West Hub Leader Vani Mandava joins University of Washington as Head of Engineering 

The University of Washington (UW) eScience Institute recently selected Vani Mandava as the Head of Engineering for the newly formed UW Scientific Software Engineering Center (SSEC) to build a world-class software engineering team to transform scientific software development.


Mandava represented the West Big Data Innovation Hub on its Steering Committee and at the national Big Hubs level as a National Coordination Committee representative. It was through close collaborations facilitated by the West Hub, that the UW team was originally connected with Mandava, a relationship that will now be transformative for supporting this new center. 


She most recently led Trustworthy AI research engagements at Microsoft Research Outreach as Director of Data Science, and has over two decades of experience related to shipping software that scales across clients, enterprise and cloud services. She has driven numerous successful collaborations across academic, government and industry research to enable robust and reproducible scientific tools and pipelines. Mandava is deeply interested in creating software driven solutions that can contribute to open and reproducible science. 


“I am excited to bring together best practices and talent from the software industry, with deep commitment to fundamental science and sustainable tool development under one roof at a world class academic institution such as UW,” Mandava said. “Through SSEC and eScience Institute, academic researchers now have this golden opportunity to build the next generation of software solutions that will unlock the potential of large scientific datasets to accomplish significant research breakthroughs.”


NSF Awards $1.26 Million to SDSC to Extend FAIR Research Community Activities

Last month, in conjunction with the West Hub’s sustainability efforts, the NSF awarded approximately $12.5 million to ten projects within the Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, Reusable (FAIR) Open Science (OS) Research Coordination Networks (RCN) program. Principal Investigator Christine Kirkpatrick will lead the RCN FARR: FAIR in machine learning (ML), artificial intelligence (AI) readiness and reproducibility award, which presents a unique funding and future partnership opportunity for the Hub to work with a wider network of information, data, and domain scientists in the ML and AI communities. The project will encourage better research practices and shared data accessibility based on the core FAIR data principles across multidisciplinary communities and leverage relationships with world-class institutions including: the Scripps Institute of Oceanography (SIO), the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA), and the EarthCube Office. This project builds on the foundation of UC San Diego’s FAIR-related West Hub efforts to meet new and emerging needs. In its remaining time, the West Hub will partner with the RCN FAIROS to host workshops, community events, and other forums to emphasize the importance of FAIR data principles within the ML and AI domains when applicable.


West Hub Represented on National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine Board on Research Data and Information

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine has announced that Christine Kirkpatrick of the San Diego Supercomputer Center (SDSC) at UC San Diego will be joining their Board on Research Data and Information (BRDI).