The NIPS conference: time for a sprint. The NIPS conference, one of the major conferences in machine learning, is hosted in Granada this year. I believe that it is the first time that it is hosted in Europe. As many of the scikit-learn developers are part of the wider NIPS community, but also many live in Europe, we jumped on the occasion to organize a truly international sprint: the NIPS 2011 scikit-learn sprint.
Finding money. As often with open source development, a lot of our contributors are young people, investing their free time outside of any request from their hierarchy. In such a situation, it can be hard to find travel money. So we started looking for sponsors. We needed to find a decent sum of money, as we were flying people in from places such as the West coast of the US, or even Japan. The good news is that we found money, and between supervisors pitching in, universities giving travel grants, and our generous sponsors, there will be an impressive list of contributors from all over the world at the sprint.
Thanks to our sponsors. The first people that we need to thank are Google, who gave us a sizable sponsorship, and the PSF, who made Google’s sponsorship possible through their accounting and sprints programs. We also need to thanks our other sponsors, namely Tinyclues. Thanks to these sponsors, and additional investment from many universities and research group, we have been able to gather a total of 12 contributors in Granada, a handful coming from overseas. Also, we are indebted to the University of Granada, and the Gnu/Linux Granada Group (GGG), who are providing hosting for the sprint, as well as Régine Bricquet, from INRIA, who did a lot of the trip planing for the sponsored people.
I am very much looking forward to the sprint. It will be the first time that meet in real life many of the contributors, and judging by the warmness of the on-line exchanges, it will be a great moment. Besides, Granada is known to be a lively and historical city.
If you are around and want to join us, to work on Python in machine learning, send us a mail on the mailing list.