[Rd] Call for participation: Comparative Methods in R Hackathon

Steve Kembel steve.kembel at gmail.com
Wed Oct 3 23:29:53 CEST 2007

             NESCent Hackathon on Comparative Methods in R

                   Call for Participation and Input

The R statistical analysis package has emerged as a popular platform
for implementation of powerful comparative phylogenetic methods to
understand the evolution of organismal traits. The National
Evolutionary Synthesis Center (NESCent) is organizing a hackathon
focused on the integration of comparative phylogenetic methods within
R. The event will take place on Dec 10-14, 2007, at NESCent in Durham,
North Carolina.  We are broadly soliciting applications for
participation as well as comments and suggestions from the
community. More information about the event is available at

A hackathon is an event at which a group of programmers who otherwise
do not have the opportunity to interact on a routine basis meet to
collaboratively develop working code that is of utility to the
community as a whole. This event will bring together different groups
of developers and users of comparative methods to work towards a
common set of objectives centering on common challenges of data
exchange, interoperability, and usability.

We are soliciting input from the community at large regarding the
priorities and objectives of the hackathon.  If you are a user of
comparative phylogenetic software and have any ideas that you would
like the community of developers to be aware of, please submit your
input directly through the hackathon wiki
(http://hackathon.nescent.org; click on 'Forum') or by email to
hackathon2 at nescent.org.

We invite all individuals interested in attending to respond by email
to the questions below. We are specifically encouraging applications
* Members of underrepresented groups, specifically women and members
   of minorities.
* Those with skills and interests in documentation or visualization,
   as both are currently underrepresented among the initial set of
* Biologists familiar with comparative phylogenetic methods who are
   interested in working face-to-face with developers to help
   prioritize needs, document and test the code being developed,
   provide feedback regarding usability, and ensure the community value
   of the code being written at the event.
* Graduate students and postdocs.

Please read the detailed description on the website
(http://hackathon.nescent.org/R_Hackathon_1) prior to applying. Email
your responses and, if possible, a CV to hackathon2 at nescent.org by
October 14.

1. Please indicate if you would be available for all or only for part
    of the Dec 10-14 time period.

2. All code produced at the event is to be made available immediately
    under an OSI-approved open-source license (specifically, the GPL
    for any code in R). Please indicate whether this would pose any
    difficulty for your participation.

3. Briefly describe your qualifications (e.g. your familiarity with
    comparative phylogenetic methods and/or R programming).

4. Please state what you would most like to accomplish at the
    hackathon.  If you would not be writing software at the event,
    please state how you would like to contribute and how you would
    expect to benefit.

5. Please indicate if you are a member of an underrepresented group
    (including women, persons with disabilities, and any of the
    following minorities: African American, Hispanic, American Indian,
    Alaska Native, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander).

Please be aware that the funds, as well as the space, for this event
are limited, and the organizers need to balance the skills of the
attendees, so not all qualified applicants can be guaranteed

The Organizing Committee
 From NESCent: Hilmar Lapp, Brian O'Meara, Samantha Price, Todd  
Vision, Amy Zanne
 From UC Berkeley: Steven Kembel

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