Better Scientific Software (BSSw) Fellowship

The Better Scientific Software (BSSw) Fellowship is an exceptional program that supports leaders as they work to enhance scientific software and developer productivity. The program’s primary goal is to locate and identify pioneers within the scientific community who can enhance the efficiency and sustainability of scientific codes.

Projects that have been conducted by past participants include workshops, tutorials, and other activities that engage the scientific software community. In fact, one of our own SHI members, Dr. Damian Rouson, received a BSSw fellowship in 2020. Dr. Rouson’s project focuses on providing tutorials on agile scientific software development to underrepresented students. The project interleaves career development through hands-on practice of agile techniques.  During the first half of the workshop, participants learn about the value of fellowships, followed by a discussion on agile development which mostly focuses on Markdown document creation in a browser on Github. Dr. Rouson states that, “the greatest challenge came in striving to teach agile software development without doing any software development, without making any assumptions about the computing platform, and without requiring any prior knowledge of programming.” The tutorials are incredibly educational for students with little to no coding experience. After the entry-level coding session, students wrap up the tutorial by completing a fellowship application as a professional development activity using agile.

SHI is delighted to continue working with BSSw in 2021.  Dr. Leung is one of the three Class of 2021 BSSw Fellows. Mary Ann, along with fellows Marisol Garcia-Reyes and Chase Million, will focus on projects that they lead through their affiliated institutions. Dr. Leung will expand on Dr. Rouson’s project by increasing developer productivity and innovation through diversity and inclusion.  Dr. Leung’s project addresses challenges faced by the Department of Energy (DOE) laboratories and other institutions regarding diversity in the workforce and retaining staff from underrepresented backgrounds. To tackle these issues, Dr. Leung plans to develop guidelines consisting of best practices and activities that can be adopted and implemented by the software development community.

Dr. Leung has a long history of leading programs that provide students, faculty, and staff from underrepresented communities, life-changing opportunities. Mary Ann has an impressive background in high-performance computing and computational chemistry and has demonstrated her invaluable skills through her previous ventures developing scientific codes and the computational science and engineering workforce. Dr. Leung is incredibly grateful for this opportunity and optimistic about what is to come.

Click the links below to learn more about each fellowship!

BSSw 2020 Fellowship: Dr. Damian Rouson

BSSw 2021 Fellowship: Dr. Mary Ann Leung