The Fifth Elephant 2014

A conference on big data and analytics

Viral B. Shah


The state of Julia - a fast language for technical computing

Submitted Jun 11, 2014

Last year at the Fifth Elephant, I gave a talk introducing the Julia programming language ( This year, I propose to give a short talk on the current state of Julia.


I will give a talk introducing Julia for those who have not heard about it. I will talk about progress of the language since the last year, and some glimpses into where we are headed. I will also discuss the growth of the Julia community.

Julia is a high-level, high-performance dynamic programming language for technical computing, with syntax that is familiar to users of other technical computing environments. It provides a sophisticated compiler, distributed parallel execution, numerical accuracy, and an extensive mathematical function library. The library, largely written in Julia itself, also integrates mature, best-of-breed C and Fortran libraries for linear algebra, random number generation, signal processing, and string processing. In addition, the Julia developer community is contributing a number of external packages through Julia’s built-in package manager at a rapid pace. IJulia, a collaboration between the IPython and Julia communities, provides a powerful browser-based graphical notebook interface to Julia.

Julia programs are organized around multiple dispatch; by defining functions and overloading them for different combinations of argument types, which can also be user-defined. For a more in-depth discussion of the rationale and advantages of Julia over other systems, see the following highlights or read the introduction in the online manual.

Speaker bio

I am one of the co-creators of the Julia programming language.


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