2011 Clojure Scholarship: Help send Ambrose to the Conj!

Update 2011-11-08T01:41  We did it! Details and acknowledgements for all who donated now here!

About a year ago, I had the distinct privilege of having a front-row seat when the generosity of the Clojure community (and others!) helped Anthony Grimes (aka Raynes) attend the 2010 Clojure Conj.  Witnessing the success of that process made me certain that I would attempt to coordinate another "scholarship" fundraising drive for this year's Clojure Conj.

Like Anthony last year, I wanted to help someone that:

  1. had already contributed significantly to the Clojure community,
  2. clearly has great potential, but
  3. without some financial assistance, would not be able to attend the Conj and benefit from the meeting-of-the-minds that such conferences uniquely enable.

Over the summer, it became clear to me that Ambrose Bonnaire-Sergeant was that someone.  A computer science undergraduate at the University of Western Australia in Perth, Ambrose has distinguished himself in the Clojure community this year.

His introduction to many was PragPub magazine publishing his Growing a DSL with Clojure article in July.  In the article, Ambrose led us through the building of a simplified shell-scripting DSL in Clojure modeled on the open source stevedore library that he's contributed to.  More recently, Ambrose has been busy hacking away at significant contributions to the core.logic (logic programming) and core.match (optimized pattern matching and predicate dispatch) libraries led by David Nolen, producing content like his Logic-Starter documentation project that provides a compelling logic programming primer using core.logic as the raw materials, and helping out with jark tooling.  Finally, his has been a consistently helpful voice on the main Clojure mailing list.

Now, getting Ambrose to the Conj is going to be somewhat more challenging than last year's effort: he's in Australia after all, which makes both the travel and lodging expenses quite steep.  To make matters even more interesting, flights from Perth to Raleigh/Durham seem to fluctuate in price significantly — from $2,500 to $3,500, depending on when and where I check them.

Thankfully, Ambrose did submit a talk proposal to the Conj — an Introduction to Logic Programming with Clojure — which was accepted!  This means that the Conj organizers will be picking up his lodging during the conference, as well as generously providing $1,000 to help defray Ambrose's travel expenses.  Thus, we (only?) need to raise enough to cover the remainder of his flight, as well as two extra hotel nights (so he can recuperate from jet lag enough to deliver his talk without experiencing a sudden bout of narcolepsy!).

To be safe, I am therefore setting the fundraising goal to $3,000.  As long as the gods of airline pricing are not against us, this will safely cover the remainder of Ambrose's expenses, allow him to attend the Conj, and allow you to enjoy his sure-to-be-enlightening introductory logic programming talk.  Even moreso than last year, it’s a sizable sum; but, again, I think this is a worthy cause, and I suspect the Clojure community will rise to meet the challenge.

(If any funds remain, they will be used to provide discounted admission to the Conj for other students.)

I’ve set up a PayPal donation button below, along with a progress bar.  Some FYIs:

Finally, as an added incentive: at the end of the fundraiser, the three people with the largest donations will each receive a copy of my forthcoming Clojure book, Clojure Programming from O'Reilly, signed by me (and probably my co-conspirators as well, Christophe Grand and Brian Carper).

If you have any questions at all, leave a comment here, or don’t hesitate to contact me if it your question involves confidential details (payment issues, etc).

We did it!

Details and acknowledgements for all who donated now here!