The SAGE Mathematics Foundation
SAGE clearly needs a SAGE Foundation.
There is already something called The SAGE foundation in New Jersey. (The financial section of their website is interesting, since they post several relevant IRS documents.)
- QUESTION 1: Can I create another "SAGE Foundation", or do foundation names have to be unique? This is a question about IRS tax codes, I think.
Note that http://www.irs.gov/charities/ lists several charities whose status has recently been revoked which have the same name. (They were from different states though.) Possibly a SAGE Foundation of New Jersey is unique.
- Here are some questions and answers which hopefully this statement will help answer:
- What is the purpose of SAGE?
- Be a comprehensive mainstream high quality open source free mathematics software system.
- Unify free open source mathematics software.
- To provide everyone (students, computer scientists, professional, ...), with stimulating, educational, high quality, open source, mathematical software for learning about and producing research in mathematics, at no cost.
- Why does the SAGE Mathematics Foundation exist?
- Be a nonprofit tax-exempt organization under Section 501(c)(3) of the IRS tax code. Can receive donations, license fees, payment for technical support, etc. Resulting money can then be used to support students, visitors, purchase of equipment, workshops, and give grants to applicants for SAGE development.
- Provide an advisory board to help people applying for grants (e.g., from NSF), for conferences, and deciding how to use funds they have.
Protect SAGE developer's intellectual property rights. Copyright will stay with authors; all coded submitted must be under the GPL (or compatible) license.
- Trademark and protect the SAGE name.
- To improve the accessibility of mathematics for everyone with a computer.
- To constantly improve the interactive exploratory experience available for anyone to learn about or perform research in mathematics using the SAGE program.
- What is the Foundation going to do to achieve this purpose?
- Run workshops.
- Hire an accountant, if necessary.
- Create an advisory board of directors.
- Make available on the internet, at no cost to the user, the SAGE program and extensive documentation.
- Strongly encourage SAGE developers, funding and/or training them if fiscally possible.
- Support SAGE end users by hiring a user support staff which
- fixes reported bugs as soon as possible or offering work-arounds,
- offers programming advice,
- provides requested functionality, when possible.
- What are our guiding principles?
All software included in the SAGE core distribution must be free and open source. Moreover, arbitrary modifications of the source code must be allowed and redistribution of any line of source code in its modified form must be allowed.
- Included software must not discriminate against persons, groups or fields of endeavor. For example, software with a license that only permits use for "academic purposes" will not be included with SAGE.
We should provide a model for the mathematical community of software development with a strong emphasis on openness, community, cooperation, and collaboration.
We should always strive to create professional quality software and documentation that is available to everyone.
- That mathematical software must be high quality, accessible, open source, and free for everyone to download and use at no cost.
- We strive to provide an encouraging, stable, productive, programming environment for developing future mathematical programming projects.
- What is the purpose of SAGE?
- Board of Directors
- Members - Tom Boothby, David Harvey, David Joyner, William Stein (chair).
- Topics for the board:
- Bylaws (Should we require a student member on the board? What are our priorities? How should the treasurer work? Should the board members have official duties - if so, what (liason to the AG?, Foundation webmaster/secretary?, ...)
- The relationship between the SAGE Foundation and the UW.
- They do have a section on cafepress.com with "Axiom Gear" where some money goes to the Axiom Foundation. What do you think of "SAGE Gear" on cafepress.com?
- Should we create and distribute SAGE educational videos?
- SD3 planning
An idea: Google just came out with an online speadsheet application with permissions. With that, any board member the Chair wants could fiddle with the finances, check each others entries, etc. It can be published and this allows several people to share the treasury duties. The Chair could just email another board member and say "Type ... into the spreadsheet for me would you?" TB: This sounds convenient, but may not be prudent. For nonprofit status, we need to be 100% certain that our accounting, is, well, accountable. If google spreadsheet doesn't track every change, an audit could be a nightmare
Do any other mathematics software systems, e.g., Axiom, Magma, GAP, PARI, etc., have a foundation?
The Council provides broad policy advice for the future development of GAP, among other things. (The Council chairman serves as the "editor" of the GAP webpages, though he is not the webmaster, and also as an "editor in chief" of the "GAP packages".) See the web pages for more details.
The Centers are physical locations where GAP expertise is found (for example, St. Andrews). The developers located there are Council members and have several "possible tasks": (1) run GAP-related conferences, (2) use their local computer facilities to test and develop GAP, (3) try to raise money, ... . See the web pages for more details.
Notes during talk
- SAGE Foundation does not hold IP!!! It's GPL.
- Definitely individual copyright!!
- What is SAGE for???
- - research and development - games - plotting - education