[yt-dev] Good news about a yt grant
matthewturk at gmail.com
Thu Aug 10 09:31:14 PDT 2017
We (Nathan, Meagan, Kacper and I) wanted to share some good news.
We've recently received a grant from the NSF SI2 program; NCSA put out
a press release here:
(This includes a link to the full proposal, which goes into some detail.)
This is a five year grant, supporting part or all of a couple postdocs
(UIUC, Columbia, Wisconsin), a research scientist, some PI time and a
graduate student (along with some workshops). It has a couple areas
of development that we'll be working on. The strictly technical ones
will be related to improving non-spatial indexing, enabling "path"
queries in a more full way (think advanced streamlines) and an
all-new, symbolic field system. In a sense, these are things we're
already kind of familiar with how to work on -- YTEPs, code reivew,
documentation, testing, etc.
The part that's going to be harder -- from the social perspective --
is that we're going to be working harder to make yt an attractive
analysis and visualization system outside of astronomy, without losing
its attractiveness *within* astronomy.
This cross-domain effort ties into things like Britton's recent work
on splitting out yt_astro_analysis, and the idea of compartmentalizing
things a bit more within the frontends and whatnot.
We've identified an advisory board with folks from geophysics,
weather, oceanography, nuclear engineering, plasma physics and
observational astro, and we're going to spin up a couple new mailing
lists for this purpose:
* yt-advisory: advisory board discussions
* yt-ssi: administrative info for the grant (possibly boring?)
I'm working to get our lists moved to the yt-project.org domain before
doing this, though. All of these will be open, although I suspect not
of broad interest (and thus why we're creating new ones.) It might
turn out that domain-specific discussion ends up overwhelming
discussion on yt-dev or yt-users, in which case we can split it out,
but for now yt-dev seems like the right place to put that.
Anyhow, the main takeaway I want to give from this is: I'm pretty
excited, and I am really, really looking forward to the work we're
going to do with this. We could not have gotten this far without the
amazing community that has grown up around yt. We're going to work on
this project in an open, collaborative way in keeping with the spirit
of what we've done with yt already.
In the proposal itself, we detail the ways in which we will follow the
standard yt community norms (for design, review, upstream, etc) and
before it was submitted, we discussed it with the yt steering
committee to make sure that the language we included did not sideline
or "squeeze out" anyone in the community. Ensuring that this
*supports*, rather than *detracts from*, the community is absolutely
essential to its success, and we will not be doing anything to
jeopardize that success: this means more effort on yt, but it does not
mean that yt will suddenly become a "professionalized" project that
loses sight of how it got here. And, we would welcome feedback --
especially if it seems that we're missing the mark.
We're still figuring out how to most effectively do project management
for it, but it's going to all be above board, and we'd absolutely
*love* to collaborate with interested folks on it.
-Matt & Nathan
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