Cambridge partners with Schmidt Futures in new software engineering network


Software engineers will bridge the gap between modern science and scalable complex software at four leading universities.

Schmidt Futures and its partner institutions are establishing the Virtual Institute of Scientific Software (VISS), starting with a network of four centres based at the University Of Cambridge, Georgia Institute of Technology, the Johns Hopkins University and the University of Washington.

This interdisciplinary virtual institute will address the growing demand for software engineers with backgrounds in science, complex data and mathematics who can build dynamic, scalable, open software to facilitate accelerated scientific discovery across fields. 

While science has become increasingly reliant on complex programming and technology, many researchers lack the training or experience in software engineering, tools and methods to produce effective, reliable, and scalable solutions. As a result, successful research and scientific discovery is sometimes delayed as researchers looking to conduct further experiments struggle to adapt unstable and outdated programming.

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

“Schmidt Futures’ Virtual Institute for Scientific Software will accelerate the pace of scientific discovery through the development of robust, well-engineered 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, Schmidt Futures.

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