[Numpy-discussion] grant proposal for core scientific Python projects (rejected)

Chris Barker - NOAA Federal chris.barker at noaa.gov
Sun May 5 00:10:56 EDT 2019

Thanks for the update — this is great stuff!


On May 3, 2019, at 3:13 PM, Joe Harrington <jh at physics.ucf.edu> wrote:

Just to keep people in the loop, Ralf and I are in discussion with people
at NASA HQ about a funding stream for core development.� Ralf has put
together a short description of the development and funding model (5 core
projects, 10-20 core developers each, nearly all volunteer now, how
NumFOCUS fits in, what we hope to establish from NASA vs. from other
agencies, industry, other countries' science entities, etc.).� That will
circulate within the agency, to see what can be scraped together.�
Program managers in NASA's Science Mission Directorate (SMD) gave
quite-positive feedback on how vital the Python ecosystem is to NASA's
mission.� We're emphasizing the need for both new functionality and
maintenance (e.g., docs, web site, bug fixing).� If this is ultimately
successful, it can be a model for approaching other agencies in the US and

To Steve's point, regarding how hard it is for Civil Servants to contribute
to OSS (due to NASA's lengthy internal review process for releasing
software), this problem was clearly called out in the Academies report.�
We proposed some solutions to streamline things.� What's needed now is
for NASA Civil Servants to take that report and the relevant white papers
(cited in the report and posted online) to their center's senior
management, and to NASA HQ, and similarly for others in government
agencies.� You may wish to start from NASA's (or your agency's) mission,
which includes sharing technology openly to boost the economy, and how you
are encountering unreasonable barriers to that goal.� This is mandated by
the National Air and Space Act of 1958.

For example, there is little reason to conduct an export-control review
with lawyers looking at code emerging from a group that has nothing to do
with anything near an export-controlled topic.� Universities and
contractors are subject to the same export-control laws as NASA, and they
have not routinely conducted similar reviews of every line of code
released.� This has not led to a pattern of export violations.�
(Whether there is any benefit at all to the export control laws as applied
to software is debatable, since it's usually easy for coders elsewhere to
write the same codes, but the law is the law.)

On 5/3/19 12:48 PM, numpy-discussion-request at python.org wrote:

Re: [Numpy-discussion] grant proposal for core scientific Python projects

Mark Mikofski <mikofski at berkeley.edu> <mikofski at berkeley.edu>

5/3/19, 12:47 PM

Discussion of Numerical Python <numpy-discussion at python.org>
<numpy-discussion at python.org>
Sorry, that last attachment was just a slide show of the topic 3 recording,
here is the full funding opportunity announcement - letter with 200 word
abstract are due May 7th

On Fri, May 3, 2019 at 8:40 AM Mark Mikofski <mikofski at berkeley.edu> wrote:

> Hi Ralf, and others,
> Sorry for the late notice, but there is are several funding opportunities
> in solar, including one for $350,000 to develop open source software to
> lower soft costs of solar.
> https://eere-exchange.energy.gov/#FoaId45eda43a-e826-4481-ae7a-cc6e8ed4fdae
> �
> see topic 3.4 specifically in attached PDF - also note to view the
> recording the password is "*Setofoa2019"*�it's about 30 minutes long.
> I know that this is a extremely niche, but as a few others have said, [the
> DOE] grants tend to be very specific, but perhaps we can creatively think
> of ways to channel funds to NumPy and SciPy.
> Also there is a cost share that is typically 20%, which would be a
> non-starter for volunteer projects.
> But here's an idea, perhaps partnering with a company, like mine (DNV GL)
> who is applying for the grant, and who uses NumPy,and could pay the cost
> share, and then we collaborate on something that is required to complete
> the�project, which is contributed to NumPy (or SciPy) - but we would have
> to figure what we could align on.
> Seems like NumFOCUS, Quantsight, or some other company in the OSS space
> could figure out ways to help connect companies, OSS projects, and funding
> opportunities like these, where there's a possibility of alignment and
> mutual benefit?
> The full list of funding opportunities is here:
> https://eere-exchange.energy.gov/�
> Best Regards,
> Mark�
> �
> On Thu, May 2, 2019 at 11:52 PM Ralf Gommers <ralf.gommers at gmail.com>
> wrote:
>> On Fri, May 3, 2019 at 3:49 AM Stephen Waterbury <waterbug at pangalactic.us>
>> wrote:
>>> P.S.� If anyone wants to continue this discussion at SciPy 2019,
>>> I will be there (on my own nickel!� ;) ...
>> Thanks for the input Stephen, and looking forward to see you at SciPy'19!
>> Ralf
>> Steve
>>> On 5/2/19 9:45 PM, Stephen Waterbury wrote:
>>> I am a NASA pythonista (for 20+ years ;), but you can now say you know
>>> yet another person at NASA who has no idea this even exists ... :)
>>> Not only do I not know of that, but I know of NASA policies that make
>>> it very difficult for NASA civil servants to contribute to open source
>>> projects -- quite hypocritical, given the amount of open source
>>> code that NASA (like all other large organizations) depends critically
>>> on, but it's a fact.
>>> Cheers,
>>> Steve Waterbury
>>> THE U.S. GOVERNMENT AS A WHOLE!� Hence the personal email
>>> address. :)
>>> On 5/2/19 9:31 PM, Chris Barker - NOAA Federal wrote:
>>> Sounds like this is a NASA specific thing, in which case, I guess
>>> someone at NASA would need to step up.
>>> I�m afraid I know no pythonistas at NASA.�
>>> But I�ll poke around NOAA to see if there�s anything similar.
>>> -CHB
>>> On Apr 25, 2019, at 1:04 PM, Ralf Gommers <ralf.gommers at gmail.com>
>>> wrote:
>>> On Sat, Apr 20, 2019 at 12:41 PM Ralf Gommers <ralf.gommers at gmail.com>
>>> wrote:
>>>> On Thu, Apr 18, 2019 at 10:03 PM Joe Harrington <jh at physics.ucf.edu>
>>>> wrote:
>>>>> 3. There's such a thing as a share-in-savings contract at NASA, in
>>>>> which
>>>>> you calculate a savings, such as from avoided costs of licensing IDL
>>>>> or
>>>>> Matlab, and say you'll develop a replacement for that product that
>>>>> costs
>>>>> less, in exchange for a portion of the savings.� These are rare and
>>>>> few
>>>>> people know about them, but one presenter to the committee did discuss
>>>>> them and thought they'd be appropriate.� I've always felt that we
>>>>> could
>>>>> get a chunk of change this way, and was surprised to find that the
>>>>> approach exists and has a name.� About 3 of 4 people I talk to at
>>>>> NASA
>>>>> have no idea this even exists, though, and I haven't pursued it to its
>>>>> logical end to see if it's viable.
>>>> I've heard of these. Definitely worth looking into.
>>> It seems to be hard to find any information about these share-in-savings
>>> contracts. The closest thing I found is this:
>>> https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2018/06/22/2018-13463/nasa-federal-acquisition-regulation-supplement-removal-of-reference-to-the-shared-savings-policy-and
>>> It is called "Shared Savings" there, and was replaced last year by
>>> something called "Value Engineering Change Proposal". If anyone can comment
>>> on whether that's the same thing as Joe meant and whether this is worth
>>> following up on, that would be very helpful.
>>> Cheers,
>>> Ralf
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