Paul Sarando and the role of RSEs in driving innovation at UArizona

Oct. 19, 2023

The Data Science Institute (DSI) focuses on the invaluable contributions of research software engineers (RSEs) at the University of Arizona. Paul Sarando is a University of Arizona alum and works on the CyVerse Discovery Environment (DE) as a full stack software engineer concentrating on the DE's web interface and its web-based APIs. RSEs working on projects like the DE bring more than technical expertise to the table. They provide the architectural backbone and frameworks for robust research data management and make research software more usable and reproducible.  Sarando underscores the pivotal role RSEs play in research.

UArizona Research Software Engineers on red background

DSI is spearheading the initiative to foster collaboration among UArizona software engineering experts, recognizing the value they bring to research projects, despite their typically independent roles. This collaborative effort intends to unite RSEs with shared interests and concerns, paving the way for enhanced innovation and synergy within the UArizona data science community. A dedicated research software engineer group at UArizona holds significant promise for the institution's thriving research community.

Sarando underscores the need for RSEs to come together, engage in candid discussions about effective strategies, and share insights into what works and what doesn't. According to Sarando, the current lack of cohesive networking among RSEs at UArizona presents an untapped opportunity. He recalls the past Tech Talk sessions where engineers and programmers would converge to explore specific topics of interest, a practice that may have since faded into the background. Sarando is enthusiastic about the prospect that, with the support and coordination of DSI, a similar platform could be revitalized, drawing active participation from RSEs, researchers, and the broader academic community. The RSEs platform could yield multifaceted benefits for the University of Arizona, fostering innovation, knowledge exchange, and collaborative synergy across disciplines.

With growing interest from research software engineers and other stakeholders across the campus, DSI is laying the groundwork for a dedicated UArizona RSE Group.  If you are interested in learning more or want to be part of the RSEs Group, reach out to us by emailing

Tina L. Johnson
Paul Sarando