Software Tools for Mathematics Workshop Koper, Slovenia, 2018-09-24--2018-09-28

Main goals

The goal of the event was for mathematicians to improve their coding skills and knowledge of mathematical software.

OpenDreamKit implication

Samuel Lelièvre (OpenDreamKit member from UPSud) was one of the organisers. The OpenDreamKit funds at Paris-Sud were used to fund travel and stays of speakers. The Faculty of Mathematics, Natural Sciences and Information Technologies at the University of Primorska and Andrej Marušič Institute at the University of Primorska provided coffee and snacks at coffee breaks as well as equipped lecture rooms. The Slovenian Discrete and Applied Mathematics Society provided gifts for all participants.

Event summary

The event consisted in a two-day Software Carpentry workshop (teaching participants the Unix shell, version control with Git, and programming with Python) followed by three days on mathematical software with mini-courses on CoCalc, GAP, SageMath and Jupyter, LaTeX and TikZ, as well as talks on other mathematical software and databases, and on mathematical research using software. A problem session allowed participants to submit mathematical problems they cared about and thought software might help with, a few of which were solved in the following days by other participants.

Demographics

The participants included a small number of bachelor students, several PhD students and postdocs, professors and researchers.

Results and impact

At the Software Carpentry workshop, the Unix shell was taught by Peter Palfrader and Jan Ber\v{c}i\v{c}, Git was taught by Alexander Konovalov and Peter Palfrader, and Python was taught by Julian R"{u}th and Nino Ba\v{s}i'{c}.

During the mathematical software part, Alexander Konovalov taught GAP, Nino Ba\v{s}i'{c} taught LaTeX and TikZ, Samuel Leli`{e}vre taught SageMath and CoCalc, and Julian R"{u}th taught SageMath.

Many participants told the organisers, orally or by email, that this workshop was transformative for them; often they felt they had passed some confidence threshold: whereas before the conference they were interested in mathematical software but unsure how to install and use them, they were now confident how to do that, and felt they had the necessary resources to learn more. One of the participants even commented that they were able to use what they learned immediately in their research. Some of the participants are involved in the organisation of the upcoming European Congress of Mathematics (ECM 2020 Portoro\v{z}, Slovenia), and expressed interest in highlighting open software for mathematics at the ECM.

Furthermore, a CoCalc instance was installed on University of Primorska servers due largely to this event.

This event was conceived due to the success of the Software Tools for Mathematics in Morelia earlier in 2018. Based on the success of both workshops, Samuel Leli`{e}vre and Katja Ber\v{c}i\v{c} (who participated in the organisation of both) hope that the series will continue and are considering options for future installments.

Software Tools for Mathematics in Koper, Slovenia

Workshops and Conferences

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