The NumPy team is excited to announce the launch of the NumPy Fellowship Program and the appointment of Sayed Adel (@seiko2plus) as the first NumPy Developer in Residence. This is a significant milestone in the history of the project: for the first time, NumPy is in a position to use its project funds to pay for a full year of maintainer time. We believe that this will be an impactful program that will contribute to NumPy’s long-term sustainability as a community-driven open source project.

Sayed has been making major contributions to NumPy since the start of 2020, in particular around computational performance. He is the main author of the NumPy SIMD architecture (NEP 38, docs), generously shared his knowledge of SIMD instructions with the core developer team, and helped integrate the work of various volunteer and industry contributors in this area. As a result, we’ve been able to expand support to multiple CPU architectures, integrating contributions from IBM, Intel, Apple, and others, none of which would have been possible without Sayed. Furthermore, when NumPy tentatively started using C++ in 2021, Sayed was one of the proponents of the move and helped with its implementation.

The NumPy Steering Council sees Sayed’s appointment to this role as both recognition of his past outstanding contributions as well as an opportunity to continue improving NumPy’s computational performance. In the next 12 months, we’d like to see Sayed focus on the following:

  • SIMD code maintenance,
  • code review of SIMD contributions from others,
  • performance-related features,
  • sharing SIMD and C++ expertise with the team and growing a NumPy sub-team around it,
  • SIMD build system migration to Meson,
  • and wherever else Sayed’s interests take him.

“I’m both happy and nervous: this is a great opportunity, but also a great responsibility,” said Sayed in response to his appointment.

The funds for the NumPy Fellowship Program come from a partnership with Tidelift and from individual donations. We sincerely thank both Tidelift and everyone who donated to the project—without you, this program would not be possible! We also acknowledge the CPython Developer-in-Residence and the Django Fellowship programs, which served as inspiration for this program.

Sayed officially starts as the NumPy Developer in Residence today, 1 December 2022. Already, we are thinking about opportunities beyond this first year: we imagine “in residence” roles that focus on developing, improving, and maintaining other parts of the NumPy project (e.g., documentation, website, translations, contributor experience, etc.). We look forward to this exciting new chapter of the NumPy contributor community and will keep you posted on our progress.