Dr James Hetherington has been a programming scientist in various research fields since 1999, including theoretical physics, biomedical simulations, and environmental modelling, working in both academia (University College London and Cambridge, UK) and industry (the MathWorks, makers of MATLAB, and AMEE, a London environmental modelling startup).
He is the founding leader of UCL’s Research Software Development Team, a group of scientific programmers bringing software engineering practices and ideas into computationally-driven research across college. The team work with researchers who code to enhance UCL’s capacity to produce the highest quality research software, from the simplest scripts managing scientific data to complex simulations running on state of the art computational platforms. They collaborate with researchers in fields from ancient Mesopotamian history to graph theoretical chemical catalysis modelling, and from brain blood flow simulations to DNA whodunit statistics.
The team contributes to teaching and research, not by teaching or carrying out novel research in computer science itself, but by bringing best practices and advances in software engineering to, and collaborating with, computational researchers in other fields.
Dr Hetherington believes that this model of a university-based research software development team is one that will help to transform the readability, reliability and reproducibility of scientific software. As a fellow of the UK's Software Sustainability Institute, and a leader of the UK Community of Research Software Engineers, is working to campaign for the importance of research software engineers
Tuesday 1:30 p.m.–2:15 p.m. in Room 203