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DARPA Funds Python

The agency hopes to boost the programming language's big data processing and visualization capabilities.


The U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has given a $3 million grant to Continuum Analytics to fund development of Python. Specifically, DARPA wants the firm to boost the programming language's processing and visualization capabilities for big data projects. It will focus on extending the capabilities of the NumPy and SciPy Python libraries.

According to Peter Wang, president of Continuum Analytics, part of the reason for DARPA's interest in Python for big data projects is that the language is easier to learn than other options, like R. "Python is a very easy language to learn for non-programmers," said Wang, and that could be important because many of the people involved in big data projects will be business analysts—not programmers.

The grant is part of DARPA's four-year, $100 million XData research program.

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