Valeria Barra's personal website logo

Valeria Barra's website

A bit about my academic, professional, and personal life.


Welcome to my personal website! Here you can find a bit about my research, the projects I contributed to, and my academic and non-academic life.

For my undergraduate and master’s programs, I studied Mathematical Sciences at the University of Siena, my hometown in the Tuscany region of Italy.

Aerial view of the city of Siena, Italy
Aerial view of my beautiful hometown, Siena, Italy.

At the end of my master’s program, I was awarded a full-ride scholarship and research fellowship abroad. That’s how I arrived at the New Jersey Institute of Technology, where I also stayed to pursue a PhD program in Applied Mathematics.

Since I started as a postdoc at the Universtity of Colorado at Boulder, and now as a Research Software Engineer at Caltech, I have been contributing to some open-source software projects, listed below.

Open-source Software Community Projects:

Outside of Academia:

Fun facts:

  • I was a hip-hop dancer for fourteen years (I even competed in some national competitions in Italy) until the end of my master program.
  • If you are subscribed to Disney+ you can catch me in a short animated film as extra content of the Cars3 movie!

In my life outside of research, I love listening to music, dancing, cooking, swimming, snorkeling, and spending time outdoors hiking with my cat.

Recent News:

  • October 2, 2022: I was selected as finalist of the Italian Scientists and Scholars in North America Foundation Young Investigator Award 2022. I presented my research at the virtual Young ISSNAF Symposiium, held on October 24-28, 2022, and then received a travel award to attend the ISSNAF Annual Event in November 2022, held at the Embassy of Italy in Washington DC.

  • June 27-29, 2022: I presented at PASC 22, in Basel, Switzerland.

  • June 8-11, 2022: I served as a mentor, for the second year in a row, at the Graduate Student Mathematical Modeling Camp, at the University of Delaware.

  • February 23-26, 2022: I presented (remotely) at the SIAM Conference on Parallel Processing for Scientific Computing (PP 22).

  • December 13-17, 2021: I presented at the American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting (AGU 21), in New Orleans.

  • October 1, 2020: I joined Caltech as a Research Software Engineer in the CliMA project!

  • February 11, 2020: I was nominated and selected among the Rising Stars in Computational and Data Sciences, originally planned at the Oden Institute, in Austin, Texas (but held online).


I hold a PhD in Applied Math and I work mainly in scientific computing, seeking numerical solutions of partial differential equations that can arise in fluid dynamics, solid mechanics and other scenarios.