Practicing Open Science

Location: F150
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The pace of research and development is accelerating. Older methods of moving science from the laboratory, typically based on publication, technology transition and commercialization, are in many cases obstacles to rapid innovation. New approaches based on open practices can make dramatic impacts on the pace of innovation. In particular, the computational sciences benefit significantly from the use of open source software, and access to open data. However, for these new approaches to become sustainable, new approaches to collaboration R&D and commercialization are required.

In this panel, three leaders practicing scientific R&D will discuss collaborative and business models for rapid innovation. Brian Wylie is a project lead at Sandia National Labs and a principle developer of the Titan informatics toolkit. Bill Hoffman is a developer of the CMake project and a major contributor to the ITK medical image analysis toolkit. Will Schroeder is CEO of Kitware, Inc. and developer of VTK, a popular open source visualization toolkit. These speakers will address the process of moving technology to practice using open source methods.

William Schroeder

Kitware, Inc.

Dr. Schroeder is President and co-founder of Kitware, an open-source software company developing leading edge scientific tools for data visualization, computer vision, medical imaging, and quality software process. Will’s role at Kitware is to identify technology and business opportunities, and to obtain the necessary support for Kitware to meet these opportunities.

Prior to founding Kitware, Will worked at GE Research where he was principle developer for the open-source Visualization Toolkit ( software, including writing a textbook published by Prentice-Hall. While VTK provided the impetus to found Kitware, Dr. Schroeder has also been involved in the creation of other open-source systems including the medical image analysis toolkit ITK (, and the software process tools CMake ( and CDash (

Dr. Schroeder has been a speaker and panelist at several prestigious venues including SIGGRAPH, IEEE Visualization, and many other conferences and invited talks. He also teaches an open-source software practice course at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

Will has e mechanical engineering degree from the University of Maryland, with a MS and Ph.D. in applied mathematics from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. Will enjoys writing and speaking passionately about open-source software.

Brian Wylie

Sandia National Labs

Brian Wylie is a principle member of technical staff at Sandia National Laboratories. Brian holds a BS in computer engineering and an MS in computer science from the University of New Mexico. Brian’s research interests include scalable informatics, volume visualization, information visualization, and illustrative techniques. He is actively involved in the open source visualization community, including notable roles as a member of the Visualization ToolKit(VTK) Architecture Review Board and project lead for the Titan Informatics Toolkit (

Photo of Marcus Hanwell

Marcus Hanwell

Kitware, Inc.

Marcus Hanwell received his B.Sc. and Ph.D. in Physics from the University of Sheffield, UK, in 2003 and 2007, respectively. He spent a summer in Silicon Valley at a startup company in 2002, and participated in the Google Summer of Code program in 2007, as a student, and from 2008-2010, as a mentor with the KDE project. In 2011 Marcus led VTK’s application to be a mentoring organization, which was accepted, and acted as the primary organization administrator and mentor to one project concerned with chemistry visualization in VTK.

After completing his Ph.D. at the University of Sheffield in 2007, Marcus worked as a post-doctoral fellow at the University of Pittsburgh in the department of chemistry. His Ph.D. and post-doctoral work involved both experimental and computational research, concerned primarily with the electrical and structural characteristics of nanomaterials. He has presented his research at local, national and international conferences. During this period he continued the open source development he began in 2007 as part of his Google Summer of Code project, joining the Blue Obelisk movement and was awarded a Blue Obelisk in 2011 in recognition of his achievements in promoting open data, open source and open standards.

Additionally, Marcus has been an active member of several open source communities. He is one of the core developers of Avogadro, an open source, 3D, cross-platform molecular visualization and editing application/library. He has been an active member of the Gentoo and KDE communities, and is a member of the Gentoo Foundation and KDE e.V. He has given presentations on his work in open source at several international conferences. His work in Avogadro was featured by Trolltech on their “Qt in Use” pages, and he was recently selected as a Qt Ambassador. Marcus continues to push for open data, open source and open standards in science.

He has played a key role in developing new development workflows as Kitware open source projects moved to Git, working on Gerrit code review integration, CDash@Home cloud based testing with Gerrit code review and next generation build systems in the Titan, ITK and VTK projects. He has also been awarded and led a Phase I project to further develop open source chemistry tools for computational chemistry, and has taken part in international collaborations to establish open standards for data exchange in chemistry.