Urgent (funding app due today): anyone interested in joining Caterva crew to build R interface?

Sorry for the urgent tag, but I figure this should also be quick to read and disregard if it’s not of any interest.

So far as I understand, Stan needs a new IO format. Lots of folks have different opinions on what this should be but I gather a consensus requirement is that it have solid Python and R interfaces.

In my admittedly inexpert explorations in this space I’ve been impressed by the NumFocus-funded Caterva project, so I got in touch with the devs to see if they know of anyone making an R interface ) it already has a python interface), and it turns out they’re writing a funding application due TODAY in which they previously had entries for an R interface and would be willing to add it back if there were someone willing to join them on the grant to spearhead that project.

I know we haven’t made any decisions on file format, let alone chosen Caterva (an admittedly new-ish contender), so the likelihood of wasted effort is arguably high. But I thought I’d pass along the info in case it piques anyone’s interest. (plus since it’s a funded thing, I think it would be wasted-but-paid effort at least?)


would this mean that the funding application would say that we think Stan will use this format? because committing to a format now is way premature.

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No, I believe the funding app simply needs another body willing to do paid work (Generating an R interface for Caterva); it does not need a commitment from the stan team on subsequent usage

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Hi there. I am Francesc Alted, a member of the Blosc team.

That’s right. We are just looking for anyone that would be interested in helping us in producing the R interface for Caterva during 2021. Full disclaimer: we are in the process of applying to a CZI grant, so no guarantees we would get it, and hence the funds for completing the work. But if you think it is worth a try, please tell us.


For posterity: I actually realized I had a colleague with both the skill set and time availability to do this. Fingers crossed for the application’s success!


If you do get funded or for some other reason need to hire someone, we have a job ads topic on these forums where you could post.

If you’re looking for someone to be co-PI on grants, they usually need at least a week of lead time at U.S. universities to get through the sponsored projects offices. (I’m not at a university any more myself and can’t go in on grants with my current position.)