Fellow Detail

Photo of Thibault Lestang
Name Thibault Lestang
Affiliation University of Oxford
Research area code (I3) Software engineering
Fellowship Inauguration Year 2021
Institutional Website https://www.kellogg.ox.ac.uk/our-people/thibault-lestang/
Website https://www.kellogg.ox.ac.uk/our-people/thibault-lestang/
ORCID 0000-0001-6770-2638
GitHub https://github.com/tlestang
LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com/in/thibault-lestang-874756150
Interests
  • Research Software Engineering: working hand in hand with researchers on research software projects.
  • Code reviews.
  • Code quality.
  • Performance engineering.
  • Scientific Computing.
  • Statistical and non-linear physics.
  • Free software.
  • GNU Emacs.
Short Biography

I am a Research Software Engineer at the University of Oxford. I collaborate with researchers across the University (and beyond!) to ensure that research projects are supported by and lead to quality research software. Examples include adding features to a Python framework to integrate various models of the UK's infrastructure (e.g. water supply or road network); enhancing the reproducibility of an R pipeline to infer parameters of models of tropical epidemics; the packaging and distribution of a Python package to simulate battery models and the development of an Android app to improve the screening of stroke patients.

More broadly, I'm interested in exploring new concepts and principles for the engineering of research software, and researching how RSEs and researchers can best work together. I see Research Software Engineering as a discipline of its own in which a lot is yet to discover.

In parallel to these projects, I aim to raise the profile of research software and software development in the academic community. I am particularly interested in establishing code review as a standard practice in academia. Regular code reviews between researchers and RSEs can greatly impact the overall quality of research software, distribute software skills and experience, as well as encourage an open mindset in sharing development practices. To this end, in July 2019, I started the Oxford Code Review Network (https://github.com/OxfordCodeReviewNet/forum). This initiative aims at making code review easier for all researchers across the university.

I hold a PhD in computational physics from École Normale Supérieure de Lyon, France, in which I epxlored and implemented novel numerical methods to simulate extreme events occuring in turbulent flows. This work was pivotal in orienting my career towards Research Software Engineering. Although my current work is highly interdisciplinary, I remain strongly interested in all things scientific computing, statistical mechanics and fluid dynamics.

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