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DRI adds numerical analytics expert to Applied Innovation Center team

Former SAS Institute R&D Director attracted to Nevada via Knowledge Fund portfolio

RENO - In its ongoing effort to aid and improve the new, knowledge-based economy in Nevada, the Applied Innovation Center (AIC) at DRI proudly announces the addition of Jim Metcalf as Technical Lead for Data Modeling.

aic jimmetcalfMetcalf joins DRI with more than 20 years of experience leading software research and development, most recently as the Senior Director of Numeric Validation for SAS Insitute – the world’s largest privately held software company.

Metcalf’s team at SAS was responsible for ensuring the numeric correctness of analytic output of the company’s industry-leading analytic, business intelligence, and data management software. He led highly-skilled teams of Ph.D. statisticians, econometricians, forecasters and operations research experts who were responsible for verifying advanced analytic algorithms and delivering numerous analytic products to customers in 139 countries.

As Technical Leader for Data Modeling, Metcalf will aid and enhance a variety of analytical and modeling solutions being developed in the AIC’s four core focus areas: climate, weather and energy; engineering and design; life sciences and informatics; and IoT and Remote Sensing.

“I am humbled to join this team at the Desert Research Institute,” Metcalf said. “I’ve known about DRI’s reputation since I was an undergraduate. The chance to work with world-class Earth scientists who are addressing critical problems regarding the health of our planet is one that I simply could not pass up.”

Metcalf has a B.S. and M.S. in Geophysics from the University of Oklahoma. His scientific background includes geology field mapping, seismic data acquisition and processing, extensive GIS use, high performance computing, GPS data processing and interpretation, and web application development. Prior to SAS, Metcalf worked as a geophysicist for Shell Oil Company.

“Creating commercial-grade software with a team of more than 1,000 developers contributing to the same code base is incredibly complex,” explained Joseph Grzymski, Ph.D., AIC Senior Director. “Jim’s leadership experience in the private sector, combined with his passion for science and innovative problem solving significantly expands the AIC’s capabilities in a variety of areas.”

“What’s more,” added Grzymski, “is that Jim relocated to Nevada specifically because of the unique opportunities happening between our Governor’s Office of Economic Development (GOED) and our higher education system. That says a lot about our state and what the technology and data industry is looking for… and talking about.”

Supported by the State of Nevada’s Knowledge Fund and the Governor’s Office of Economic Development, the team of environmental researchers and high performance computing experts in DRI’s Applied Innovation Center are working at the forefront of new approaches to natural resource and urban infrastructure instrumentation, advanced data collection and integrated analysis to support intelligent decision-support systems.

Support from the Knowledge Fund has helped DRI funded 11 new, full-time positions and helped DRI faculty attract more than $750,000 in external research grants.

For more information about DRI’s Applied Innovation Center please visit