The Alan Turing Institute is the UK’s national institute for data science and artificial intelligence. As well as introducing the Institute and its research challenges, James Hetherington, the Turing’s Director of Research Engineering, will describe the role of the Research Engineering Group within the institute. Since 2012, James has been leading the development of the role of the “Research Software Engineer”, a new career path in academia now established in many universities and research institutes in the UK and elsewhere. Combining mathematical and computational expertise with a professional approach to software development, Research Software Engineers help to deliver impact from scholarly software.
James is the founding head of UCL’s Research Software Engineering Group, the first such group in the UK, and the Director of Research Engineering at the Alan Turing Institute, the UK’s national institute for data science and artificial intelligence.
Across these two institutions, he leads a team of twenty research software engineers and data scientists contributing to a huge range of data- and compute-intensive research. They build and use tools to analyse and present large research datasets, and create complex simulations running on state of the art supercomputers. Fields addressed include ancient Mesopotamian history, graph theoretical approaches to modeling chemical catalysis, intensive care big data, compressive sensing for the Square Kilometer Array, the history of trans-oceanic journalistic exchanges, data intensive engineering, brain blood flow simulations and DNA crime scene analysis statistics.
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