Profile: Robert A. Ballance, Ph.D.

Dr. Robert Ballance is the founder of the Center for Internet as Infrastructure, LLC. Internet connectivity in the US is in transition from a desirable innovation to essential infrastructure. The Center’s purpose is to help accelerate that transition. The Center’s major project is the I3 Connectivity Explorer, a community-oriented broadband data visualization tool. The application gathers open data from U.S. Government agencies — Census, FCC, USDA, EPA, Dept. Of Education — along with other sources such as the Measurement Lab and ProPublica. It then co-locates the data to the places you live: towns, counties and county subdivisions, tribal regions, school and congressional districts. The data can be viewed both graphically and in tabular formats at multiple resolutions.

Bob served as a White House Presidential Innovation Fellow (1/2016-4/2017) when he worked with the BroadbandUSA program of the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA). He  helped to organize the White House Open Data Summit and Innovation Showcase, held in September, 2016. Prior to his assignment in Washington DC, he was a Distinguished Member of the Technical Staff at Sandia National Laboratories.

Throughout his career, Bob has helped people and organizations to integrate, optimize, and deploy rapidly-evolving computing systems and new technologies. He has held multiple roles: professor, researcher, entrepreneur, high-performance computing (HPC) system manager, leader of high-tech teams, and IT strategist. His work includes contributions to the deployment and management of Red Storm (a significant HPC system collaboration between Sandia National Laboratories and Cray, Inc.) and coordination of collaborations among National Laboratories. Prior to joining Sandia, he was a co-founder of the Linux Clusters Institute (LCI), an organization centered on helping organizations as they began using and operating Linux clusters in education, research, and business.

Dr. Ballance received his Ph.D. in Computer Science from the University of California, Berkeley. He is a member of the ACM and the Internet Society.