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O'Reilly Open Source Convention


numarray: A New Scientific Array Package for Python
Perry Greenfield, Space Telescope Science Institute

Track: Python
Date: Thursday, July 10
Time: 11:30am - 12:15pm
Location: Salon B

Python has long had an array module for science and engineering applications; why a replacement?

Greenfield explains the motivations for developing numarray. He also describes the design issues in its development and its new features and capabilities, which include the ability to handle much larger arrays more efficiently (in memory and speed), more flexible floating point exception handling, and efficient record arrays.

Numarray is highly compatible with Numeric, including the C-API, though there are some differences which are discussed. Numarray is well developed enough that it is being used in production pipelines to reduce and calibrate Hubble Space Telescope (HST) data and is being distributed to HST users along with applications for data reduction. Finally, Greenfield outlines planned enhancements and improvements.

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