Meet the NumFOCUS Team

Board of Directors

Andy Terrel

President

Andy Terrel

Andy Terrel received his PhD in computer science at the University of Chicago in 2010. He is currently the Chief Technology Officer at Fashion Metric. His major emphasis of research has been on the automation of numerical methods on high performance computing resources.

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To this end, he has provided numerous contributions to a wide variety of open source projects, including the popular FEniCS project and SymPy. Dr. Terrel has held roles at universities, government laboratories, and several companies. In all of these roles, Dr. Terrel has been an expert in HPCcomputing as well as an advocate for the open source software movement. Dr. Terrel has served as chair and organizer of many scientific computing conferences including SciPy Conference, FEniCS Conference, HPC^3, and Scientific Software Days. He is an active contributor and reviewer to several scientific computing journals.

Lorena Barba

Lorena Barba

Lorena A. Barba is Associate Professor of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at the George Washington University, in Washington DC. She has MSc and PhD degrees in Aeronautics from the California Institute of Technology and BSc and PEng degrees in Mechanical Engineering from Universidad Técnica Federico Santa María in Chile. 

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Previous to joining GW, she was Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Boston University (2008–2013) and Lecturer/Senior Lecturer of Applied Mathematics at University of Bristol, UK (2004–2008). Barba is an Amelia Earhart Fellow of the Zonta Foundation (1999), an awardee of the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) First Grant scheme (UK, 2007), an NVIDIA Academic Partner award recipient (2011), and a recipient of the National Science Foundation Early CAREER award (2012). She was named CUDA Fellow byNVIDIA in 2012, and is a sought-after speaker about high-performance computing, fast and efficient algorithms and computational science.

Ralf Gommers

Secretary

Ralf Gommers

Ralf Gommers received his PhD in physics from University College London and did his post-doctoral work at MIT, working in the field of experimental atomic physics. After a short period working on electronics for Magnetic Resonance Imaging devices at Philips Research, he is now a designer for advanced lithography machines at ASML in the Netherlands. 

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During his post-doctoral work he became involved in the SciPy community. He is an active contributor to NumPy, SciPy and statsmodels, and has also contributed to scikit-image. Ralf has been the NumPy release manager for two years, and is currently the SciPy release manager.

Didrik Pinte

Treasurer

Didrik Pinte

Didrik Pinte has had a mixed career between academia and the private sector. As a researcher, he focused his work on large scale water allocation problems during 4 years at UCL, Belgium. After another 5 years running his own consulting company in the field of environmental data management systems, mostly based on Python, he joined Enthought in 2009 where he started the European operations. He is now CTO of Enthought since 2014.

Jennifer Klay

Jennifer Klay

Jennifer Klay is an Associate Professor of Physics at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo.  She has worked with big data at the CERN Large Hadron Collider’s ALICE experiment for 14 years, unlocking the secrets of the early Universe by colliding heavy nuclei at the highest energies available in the lab. 

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She has managed several large scientific software projects in nuclear and particle physics experiments and is the Executive Council Chairperson for the Neutron Induced Fission Fragment Tracking Experiment (NIFFTE) Collaboration.  Over the past several years she developed an introductory computational science course using the IPython notebook to teach data analysis and numerical methods for students in the physical sciences.  She loves to code and advocates computer software education for all as an essential 21st century technical skill.

Matthew Turk

Matthew Turk

Matthew Turk is a Research Scientist at NCSA and a Research Assistant Professor at the University of Illinois astronomy department.  He graduated from Stanford with a PhD in physics in 2009, where he worked on the formation of the first stars in the universe.  

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He has been involved with the yt project, an analysis and visualization toolkit for volumetric data, as well as simulation codes for studying astrophysical phenomena.  He has participated in the organizing and program committee for SciPy, as well as the WSSSPE series on sustainability in scientific software, and strongly believes in the power of communities to foster deeper scientific understanding through computational science.

NumFOCUS Staff

Leah Silen

Executive Director

Leah Silen

leah@numfocus.org

Leah Silen has been with NumFOCUS from its beginning, working with the founding board members to write the application for NumFOCUS’s nonprofit status. Before joining NumFOCUS, she worked in the nonprofit sector as a Public Relations and Program Director with a focus on community relations and fundraising. Leah has also volunteered and sat on several boards of nonprofit organizations.

Gina Helfrich

Communications Director; Program Manager for Diversity & Inclusion

Gina Helfrich

gina@numfocus.org

Gina Helfrich first joined NumFOCUS in 2015. She earned her Ph.D. in Philosophy and Women’s Studies from Emory University and is the former Director of the Women’s Center at Harvard University.

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Gina has led successful marketing and communications efforts across multiple sectors, including higher education, technology, nonprofits, and as an entrepreneur (she co-founded recruitHER). Gina is a vocal advocate for inclusion and diversity in tech and a frequent speaker on this subject.

Christie Koehler

Projects Director

Christie Koehler

christie@numfocus.org

Christie Koehler joined NumFOCUS in 2017 as Projects Director, bringing with her more than a decade of experience in open source governance and non-profit management. Christie has done consulting through Authentic Engine, and prior to joining NumFOCUS, had a long tenure at Mozilla contributing to several teams including MDN, FirefoxOS, and MozillaWiki.

Lynn Brubaker

Project Finance Manager

Lynn Brubaker

lynn@numfocus.org

​Lynn Brubaker graduated with a Bachelor of Science Business Administration.  Before joining NumFOCUS, she worked at a hedge fund as an Office Manager.

Minal Kalas

Operations Coordinator

Minal Kalas

minal@numfocus.org

Minal Kalas came to NumFOCUS from the University of Texas at Austin with studies in both Chemistry and Philosophy. She is excited to be working with NumFOCUS to help sustain and promote open-source tools geared toward the scientific community.

Jim Weiss

Events Coordinator

Jim Weiss

jim@numfocus.org

Jim Weiss joined NumFOCUS in 2017, bringing over seven years of event management experience to the organization. Prior to joining NumFOCUS, Jim worked in Washington, D.C., coordinating congressional hearings for the U.S. House of Representatives and managing events for the U.S. Air Force. Jim hails from Pennsylvania and graduated from Lafayette College.

Advisory Council

Brian Granger

Brian Granger

Brian Granger is an Assistant Professor of Physics at Cal Poly State University in San Luis Obispo, CA. He has a background in theoretical atomic, molecular and optical physics, with a Ph.D from the University of Colorado. 

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His current research interests include quantum computing, parallel and distributed computing and interactive computing environments for scientific and technical computing. He is a core developer of the IPython project and is an active contributor to a number of other open source projects focused on scientific computing in Python.

Stefan Karpinski

Stefan Karpinski

Stefan is a data scientist and applied mathematician working at MIT. He has worked at Akamai, Citrix Online, and Etsy. Currently, Stefan is working on a next-generation programming language for numerical and scientific computing, called Julia.

Fernando Pérez

Fernando Pérez

Fernando Pérez received his PhD in theoretical physics from the University of Colorado and did his post-doctoral work there in applied mathematics, working on fast algorithms for partial differential equations.

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He is currently a research scientist at UC Berkeley’s Helen Wills Neuroscience Institute, focusing on the development of new analysis methods for brain imaging problems and high-level scientific computing tools. Towards the end of his graduate studies, he became involved with the development of Python tools for scientific computing. He started the open source IPython project in 2001 when he needed an efficient interactive workflow for everyday scientific tasks. He continues to lead IPython, as part of a growing team of talented developers. He remains committed to the development of open, high-level tools to tackle the current challenges in computationally-based scientific research and education across disciplines. He is a member of the matplotlib development team and has contributed to numpy, scipy, sympy, mayavi, nipy and nitime. He regularly organizes workshops and lectures aimed at teaching the use of these tools to audiences at levels ranging from high-school students to research scientists. He is also a member of the Python Software Foundation. When not glued to a computer, Fernando tries to spend as much time as possible with his wife outdoors hiking and backpacking, as well as climbing.

Travis Oliphant

Travis Oliphant

Dr. Oliphant has a Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering from the Mayo Clinic, and M.S. and B.S. degrees in Electrical Engineering (and Math) from Brigham Young University.

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Travis has worked extensively with Python for numerical and scientific programming since 1997, and was the primary developer of the NumPy package and the author of the definitive Guide to NumPy. He is also the primary founding author of the SciPy package. During his academic career, he has worked in the fields of satellite remote sensing, Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), Ultrasound, elastography, and general inverse problems. He was an Assistant Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Brigham Young University from 2001 to 2007 where he taught courses in probability theory, electromagnetics, inverse problems, and signal processing. In addition, he directed the BYU Biomedical Imaging Lab, and performed research on scanning impedance imaging. He has done consulting work since 1997 in laser scattering off of semiconductors, sparse matrix calculations for search engines, and mesh transformations for fluid dynamics. Dr. Oliphant served as President of Enthought from 2007 until 2011, where he oversaw the establishment of additional satellite offices in New York City, Belgium, Cambridge UK, and Mumbai, India. During this time, he worked with Fortune 50 companies such as Shell, J.P. Morgan, and Proctor and Gamble in all aspects of the contractual relationship – from contracts to training to code architecture and code development. He also served on the Board of Directors for Enthought from 2008 until 2011, and during that time, formed strong connections with J.P. Morgan technical leadership staff and other industry leaders.

Joel Horwitz

Joel Horwitz

Joel Horwitz, is a passionate product and client focused strategist educated in engineering, chemistry, and data science.  He combined these disciplines to earn a Masters of Science & Engineering in the area of Nanotechnology specializing in Molecular Electronics from the University of Washington.  

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Later, he earned an International MBA from the University of Pittsburgh, Katz School of Business specializing in product marketing and financial management. Joel has held a variety of positions in the areas of research and development, product strategy, marketing, corporate development, and analytics. Joel is leading Strategy, Business and Corporate Development for the IBM Corporation. He is responsible for strategic partnerships, mergers & acquisitions, for the Watson, Analytics and Cloud Platform Services specializing in open source software, machine learning, distributed computing, and the data science and engineering practice.

Sustainability Advisory Board

Nadia Eghbal

Nadia Eghbal

Nadia explores how we can better support open source infrastructure, highlighting current gaps in funding and knowledge. She recently published “Roads and Bridges: The Unseen Labor Behind Our Digital Infrastructure” with support from the Ford Foundation. Nadia is currently building sustainability initiatives at GitHub. She is based in San Francisco.

Karl Fogel

Karl Fogel

Karl Fogel is an open source software developer, author, and consultant. He has been active in free and open source software since 1992. 

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In 2005 he wrote Producing Open Source Software: How to Run a Successful Free Software Project (O’Reilly Media), based partly on his experiences in the Subversion project. He is a founding partner at Open Tech Strategies, LLC, where he helps organizations launch and engage with open source projects. He has worked at CollabNet, Google, Canonical, O’Reilly Media, and Code for America / Civic Commons, all as an open source specialist. He has also been an Open Internet Tools Project Fellow at the New America Foundation and a member of the board of directors of the Open Source Initative. He is currently a member of the Apache Software Foundation and President of QuestionCopyright.org. He can be found at @kfogel on Identi.ca and Twitter, and his home page is red-bean.com/kfogel.

Daniel S. Katz

Daniel S. Katz

Daniel S. Katz is Assistant Director for Scientific Software and Applications at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA), Research Associate Professor in Computer Science, Electrical and Computer Engineering, and the School of Information Sciences (iSchool) at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.

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He is also Guest Faculty at Argonne National Laboratory and Adjunct Faculty at the Center for Computation & Technology (CCT), Louisiana State University.  He received his B.S., M.S., and Ph.D degrees in Electrical Engineering from Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois, in 1988, 1990, and 1994, respectively.  His interest is in the development and use of advanced cyberinfrastructure to solve challenging problems at multiple scales. His technical research interests are in applications, algorithms, fault tolerance, and programming in parallel and distributed computing, including HPC, Grid, Cloud, etc. He is also interested in policy issues, including citation and credit mechanisms and practices associated with software and data, organization and community practices for collaboration, and career paths for computing researchers. For more information, see http://danielskatz.org/

Renata Rawlings-Goss

Renata Rawlings-Goss

Dr. Renata Rawlings-Goss is the co-Executive Director of the South Big Data Regional Innovation Hub, whose vision is to support universities, industry, and government in creating productive partnerships around Big Data, Data Science and the “Internet of Things”. 

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One of only four federally funded Big Data Hubs in the nation, the South Hub services 16 states, Delaware through Texas including Washington DC, in forming multi-state, multi-sector collaborations. Dr. Rawlings-Goss is also the Director of Industry Partnerships for the Georgia Tech Institute for Data Engineering and Science (IDEaS), an integrated research institute that provides a unified connection point to the data science expertise and resources throughout Georgia Tech’s colleges, research labs, and external partners, as a vehicle to define and pursue grand challenges in data science foundations and in data-driven discovery. Formerly, Dr. Rawlings-Goss was with the National Science Foundation in the directorate of Computer and Information Science and Engineering (CISE-OAD) working on the Big Data research program, as well as Big Data policies and priority goals for the foundation. She worked with the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy to create the National Data Science Organizers Group, which facilitates data science groups to address national “Grand Challenge” problems. She also sat on the NITRD interagency Big Data Senior Steering group charged with strategic planning for Big Data research funded by the federal government, including NSF, NIH, NASA, DHS, NOOA, NSA, DOD, USGS, and DOE, and co-led the writing team for the Federal Big Data Strategic Plan. Dr. Rawlings-Goss is a biophysicist by training, where her research interests include data-driven analysis of genetic/expression variation among worldwide human populations.

Tracy Teal

Tracy Teal

Tracy Teal is a co-founder and the Executive Director of Data Carpentry, a non-profit organization training researchers in the skills needed for data-intensive research. She graduated from Caltech with a PhD in Computation and Neural Systems. 

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As an Assistant Professor at Michigan State University she focused on the development of bioinformatics software and the analysis of microbial communities. She is involved in the open source software and reproducible research communities, including as an Editor at the Journal for Open Source Software.

Todd Vision

Todd Vision

Todd Vision is an Associate Professor of Biology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and holds an adjunct appointment in the School of Information and Library Sciences. His primary research is in evolutionary and computational genetics. 

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He also has a strong interest in the changing nature of scholarly communication, particularly at the intersection of scholarly publications with data and software. He served as the Associate Director of Informatics at the National Evolutionary Synthesis Center from 2006-2015 and, in that position, helped steer a variety of community-oriented informatics capacity-building programs. He has been Principal Investigator on the primary NSF grant funding Dryad since 2008 and currently serves on the Board of Directors for Dryad and for Phoenix Bioinformatics. Previously, Vision served on the NSF Advisory Committee on Cyberinfrastructure and the ORCiD Board of Directors.
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As an avid user of the NumFOCUS supported projects, donating is a win-win proposition for me! My favorite tools are able to remain active open source projects that continue to improve and evolve to fit modern problems.

Kyle Ross, Supporting Member