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Juan Klopper

Juan Klopper is a medical doctor and surgeon at Groote Schuur Hospital, the academic hospital complex of the University of Cape Town, South Africa, and a senior lecturer in surgery. His specialty is emergency surgery, and he heads the hospital's Acute Care Surgery unit. He is also the Head of Post-Graduate Surgical Research, the Head of Surgical Education, and the Faculty of Health Science representative on the University Senate Committee for Online Education.

An ardent open educator, Juan was recognized with the 2014 Educator Award of the Open Education Consortium, a global network for open education. His first collections of educational videos on YouTube focused on biomathematics and[acute care surgery, but he also created loads of teaching videos on physics and mathematics. At the time, he recorded a course on medical statistics using Excel, but he also ventured into a short set of Python lectures, and then a full-fledged course on Medical Statistics using IPython notebooks. He has since then developed courses on the Julia language, on R for medical statistics, and on Understanding Clinical Research using Google Colab—the latter also a Coursera MOOC that has enrolled more than 85,000 learners. Juan was the first educator from the African Continent to have a course on the Coursera platform.

Juan's research focus is on improvements of healthcare through data science and mathematics. The unique blend of his decade-long career as an attending surgeon and years as an autodidact of mathematics and programming brings forth inventive projects applying technology to medicine. One uses convolutional neural networks to diagnose hemopneumothorax (air and blood in the chest cavity) in victims with gunshot or stab wounds. Another is looking into the diagnostic accuracy of magnetic resonance imaging for tuberculosis spondylitis in HIV-positive and HIV-negative patients. The surgical research unit that he heads at University of Cape Town has supported more than a hundred master's and doctoral research projects.

In the resource-constrained environment of South Africa, such research efforts rely heavily on open source software tools. For both teaching and research, open source tools remove barriers to technology in the developing world. A number of initiatives involving and advocating open source software in Sub-Saharan Africa attest to the significant impact it can have in capacity building, public policy implementation, and economic growth.

Juan—not content with saving lives with his surgical talents—has devoted himself to the open dissemination of knowledge. His motto is "Never stop learning," and he shares his learning journeys openhandedly with his students and everyone else. I can't wait to hear what he will share with the JupyterCon community.


Jupyter - The path to solving outstanding problems

Monday Oct. 12, 2020, 2:30 p.m.–Oct. 12, 2020, 3:30 p.m. in Data Science Applications, Enterprise Jupyter Infrastructure, Jupyter Community: Practices, Jupyter Community: Tools, Jupyter Core, Jupyter in Education, Jupyter in Scientific Research, JupyterCon Sponsor Talks