I have been working on a numerical global optimization algorithm (actually, two of them...) plus a quite comprehensive benchmark test suite. I have also run a comparison between different optimization routines in Python. Few links:
I'll soon be going to South America for the Python conferences (PyCon) in Uruguay, Argentina and Brasil:
The PyCon2012 page contains the presentations' abstracts, slides in PDF format and the tutorial on wxPython I will be presenting at these conferences.