Whoa. Stan is 3 years old. We’ve come a long way since the start. I came into the project just as a working prototype was implemented by Matt and Bob with discussions with Andrew, Ben, Michael Malecki, Jiqiang, and others. (I had been working for Andrew prior to the official start of the project, but was on the injured reserve list at the time.)
Just for kicks, I looked back at the documentation and the commit log for v1.0.0. The first version was fully functional — it was definitely more than just a prototype. I remember feeling a bit nervous about the release, but not really apprehensive. Most of our meetings were about how we could make Stan faster and what we wanted to implement next.
Fast forward 3 years and Stan is still moving along. We now have a family of projects. We’ve split the math and automatic differentiation library into it’s own Stan Math Library, the Stan Library is being shaped into the language and the inference algorithms, there are interfaces for the command line, R, Python, Julia, Matlab, Stata, and additional supporting libraries like ShinyStan, stan-mode (syntax highlighting for emacs), and some more stuff coming down the line. We’re still talking about how to make Stan faster and what to implement next.
I’m going to start posting more regularly on the blog with Stan-related posts:
– general advice
– how to do easy stuff
– how to do expert stuff
– walk-throughs of models
– ideas that we want help on
If you have any suggestions, let me know.