Steven Clontz informed me of an effort he’s involved in called code4math.

It’s described as a professional organization for the advancement of mathematical research through building non-research software infrastructure. By that he means, for example, writing software packages like Macaulay2 or databases of mathematical objects that other researchers can use to do their research.

Clontz recently gave a talk on the topic, with ample discussion of the evaluation material they can provide to justify the academic value of this sort of work.

The databases aspect really piqued my interest. Mathbases has a list of roughly 86 different databases (or, just websites) cataloging, for example, counterexamples in topology and graphs.

I like the graph database “House of Graphs” particularly, because you can search via drawing the graph and each record—e.g., graph 28—comes with a table of relevant statistics.

Unfortunately some of these databases are just simple websites or wikis, like the database of combinatorial designs, but that is to be expected since they are mostly written by academics in their spare time.

Adding a new database simply involves adding a pull request with some URLs and metadata about the project. It’s not uncommon I come across a random academic website that is close enough to a database to add here, and now I have a place to put those as I encounter them.

Clontz seems to have a number of other projects related to code4math, including a tutorial on GitHub for mathematicians, and an XML-based typesetting system.