We are the creators of the Julia programming language. Ask us how computing can help tackle some of the world's biggest challenges or Ask Us Anything!
Greetings, everyone! About two years ago we stopped by here to tell y'all about our work on the Julia programming language. At the time we'd just finished the 2018 edition of our annual JuliaCon conference with 300 attendees. This year, because of the pandemic, there is no in-person conference, but to make up for it, there is an online version happening instead (which you should totally check out - https://live.juliacon.org/). It'll be quite a different experience (there are more than 9000 registrations already), but hopefully it is also an opportunity to share our work with even more people, who would not have been able to make the in-person event. In that spirit, I thought we were overdue for another round of question answering here.
Lots of progress has happened in the past two years, and I'm very happy to see people productively using Julia to tackle hard and important problems in the real world. Two of my favorite are the Climate Machine project based at Caltech, which is trying to radically improve the state of the art in climate modeling to get a better understanding of climate change and its effects and the Pumas collaboration, which is working on modernizing the computational stack for drug discovery. Of course, given the current pandemic, people are also using Julia in all kinds of COVID-related computational projects (which sometimes I find out about on reddit :) ). Scientific Computing sometimes seems a bit stuck in the 70s, but given how important it is to all of us, I am very happy that our work can drag it (kicking and screaming at times) into the 21st century.
We'd love to answer your questions about Julia, the language, what's been happening these past two years, about machine learning or computational science, or anything else you want to know. To answer your questions, we have:
/u/JeffBezanson Jeff is a programming languages enthusiast, and has been focused on Julia’s subtyping, dispatch, and type inference systems. Getting Jeff to finish his PhD at MIT (about Julia) was Julia issue #8839, a fix for which shipped with Julia 0.4 in 2015. He met Viral and Alan at Alan’s last startup, Interactive Supercomputing. Jeff is a prolific violin player. Along with Stefan and Viral, Jeff is a co-recipient of the James H. Wilkinson Prize for Numerical Software for his work on Julia. /u/StefanKarpinski Stefan studied Computer Science at UC Santa Barbara, applying mathematical techniques to the analysis of computer network traffic. While there, he and co-creator Viral Shah were both avid ultimate frisbee players and spent many hours on the field together. Stefan is the author of large parts of the Julia standard library and the primary designer of each of the three iterations of Pkg, the Julia package manager. /u/ViralBShah Viral finished his PhD in Computer Science at UC Santa Barbara in 2007, but then moved back to India in 2009 (while also starting to work on Julia) to work with Nandan Nilekani on the Aadhaar project for the Government of India. He has co-authored the book Rebooting India about this experience. /u/loladiro (Keno Fischer) Keno started working on Julia while he was an exchange student at a small high school on the eastern shore of Maryland. While continuing to work on Julia, he attended Harvard University, obtaining a Master’s degree in Physics. He is the author of key parts of the Julia compiler and a number of popular Julia packages. Keno enjoys ballroom and latin social dancing (at least when there is no pandemic going on). For his work on Julia, Forbes included Keno on their 2019 "30 under 30" list.
Proof: https://twitter.com/KenoFischer/status/1287784296145727491 https://twitter.com/KenoFischer/status/1287784296145727491 https://twitter.com/JeffBezanson (see retweet) https://twitter.com/Viral_B_Shah/status/1287810922682232833