Richard K Darst


  • Former student of chemical engineering, chemistry, and physics, networks, and data scientist.
  • Current research [software] engineer.
  • Email
    • (my three initials)
    • echo rk`echo "q@mtvo.a" | tr "n-za-m" "a-mn-z"`et
    • echo 'scale=281 ; sqrt(2)' | bc -l | tr 0123456789 gkrbdztein | sed 's/b\(...\)\(....\)\(...\)/\1@\2.\3/' | tail -1
  • pgp
    • key-id 0xBD356740
    • fingerprint A4B2 B20C 7D93 874E D38B 0109 6607 8F84 BD35 6740
  • irc darst on
  • phone
    • From FI: "0"+str(cuberoot(94891814022872219165099000))
    • International: "+"+str(cuberoot(45882712))+str(cuberoot(94891814022872219165099000))


As of 2022, I'm leading the Research Software Engineering team at Aalto University <> and doing a lot of other work in teaching and research support. I'm especially interested in how all of our services come together to make everything possible, and thus am looking at some of the more systematic barriers to research for everyone. I'm also heavily involved in CodeRefinery and Nordic-RSE. And the rest of this site is very out of date, maybe I should do something about that.

As of 2020, I'm currently a staff scientist at Aalto University, serving within the Aalto Scientific Computing (Science-IT), Computer Science-IT, and Research Services (Data Agent) teams. Our teams do everything, but our best description is the scientific computing special forces: we do whatever is needed, that no one else can do. Overall, it is still similar to what you see in the paragraph below, but more focus on good infrastructure, usability, teaching, and hands-on support as necessary parts of advanced computing.

Previously, I was a researcher in the Complex Systems group (Department of Computer Science), part of the Science-IT team, and in research data management support at the University level. I continue as a researcher in networks, data science, and human behavior. As part of Science-IT, I help to maintain the Aalto's Triton HPC cluster, in particular supporting data-intensive use cases. At the university level, I am developing researcher support for data management and data-intensive research. Currently, I am particularly interested in practical training, security, confidential/personal data, privacy, and changes caused by our new data-driven society.

Previously, I was a postdoc in the same Complex Networks group in the Department of Computer Science (originally in the Department of Biomedical Engineering and Computational Science), Aalto University, Finland. I took this job to expand my skills from the theory of my previous physics work to more applied fields. My specialty was networks, Community Detection (the understanding and search of structure within networks), and data science.

Previously, I was a graduate student (Ph.D., Chemical Physics) at Columbia University, in the group of David Reichman, in the general field of chemical physics. In particular, I studied the theoretical basis of the glass transition. During this time, I got interested in applying community detection to my glass problems, eventually leading to my transition to a network scientist.

Before that, I was an undergraduate at the University of Texas at Austin (B.S., Chemistry) where I researched solvation and statistical mechanics under Peter Rossky, a theoretical chemist. I began my undergraduate studies as a chemical engineer, but switched to chemistry to be able to focus on more theory and advanced math and physics.