Bertrand Russel's 10 commandments of teaching:

  • Do not feel absolutely certain of anything.
  • Do not think it worth while to proceed by concealing evidence, for the evidence is sure to come to light.
  • Never try to discourage thinking for you are sure to succeed.
  • When you meet with opposition, even if it should be from your parner or your children, endeavor to overcome it by argument and not by authority, for a victory dependent upon authority is unreal and illusory.
  • Have no respect for the authority of others, for there are always contrary authorities to be found.
  • Do not use power to suppress opinions you think pernicious, for if you do the opinions will suppress you.
  • Do not fear to be eccentric in opinion, for every opinion now accepted was once eccentric.
  • Find more pleasure in intelligent dissent than in passive agreement, for, if you value intelligence as you should, the former implies a deeper agreement than the latter.
  • Be scrupulously truthful, even if the truth is inconvenient, for it is more inconvenient when you try to conceal it.
  • Do not feel envious of the happiness of those who live in a fool’s paradise, for only a fool will think that it is happiness.


I am a Senior Research Data Scientist at the Berkeley Institute for Data Science, where I focus on advancing science at the intersection of domains and computation. I am the founder of scikit-image and co-author of Elegant SciPy: The Art of Scientific Python.

I spend a significant amount of my time developing open source scientific software in Python and coordinating the ecosystem (Scientific Python). I'm most active on NumPy, NetworkX, SciPy, and scikit-image. Over the past few years I also spent a fair amount of time building the SkyPortal platform for multi-messenger astronomy.

Until May 2014, I was a lecturer in Applied Mathematics at Stellenbosch University in the Vision and Learning Group.

Latest blog posts

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    I also have some personal retrospectives, for those interested.

    Research and projects

    Shoelace Before you can have a PhD, you must learn how to tie your own shoelaces! (I recommend this one.)

    Most of my software can be found on GitHub, including most of my Python for science lectures. My publications are listed on Google Scholar.

    Some older topics include:


    Many of my programming lectures are on Github at stefanv/teaching. I regularly participate in the G-Node Python Summer school.

    While at Stellenbosch University, I used to teach the following courses (their homepages are long gone):

    sub-sahara africa
    sahara trip IanKnot rainbow