Julia Computing

To support the continued development of the Julia programming language

  • Amount $912,609
  • City Newton, MA
  • Investigator Viral Shah
  • Year 2017
  • Program Digital Technology
  • Sub-program Data & Computational Research

Developed by a small group of MIT computer science students, Julia was designed to be the “Goldilocks” of computer programming languages, combining the ease of use of high level languages like R or Python with the computing power of workhorse languages like C or Fortran. Julia has steadily grown in popularity since its 2012 release and has found particularly enthusiastic use in economics and finance. Further improving the language however, requires addressing several key pain points for research users. Funds from this grant support a project to update the Julia language and substantially improve usability for researchers by improving documentation and error messaging, building a substantially faster compiler, and developing a package manager to facilitate the discovery and use of third-party extensions. In addition, this grant includes resources for a concerted push to diversify the currently overwhelmingly white and male Julia developer community. Testing the application of models that have been successful in other open source software projects, the team will devote substantial effort to engagement with women and underrepresented minority groups, and offer travel subsidies for participation in Julia events to diversify its community.

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