[Numpy-discussion] NumPy foundations

Chris.Barker Chris.Barker@noaa....
Thu Oct 13 10:53:47 CDT 2011

On 10/13/11 6:03 AM, Linus Jundén wrote:
> I am about to make a NumPy presentation for my colleges in about a
> week. I want to tell them something about the history of the library
> and what kind of code it relies on.

> Is NumPy based on some external code like e.g. BLAS, LAPACK etc or is
> it coded from scratch? Anyone out there that can settle the question?

It was coded from scratch -- though does have hooks to BLAS and LAPACK 
for linear algebra operations. It was originally written by Jim Hugunin, 
who later went on to write Jython, and then Iron Python. It doesn't look 
like he updates his web page often, but you should find some good stuff 


As you seem to know, the current numpy code base evolved from the 
original "Numeric" code, also informed by the "numarray" fork.

Here is some intro text from "Numerical Python: An Open Source Project", 
Sept 7, 2001:

Numerical Python is the outgrowth of a long collaborative design process 
carried out by the Matrix SIG of the Python Software Activity (PSA). Jim 
Hugunin, while a graduate student at MIT, wrote most of the code and 
initial documentation. When Jim joined CNRI and began working on 
JPython, he didn't have the time to maintain Numerical Python so Paul 
Dubois at LLNL agreed to become the maintainer of Numerical Python. 
David Ascher, working as a consultant to LLNL, wrote most of this 
document, incorporating contributions from Konrad Hinsen and Travis 
Oliphant, both of whom are major contributors to Numerical Python.

I have a paper copy still, but managed to find it on the web, too:


That's the oldest form of the doc I could find quickly.


Christopher Barker, Ph.D.

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