph.x code.

The change log contains a complete overview of all improvements and fixes.

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@jackiekazil ran a Mesa sprint at PyCon in Salt Lake City, and there were 12-14 attendees over two days, with individuals continuing for an additional few days.

Sprint highlights: 

  • Fixed bugs
  • Started and continuing to work on an overhaul of our documentation 
  • Cleared out a few stale PRs that were hanging out 
  • Made some commands more user-friendly
  • Onboarded a few contributors to the project
  • Found a bug in the CI/CD pipeline in Codespell that doesn't handle images or pngs well that was produced by Jupyter notebooks and does not allow for regexes either to ignore them.
  • The team submitted a ticket to try to solve the Jupyter notebook parsing issue with codespell.

Over the next few months, Mesa is going to make a push to release Mesa 2.0, that will upgrade many features and have a  faster cython-based grid processor. Mesa has also identified that it is reaching a new phase in its development. This has  posed several hard questions. How can Mesa be more open to new contributors, as it is requiring high programming standards for contributors without experience? How can Mesa move faster, being an open source, volunteer-based library?

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Optuna v3.2 is just around the corner! Many exciting features and improvements being wrapped up for a release later in May

Optuna-dashboard updates:

Meetup event with Weights & Biases in Tokyo

  • Joined by Carey Phelps from Weights & Biases
  • Sharing early work on Human-in-the-loop optimization
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pyhf v0.7.1 is out on PyPI and Conda-forge (Tweet). This is a small patch release with the following highlights:

  • All backends (SciPy, TensorFlow, PyTorch, JAX) are now fully compatible and tested with Python 3.11.
  • The tensorflow extra ('pyhf[tensorflow]') now automatically installs tensorflow-macos for Apple silicon machines.

Please see the release notes for a full list of changes.

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Yellowbrick has climbed to over 4,000 stars on GitHub. If you don't already, please follow the project on GitHub and follow the Yellowbrick Twitter (@scikit-yb) for the latest updates.


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