Eike Mueller

groupc.pngBy Stuart Grieve, Research Software Developer, University College London, Eike Mueller, Lecturer in Scientific Computing, University of Bath, Alexander Morley, DPhil in Neuroscience, University of Oxford, Matt Upson, Data Scientist, Government Digital Service, Richard Adams (Chair), Reader, Cranfield University, Michael Clerx, Post-doctoral researcher in Computational Cardiac Electrophysiology, University of Oxford.

This blog post was motivated by a discussion amongst academics and research software engineers from different disciplines on the challenge of writing good, sustainable software in teams with different backgrounds. Specifically, how can a mixed team of, say, scientists, librarians, engineers and project managers be encouraged to write good software together?

Our discussions led us to two broad recommendations: first, to ensure that research software…

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6375359117_dc18c1a762_z.jpgBy Sam Cox, University of Leicester, Richard Adams, Cranfield University, Eike Müller, Met Office.

The role of software in research and who writes it

From an institutional level down to teams and even individuals, research today is heavily reliant upon software and particularly upon bespoke computer code which solves specific scientific problems.. This creates a huge demand for software creation and maintenance. Traditionally, this has been the responsibility of post-docs and postgraduates. But while they play a crucial role in the success of the research group, the indirect nature of the translation of their work into papers (particularly the maintenance and update work to keep on keep the software fit-for-purpose under changing scientific requirements) can leave the individual researchers at a disadvantage—they have less time for the more traditional work of running experiments and writing papers. This in turn has an effect upon their career progression, which hinges on clear metrics for success.

As a result, one major issue is how to identify what ‘…

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Eike MuellerUniversity of Bath

Interests

My research interests lie in the area of scientific computing. I am implementing massively parallel solvers together with the Met Office, lead the development of a performance-portable molecular dynamics framework and work on novel multilevel Monte Carlo algorithms. I pass on my knowledge to students by teaching parallel computing and modern software development techniques.

My work

I became hooked on writing research software during my PhD in computational particle physics (Lattice QCD) at the University of Edinburgh. Since then I contributed to a range of software-driven interdisciplinary research projects.

After my PhD I spent two years at the Met Office, where I was responsible for the parallelisation and optimisation of the NAME atmospheric dispersion model; this code was used to predict the spread of ash clouds from the Eyjafjallajokull eruption in 2010. I then moved to the University of Bath as a PostDoc to develop massively parallel multigrid solvers for atmospheric forecast models and I currently work with RSEs at the Met Office to integrate those algorithms into the next generation model code. As a Lecturer in the Department of Mathematical Sciences in Bath I advocate good practices in software development in my teaching and when working with postgraduate students. I introduce final year students to parallel programming in a course on Scientific Computing which I taught in the last years. For my research I…

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