Software Tools and Environments

Working Group

As science becomes increasingly data-driven, software plays an increasingly important role. However, a gap in the pipeline has emerged: faculty, students, and postdocs in many scientific domains are not equipped to develop and deliver the advanced software they require. Furthermore, even in computer science, conventional academic roles have little incentive to harden, sustain, share, and integrate their techniques into a robust, reusable software infrastructure.

The charge of this working group is to fill this gap. Our goal is to sidestep inefficiencies to software development arising from competitive funding, including overemphasis on novelty, “not-invented-here” syndrome, underemphasis on usability, and a tendency towards overgeneralization or overspecialization.

Together with our counterparts at the University of Washington and New York University, we will conduct a distributed experiment varying people, policies, procedures, and projects to find foundational methods for the development, delivery, and sustainability of science software. Through shared events, mutual testing and outreach, shared software licensing and IP policies, and more, we plan to continually develop high-impact, usable software in domain science; establish ourselves as national leaders in open source software excellence, and attract and retain top data science “builders.”


Working Group Members


Stéfan van der Walt

Senior Research Data Scientist

David Ackerly

Natural Resources; Integrative Biology; Environmental Science, Policy, and Management
Faculty Affiliate

Carl Boettiger

Environmental Science, Policy, & Management; UC Berkeley
Faculty Affiliate

Sandrine Dudoit

Statistics, Epidemiology and Biostatistics, School of Public Health, UC Berkeley
BIDS Faculty Council

Fernando Pérez

Statistics, UC Berkeley; Data Science and Technology, LBNL
Faculty Affiliate

Saul Perlmutter

Berkeley Center for Cosmological Physics, 2011 Nobel Laureate
Faculty Director

Karthik Ram

Senior Research Data Scientist

Daniela Ushizima

Computational Research Division, CAMERA, LBNL
Research Affiliate