Ari Lamstein

Free Software Foundation “Social Benefit” Award Nominations

Ezra Haber Glenn, the author of the acs package in R, recently posted about the Free Software Foundation’s “Social Benefit” Award on the acs mailing list:

acs.R Community:

The Free Software Foundation is now accepting nominations for the 2017
“Project of Social Benefit Award,” presented to the project or team
responsible for applying free software, or the ideas of the free
software movement, in a project that intentionally and significantly
benefits society in other aspects of life.

If anyone is willing to nominate the acs package, the recognition
would be much appreciated — the package has been generously supported
by MIT and the Puget Sound Regional Council, as well as a great deal
of user-feedback and creative development on the part of the
ACS/Census/R community.

The nomination form is quick and easy — see
Deadline 11/5.

More info at


I’m reposting this here for a few reasons.

The first is that I only learned about this award from Ezra’s post, and I think that it’s worth raising awareness of the award itself.

The second is that, in my opinion, the acs package does “intentionally and significantly benefit society.” I have used the acs package over several years to learn more about US demographics. Choroplethr, my R package for creating statistical maps, also uses the acs package to retrieve data from the Census Bureau. Several thousand people have taken my free course on Choroplethr, and each of those people has benefitted from the acs package as well.

Finally, I’m mentioning this award to point out that R package developers receive compensation in different ways. None of us receive monetary compensation when people use our packages. However, Ezra has indicated that getting nominated for this award would be useful to him.

For all these reasons, I was happy to nominate the acs package for the Free software Foundation’s “Social Benefit” Award. It took me less than 5 minutes to fill out the form. If you are a user of choroplethr, and you enjoy its integration with US Census Data, then I encourage you to nominate the acs package as well. You can do so here.

Ari Lamstein

Ari Lamstein

I currently work as a Staff Data Science Engineer at a marketing analytics consultancy. I have 20 years experience developing software in areas such as data science, web development and video games. I have also worked as a technical trainer and independent consultant.

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