John Hunter Matplotlib Summer Fellowship

The John Hunter Matplotlib Summer Fellowship, named in memory of Matplotlib creator John Hunter, sponsors one student to work full-time for 3 months on Matplotlib during the summer (in the northern hemisphere), supervised and mentored by a senior contributor from the project. The fellowship is designed to help prepare recipients to become active contributors and core maintainers of Matplotlib.

2018 Application Instructions

Altair is a declarative statistical visualization library for Python, based on Vega and Vega-Lite. Currently Altair charts can only be rendered in the browser, so we are looking for a student to write a Matplotlib based renderer for Altair. This renderer would take in Altair objects and produce Matplotlib objects for integration with existing tools and to generate publication-quality figures.

To apply, please submit a cover letter and resume/CV to  by May 4, 2018.



Fellowship Details



  • Enrolled undergraduate and graduate students at any accredited university


  • proficiency with Python
  • familiarity with NumPy, pandas, and Matplotlib
  • working knowledge of git

Helpful but not required:

  • Familiarity with Altair or Vega-Lite
  • Familiarity with concept of visualization grammars
  • Familiarity with declarative visualization programming: ggplot, vega-lite

Award Amount:

$6,000 for 10 weeks of full-time work over the summer. Exact dates are flexible.


Progress Tracking:

There will be weekly check ins + project tracking via a projects board on GitHub, plus discussions via Gitter/GChat/GitHub team conversations.


High-level goals:

  • Modular code: the scales work may be re-usable by ipywidgets and Bokeh
  • Leave clear path to implement features not done at end

Applications for Summer 2018 closed on May 4, 2018.

About John Hunter

John Hunter was the creator of Matplotlib and one of the founding board members of NumFOCUS. Husband to Miriam and father to three daughters—Clara, Ava, and Rahel—was diagnosed with cancer in late July 2012. He passed away on August 28, 2012 from complications arising from necessary cancer treatment.


I use many PyData products and would like them to be successful. Donations is a way of making that happen which doesn’t require a lot of time investment.

Andrey Melentyev, Sustaining Member