Annual Spies Sage Development Prize

The Spies Sage Development Prize is an annual award worth $500 that will be given to a person who makes major and inspiring contributions to the development of the Sage Mathematical Software System. The goal of the prize is to acknowledge the recipient and to encourage him or her to continue to do excellent development work on Sage. It is funded by donations to the Sage Foundation by Jaap Spies, and cannot be awarded to the same person twice.

2014 Spies Prize: Volker Braun

Volker Braun is a key contributor to all aspects of Sage development, contributing code and reviews for core mathematical functions and providing technical improvements to the build system and code maintenance. He has quickly become a central figure in the Sage development community.
In his four years of involvement, Volker has moved from contributing code for cohomology of toric varieties to being the current release manager. Along the way, he has greatly improved the integration of GAP with libGAP, created and distributed virtual machine versions of Sage and the Sage notebook, managed much of the transition to git version control over the past nine months, and made numerous improvements to doctesting, the build system and overall code maintenance. He has fixed many difficult bugs, while also being a generous reviewer.
In recognition of his important and sustained contributions across all aspects of Sage development, Volker Braun is awarded the 2014 Spies Sage Development Prize. This award carries a prize of $500 from the Sage Foundation (thanks to Jaap Spies)

2013 Spies Prize: Jeroen Demeyer

Jeroen Demeyer has provided excellent service to the Sage community as release manager, starting with Version 4.6.1 in January 2011, just five months after his first code contribution. He has continued to contribute significant code to the Sage library in the area of number theory, including over forty contributions related to the fundamental Sage package of PARI.
Jeroen is everything the Sage community could ask for in a release manager. He is a trusted custodian of the code and has built an impressive system for frequent beta and final releases. He works carefully with developers and users to balance the priorities of fast-paced cutting-edge development, backwards compatibility, portability, and high-quality software. During his tenure as release manager, he has earned great respect while making difficult decisions as he shaped the Sage that the world sees. His efficient, timely, fair and knowledgeable work has won him the admiration of the Sage development community and has rendered a great service to the much larger user community.
For his conscientious and technically excellent work as Sage release manager, and his significant contributions to the Sage library, Jeroen Demeyer is awarded the 2013 Spies Prize.

2012 Spies Prize: Jason Grout

Jason Grout is a constant presence across the Sage landscape. He is extremely active in the discussion groups, comments on many tickets, contributes code to the core Sage library, improves the documentation, and works tirelessly to improve the notebook interface. He contributes in many ways to make Sage a better tool for mathematics research, but he is perhaps most recognized for his efforts to make Sage an effective tool for teaching mathematics.
Jason's mathematical tastes have resulted in major code contributions for linear algebra, graph theory, plotting and symbolics. These are all important areas for the undergraduate mathematics curriculum. But he is equally interested in Sage infrastructure, such as LaTeX representation, usability improvements to Trac server, format and delivery of documentation, and NumPy/SciPy integration. With a strong background in web applications, his work on the notebook interface is both visionary and technically strong. A recent project he runs is the Sage Cell Server, which allows a remote server to accept Sage code and return results without any account or login. This can power interactive demonstrations on web pages or computations via mobile devices, and the principles and implementations will be used in increasing the scalability of Sage servers. As an example of his interest in education, this project has involved several undergraduate students in significant ways. Jason also gives freely of his time to help other users and developers. He is the second most numerous poster of all time in the sage-support forum, in the top five for the sage-devel, sage-edu and sage-notebook forums, and he has the fifth-highest karma at the Ask Sage site.
For his significant and inspiring technical contributions, his massive contributions to the vitality of the Sage community, his work on making Sage available via the notebook and cell servers, and his interest in education, Jason Grout is awarded the 2012 Spies Sage Development Prize. This award carries a prize of $500 from the Sage Foundation (thanks to Jaap Spies).

2011 Spies Prize: Robert Bradshaw

Robert Bradshaw has been an extremely active and productive Sage developer for over five years. Additionally, he has been a leader, both in maintaining the community and in important design decisions.
He is probably best known for his work on Cython, which is critical for the performance of many key parts of Sage, and his work designing and implementing the coercion model, which makes many powerful mathematical constructions possible. However, his interests and significant contributions are wide-ranging, including: exact linear algebra, arithmetic of elliptic curves, L-functions, 3-D plotting and parallel building. A recent project is the patchbot tool, which automates testing contributions posted on trac. Moreover, he is an important contributor to trouble-shooting and design discussions in the sage-devel forum and is also the third most numerous poster of all time in the sage-support forum.
For his many important technical contributions, and his long-time and continuing involvement in the Sage community, Robert Bradshaw is awarded the 2011 Spies Sage Development Prize. This award carries a prize of $500 from the Sage Foundation (thanks to Jaap Spies).

2010 Spies Prize: Minh Van Nguyen

Minh Van Nguyen is an integral part of the Sage development effort. He is awarded the 2010 Spies Development Prize in recognition of his code contributions, release management, support for new users and outstanding work on documentation.
Minh's mathematical interests are primarily in discrete mathematics and he has contributed substantial new code and fixes to the Sage library, especially for cryptography and graph theory. Minh assumed release management duties in Summer 2009 and has diligently performed this difficult task with calm and goodwill. The build system and documentation of the release cycle have greatly benefited from his involvement. Present in the sage-devel IRC channel at all hours, he welcomes newcomers and patiently helps with the most basic questions about mathematics, syntax and programming, in addition to frequenting the forums. His meticulous work on documentation is legendary within the Sage community. Doctests, tutorials, manuals and web pages have all benefited from his detailed work and suggestions for major improvements and innovations. His release tours are useful, accurate and informative chronicles of Sage development.
For his consistently conscientious commitment to Sage development, Minh Nguyen is the recipient of the 2010 Spies Development Prize. This award carries a prize of $500 from the Sage Foundation (thanks to Jaap Spies).

2009 Spies Prize: Michael Hansen

The 2009 Spies Sage Development Prize ($500) is awarded to Michael Hansen for his work on redesigning the Sage documentation system to use Sphinx, porting Sage's symbolics to Pynac, and his massive contributions to the combinatorics codebase, which led to the MuPAD-combinat community moving over to Sage. Over the last 3 years, Hansen has also done extensive work refactoring the Sage notebook, fixing bugs all over Sage, writing documentation, and restructing old code. He has been an active leader in the Sage community, helping to organize and participate in numerous Sage Days workshops, refereeing hundreds of patches, and actively supporting users on the mailing lists. Hansen's work on Sage consistently combines a humble and kind demeanor with a brilliant knowledge of the Python eco-system.

2008 Spies Prize: Michael Abshoff

The first annual Spies Sage Development Prize is awarded to Michael Abshoff for his superb work improving the overall quality of the sage development process, making numerous high quality Sage releases, leading the way in drastically reducing memory leaks in Sage, and porting Sage to run on Windows, Solaris and 64-bit OS X.