Brought to you by NumFOCUS Foundation and O’Reilly Media Inc.
The official Jupyter Conference
August 22-23, 2017: Training
August 23-25, 2017: Tutorials & Conference
New York, NY

Empower scientists; save humanity: NumFOCUS—Five years in, five hundred thousand to go

Leah Silen (NumFOCUS), Andy Terrel (NumFOCUS)
1:50pm–2:30pm Friday, August 25, 2017
Development and community
Location: Murray Hill Level: Non-technical
Average rating: ****.
(4.00, 1 rating)

Who is this presentation for?

  • Developers, scientists, and executives

Prerequisite knowledge

  • A general understanding of the open source ecosystem

What you'll learn

  • Understand how projects can be served fiscally and legally via NumFOCUS
  • Learn about the sustainability and diversity challenges facing NumFOCUS projects
  • Discover where to find NumFOCUS


What do the discovery of the Higgs boson, the landing of the Philae robot, the analysis of political engagement, and the freedom of human trafficking victims have in common? NumFOCUS projects were there.

Five years ago, it was easy to imagine a world where data was as accessible as water, but it was difficult to actually create tools to access that data. NumFOCUS, founded by a group of scientific software developers struggling to get funding, began with the simple principle of helping scientists open their code, use open tools, and create a community that industry could partner with. While academia rejected these efforts, corporations began using these tools more frequently. In the last five years, NumFOCUS has been able to sponsor almost 20 projects and in the process has become a recognized leader in diversity, open source code governance, and scientific software.

But NumFOCUS’s mission has just begun, and the possibilities are endless. Join Leah Silen and Andy Terrel to learn how we can empower scientists and save humanity.

Photo of Leah Silen

Leah Silen


Leah Silen has been the executive director of NumFocus from its beginning and worked with the founding board members to write the application for NumFocus’s nonprofit status. Previously, Leah was a public relations and program director in the nonprofit sector, where she focused on community relations and fundraising. Leah has volunteered and sat on several boards of nonprofit organizations.

Photo of Andy Terrel

Andy Terrel


Andy Terrel is president of NumFOCUS. He is also the chief data scientist of REX Real Estate, where he brings his experience building smart, scalable data systems to the real estate industry. A data architect, computational scientist, and technical leader, Andy is a passionate advocate for open source scientific codes and has been involved in the wider scientific Python community since 2006, contributing to numerous projects in the scientific stack.