Online Panel Discussion

How Does Remote Work Impact Creativity and Innovation?

Series: Strategies for Working Remotely

Many of us have been working remotely well over 13 months now due to the COVID-19 pandemic. We’ve hosted 7 panel discussions since April 2020 that allowed us to share resiliency strategies for working remotely as most of us transitioned from co-located to fully virtual work. That said, 13 months and 7 panel discussions later, how much do we know about how working remotely and a phased return to “the office” will impact our creativity? Do we do our best work when isolated? What is it about serendipitous face-to-face interactions that we find difficult to replicate online? In our eighth installment of the panel discussion series, we explore the topics of creativity and innovation with software development teams who are applying agile techniques, thinking differently about co-located collaboration, and questioning the unintended effects of working remotely. Panelists will make brief introductory comments followed by open discussion. Questions can be submitted by the audience in advance to



Panelist Bios

Addi Malviya Thakur is a Group Leader for Software Engineering at Oak Ridge National Laboratory and a Better Scientific Software (BSSw) fellow.

Pat Quillen is a software engineer for Mathworks.

Elaine Raybourn is a social scientist in the Statistics and Human Systems Group (Applied Cognitive Science) at Sandia National Laboratories. Her research focuses on virtual teams, software developer productivity, virtual environments, visualization, and transmedia learning. She is the SC21 Scientific Visualization & Data Analytics Showcase Chair. Elaine has worked remotely for a combined total of 14 years while at Sandia National Laboratories: from the UK as a guest researcher at British Telecom; Germany (Fraunhofer FIT) and France (INRIA) as a Fellow of the European Research Consortium in Informatics and Mathematics (ERCIM), and most recently from Orlando, Florida as Sandia’s Institutional PI for the IDEAS-ECP productivity project. Elaine leads PSIP and the panel series Strategies for Working Remotely.

Damian Rouson is a mechanical engineer with extensive experience in software design and development for multi-physics modeling, including classical, quantum, and magnetohydrodynamic turbulence and multiphase flow. He co-authored Scientific Software Design: The Object-Oriented Way (Cambridge University Press, 2011) and in 2015, founded the California public-benefit nonprofit corporation Sourcery Institute. In 2020-’21 Department of Energy Better Scientific Software (BSSw) Fellowship. He holds a B.S. from Howard University and an M.S. and Ph.D. from Stanford University, all in Mechanical Engineering. He is also a licensed Professional Engineer (P.E.) in the State of California.

Francesca Samsel was trained as an artist and is now a Research Scientist at TACC (Texas Advanced Computing Center) University of Texas at Austin. She works with visualization teams and climate scientists drawing on her artistic training to develop strategies and tools that assist scientists in extracting more knowledge from their data. Francesca holds an M.F.A. from the University of Washington and a B.F.A. from California College of Art.

Moderator Bio

Ashley Barker is the Group Leader for the User Assistance and Outreach (UAO) team at the Oak Ridge Leadership Computing Facility (OLCF) located at Oak Ridge National Lab (ORNL). UAO is responsible for facilitating access to OLCF resources, providing training, documentation, and technical support to users, collecting and reporting on user facility data, and acquainting the public with the work conducted at the OLCF through scientific highlights. The OLCF supports more than 1,200 users and 250 projects annually from a wide spectrum of science domains. Ashley served as the National Climate Research Center (NCRC) Project Director from 2014-2016. The NCRC project represents a partnership between NOAA and DOE and through this partnership, the NCRC team has delivered multiple computer systems to NOAA, allowing the agency to advance its climate modeling and improve our understanding of climate variability and change. Ashley is also currently involved in the Exascale Computing Project (ECP) as the Control Account Manager (CAM) for training and productivity.