Hi Reddit, we just got back from from the fifth annual JuliaCon conference (in London this year), where after nine years of work, we, 300 people in the audience and 150 on the live stream1 released version 1.0 of the julia programming language.
For me personally, this AmA is coming full circle. I first learned about Julia in 2012 from a post on /r/programming. You can read all about what’s new in 1.0 in our release blog post, but I think the quoted paragraph from the original post captures the “Why?” well:
We want a language that’s open source, with a liberal license. We want the speed of C with the dynamism of Ruby. We want a language that’s homoiconic, with true macros like Lisp, but with obvious, familiar mathematical notation like Matlab. We want something as usable for general programming as Python, as easy for statistics as R, as natural for string processing as Perl, as powerful for linear algebra as Matlab, as good at gluing programs together as the shell. Something that is dirt simple to learn, yet keeps the most serious hackers happy. We want it interactive and we want it compiled.
Answering your questions today will be Jeff Bezanson, Stefan Karpinski, Alan Edelman, Viral Shah, Keno Fischer (short bios below), as well as a few other members of the julia community who've found their way to this thread.
||Jeff is a programming languages enthusiast, and has been focused on julia’s subtyping, dispatch, and type inference systems. Getting Jeff to finish his PhD at MIT (about Julia) was Julia issue #8839, a fix for which shipped with Julia 0.4 in 2015. He met Viral and Alan at Alan’s last startup, Interactive Supercomputing. Jeff is a prolific violin player.
||Stefan studied Computer Science at UC Santa Barbara, applying mathematical techniques to the analysis of computer network traffic. While there, he and co-creator Viral Shah were both avid ultimate frisbee players and spent many hours on the field together. Stefan is the author of large parts of the Julia standard library and the primary designer of each of the three iterations of Pkg, the Julia package manager.
||Alan’s day job is Professor of Mathematics and member Computer Science & AI Lab at MIT. He is the chief scientist at Julia Computing and loves explaining not only what is Julia, but why Julia can look so simple and yet be so special.
||Viral finished his PhD in Computer Science at UC Santa Barbara in 2007, but then moved back to India in 2009 (while also starting to work on Julia) to work with Nandan Nilekani on the Aadhaar project for the Government of India. He has co-authored the book Rebooting India about this experience.
|/u/loladiro (Keno Fischer)
||Keno started working on Julia while he was an exchange student at a small high school on the eastern shore of Maryland. While continuing to work on Julia, he attended Harvard University, obtaining a Master’s degree in Physics. He is the author of key parts of the Julia compiler and a number of popular Julia packages. Keno enjoys ballroom and latin social dancing.
1 Live stream recording here: https://youtu.be/1jN5wKvN-Uk?t=1h3m45s - Apologies for the shaking. This was streamed via handheld phone by yours truly due to technical difficulties.