Matt, I like the idea of numfocus supoort -- I've contributed to them personally over the past few years, and I would be happy to direct some of that to yt as well.  I highly doubt you can donate off of a grant though (as Brian asked).  That doesn't seem right, but you might be able to ask your University to donate some to recognize the value you get from the projects (sort of like paying for licensing fees for commercial software that they already do).  (Back in the day I remember our University would buy some RedHat distributions directly).  Also, you could probably pay for a summer student off of a grant to work on improving yt vis capabilities for your grant-funded research -- that would put the student directly into your workflow and have them doing actual science with you.

On Fri, Jan 29, 2016 at 10:15 AM, Matthew Turk <> wrote:
Hi Brian,

I don't have much of a sense of this, specifically with respect to NSF/NASA/DOE.  Private foundations and corporations have contributed to NumFOCUS, as you can see on the main website.  My suspicion is that the holdup would probably be the university that enters into the agreement with NSF/NASA/DOE rather than on the NumFOCUS side.

Additionally, at the present, I don't anticipate we would want to fund salaries through NumFOCUS, although it isn't my role to say whether we would or not.  Partial support for workshops and for infrastructure, yes, but I think supporting a couple folks to attend a workshop is a different story than salaries, unless they were for fixed-term contracts or for summer programs and the like.


On Fri, Jan 29, 2016 at 6:11 AM, Brian O'Shea <> wrote:

This seems like a great idea to me.  There's one thing that I'm really curious about: can we use grant money to contribute to the yt project through this mechanism?  Essentially my entire research group now depends on yt for analysis and visualization of our simulations, and I know that's now true for a lot of people.  I really want to directly support core infrastructure development, and would be happy to write line-items into all of my grants (in the way that one would ask for grant money for a laptop for a grad student, HPC buy-in, or an outreach assessment consultant) to provide some recurring funding to the yt project.  This would both directly help the project by contributing to salaries, workshops, etc., and indirectly help by communicating to federal agencies that this is an important and widely valued endeavor.  But, I have no idea if people have used grant money in this way, or if it is even allowable under NSF/NASA/DOE regulations.  Matt, do you have any sense of this? 


On Thu, Jan 28, 2016 at 11:26 AM, Matthew Turk <> wrote:
Hi everyone,

The NumFOCUS organization is a 501(c)3 dedicated to both open source scientific software and computational science education ( ).  I have recently been named to their board of directors.

NumFOCUS supports many projects familiar to us here, including NumPy, Matplotlib, Jupyter, Astropy, and Sympy, as well as rOpenSci, Data Carpentry, Software Carpentry and Julia.

After talking this over with Britton, I would like to propose that we join NumFOCUS through a comprehensive Fiscal Sponsorship Agreement.  This process is outlined here:

Organizations such as NumPy and rOpenSci have detailed their reasons for participating in this program here:

Primarily, I think that this would help with our ability to exist independently of a single investigator; grants for programs such as workshops, project infrastructure, and so on can be managed by NumFOCUS (which has low overhead) and can be affiliated with the project.

I think this is something that warrants discussion, and perhaps should be talked over in person during a team meeting, but I believe that this would be a strong step forward for us as a project and a community.


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Michael Zingale
Associate Professor

Dept. of Physics & Astronomy • Stony Brook University • Stony Brook, NY 11794-3800
phone:  631-632-8225