Ten computer codes that transformed science

January 20, 2021

BIDS Faculty Affiliate Fernando Pérez is featured in this new article in Nature that highlights his development of iPython as one of the Ten computer codes that transformed science.


Segment from the article...

"Fernando Pérez was a graduate student “in search of procrastination” in 2001 when he decided to take on a core component of Python.

"Python is an interpreted language, which means programs are executed line by line. Programmers can use a kind of computational call-and-response tool called a read–evaluate–print loop (REPL), in which they type code and a program called an interpreter executes it. A REPL allows for quick exploration and iteration, but Pérez noted that Python’s wasn’t built for science. It didn’t allow users to easily preload modules of code, for instance, or keep data visualizations open. So Pérez wrote his own version.

"The result was IPython, an ‘interactive’ Python interpreter that Pérez unveiled in December 2001. A decade later, physicist Brian Granger, working with Pérez and others, migrated that tool to the web browser, launching the IPython Notebook and kick-starting a data-science revolution."

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Ten computer codes that transformed science: From Fortran to arXiv.org, these advances in programming and platforms sent biology, climate science and physics into warp speed.
January 20, 2021   |   Jeffrey M. Perkel   |   Nature

Featured Fellows

Fernando Pérez

Statistics, UC Berkeley; Data Science and Technology, LBNL
Faculty Affiliate