Scientific Computing with Python
Austin, Texas • July 6-12, 2015

SciPy John Hunter Excellence in Plotting Contest

Mississippi River Plot

In memory of John Hunter, creator of matplotlib, we are pleased to announce the Third Annual SciPy John Hunter Excellence in Plotting Competition. This open competition aims to highlight the importance of quality plotting to scientific progress and showcase the capabilities of the current generation of plotting software. 
The winning entries will be announced and displayed at the conference and will receive cash prizes generously sponsored by John Hunter's family.

2014 Winning Entry: Star Formation Visualization

Density and temperature around a forming star

Entry Instructions

  • Participants are invited to submit scientific plots to be judged by a panel. 
  • Entries must be submitted by April 13, 2015 via e-mail to
  • Plots may be produced with any combination of Python-based tools. (It is not required that they use matplotlib, for example.)
  • Source code for the plot must be provided, in the form of Python code and/or IPython notebook, along with a rendering of the plot in PDF format. If the original data can not be shared for reasons of size or licensing, "fake" data may be substituted, along with an image of the plot using real data.
  • Each entry must include a 300-500 word abstract describing the plot and its scientific importance for a general scientific audience.
  • Entries will be judged on their clarity, innovation and aesthetics, but most importantly for their effectiveness in illuminating real scientific work. Entrants are encouraged to submit plots that were used during the course of research, rather than merely being hypothetical.
  • SciPy reserves the right to display any and all entries, whether prize-winning or not, at the conference, use in any materials or on its website, with attribution to the original author(s).