Cambridge partners with Schmidt Futures in new software engineering network

Schmidt Futures Contracts and partner institutions announce the creation of the Virtual Institute of Scientific Software (VISS), beginning with a network of four centers based at the University of Cambridge, the Georgia Institute of Technology, Johns Hopkins University and the University from Washington.

This interdisciplinary virtual institute will meet the growing demand for software engineers with a background in science, complex data and mathematics who can create dynamic, scalable and open software to facilitate accelerated scientific discovery in all fields.

As science increasingly relies on complex programming and technology, many researchers lack the software engineering training or experience, tools, and methods to produce efficient, reliable, and scalable solutions. As a result, successful research and scientific discovery is sometimes delayed as researchers seeking to conduct new experiments struggle to adapt unstable and outdated programming.

VISS seeks to improve research quality, accelerate progress, and encourage scalable open-source solutions by providing scientific researchers with access to full-time professional engineers and cutting-edge technology to develop high-quality software, maintainable and adaptable.

“Schmidt Futures’ Virtual Institute for Scientific Software will accelerate the pace of scientific discovery through the development of robust, well-designed software, supporting longer-term platforms and systems, encouraging best practices in open science and providing access to techniques such as high-end computing, massive databases and machine learning,” said Elizabeth McNally, executive vice president of Schmidt Futures.

Cambridge’s Institute of Computing for Climate Science (ICCS) will apply its existing expertise in climate science and artificial intelligence with research teams from Schmidt Futures’ Virtual Earth Systems Research Institute (VESRI) to address the specific needs in calculation and research software in the field of climate modelling.

The center represents a collaboration between Cambridge Zerothe departments of IT and technology, Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physicsand University Information Services. The other three centers will be dedicated to a range of scientific fields, including astrophysics, life sciences, engineering and climate.

“With this truly visionary new institute, Cambridge will combine its cutting-edge expertise in climate science, software engineering and computing,” said Vice-Chancellor Professor Stephen J Toope. “This interdisciplinary facility will enable the development of next-generation climate models. We are delighted to partner with Schmidt Futures and engage with the international research community to inform the response to our most pressing global challenge.

ICCS will be led by Emily Shuckburgh (Academic Director; Cambridge Zero), Dominic Orchard (Co-Director; Computing/Software Engineering), Chris Edsall (Co-Director; Engineering) and Colm-cille Caulfield (Co-Director; Science). All have a long-term research program to improve understanding of our changing climate through the development, implementation, maintenance and dissemination of models for scientific computation, data assimilation and analysis.

Being part of the University, the ICCS will also have an important education and training component, thanks to the commitment to share its scientific knowledge openly and widely. ICCS will play a key role in Cambridge Zero, the University’s climate change initiative, which identifies pathways to creating a sustainable, carbon-free future for all.

Over the next few months, ICCS will build a team of researchers and software engineers who share a vision of the power of modern computing, data science and software engineering to address the pressing challenges of our climate. changing.

Director of Cambridge Zero and Academic Director of ICCS, Dr Emily Shuckburgh, said: “The Institute of Computing for Climate Science will be the first of its kind, supporting the application of the latest developments in computing and data science to climate modelling. It is extremely exciting to launch this institute, which will be at the heart of an international network of climate research initiatives supported by Schmidt Futures, and will help push the frontiers of climate science.

The interdisciplinary network of centres, which will benefit from the experience of Schmidt Software Academy at Caltech, will have an initial life of five years.

Adapted from a Release published by Schmidt Futures.

Gordon K. Morehouse