PhD student awarded Software Sustainability Institute Fellowship
28th November 2012
Robin Wilson, a PhD student working jointly with the Institute for Complex Systems Simulation and the Academic Unit of Geography and Environment has been awarded a fellowship from the Software Sustainability Institute (SSI; see www.software.ac.uk). The fellowship, which was won against stiff competition from academics of all career stages across the UK, will provide money for him to travel to conferences and run workshops with the aim of furthering his research while also promoting the importance of sustainable software within scientific research.
Robin's PhD is focusing on quantitative processing of satellite images, and as such he uses a lot of software - both commercial packages, open-source tools and code he has written himself - and this made him interested in issues regarding software in science. During his work with the SSI he will be trying to answer questions like like "How can I reproduce this work that was done using software?" and "How can I ensure that this program is giving correct results?" and "What can I do to make sure that this software will continue to be able to be run on modern computers for the rest of my research career?" as well as making others in his field aware of the issues regarding software in science.
Robin said, "I am very excited to be given this opportunity to work on issues regarding the use of software in science - particularly in my field, in which software is so important". His plans for the fellowship currently include attendance at a number of international conferences, as well as running a workshop on software sustainability at a UK conference.
The image above is an example of one of the satellite image outputs that Robin is working with as part of his PhD. The image is a map of Aerosol Optical Thickness (a measure of the haziness of the atmosphere) over Europe, as estimated by the MODIS sensor on the NASA Aqua/Terra satellites.