Schmidt Futures Welcomes V. Balaji as Distinguished Fellow to Guide New Climate and Computational Science Efforts

July 11, 2022

NEW YORK, NY,  July 6, 2022Schmidt Futures is pleased to welcome V. Balaji, who will join as a Distinguished Fellow to guide expanding efforts at the intersection of the climate and computational sciences. Balaji’s seminal work on the application of computational technology to climate research and modeling influenced the genesis of the Schmidt Futures Virtual Earth System Research Institute (VESRI). VESRI now encompasses hundreds of scientists across twelve countries, four scientific research consortiums and fifty research institutions to improve the accuracy and credibility of major climate models by addressing some of the hardest problems that challenge them. He will also apply his talents to the Schmidt Futures Virtual Institute of Scientific Software, which accelerates the pace of scientific discovery through the support and development of better quality, more sustainable scientific software. 

“We bring talented people together in networks to prove out their ideas and solve hard problems in science and society.” said Eric Braverman, CEO of Schmidt Futures, “V. Balaji, a leader in interdisciplinary science and the thoughtful application of technology, can help guide the high-impact, high-risk research that drives large-scale, catalytic, and transformative impact in climate modeling.”

Balaji joins from Princeton University, where he served as the Head of the Modeling Systems Division at NOAA’s Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory, one of the world’s pioneers in climate modeling. With a background in physics and climate science, he has also become an internationally recognized expert in the area of computing, data and scientific infrastructure. His interests encompass the application of advanced technologies and methods to hard science problems, and broadening access to these tools in underserved communities and the developing world. In 2017, he was among the first recipients of French President Macron’s Make Our Planet Great Again award and holds an academic appointment at the Institut Pierre-Simon Laplace, Sorbonne Universités. 

“V. Balaji’s experience in exploring new ideas across disciplines makes him the ideal person to leverage artificial intelligence and big data to improve the representation and understanding of climate models, and ultimately accelerate the pace of climate research,said Stuart Feldman, Chief Scientist of Schmidt Futures. “We are delighted to have him join our team, bolstering our efforts to advance the scientific discoveries that can address the challenges facing our planet and society.”