Wes Turner

Apereo Board Director

Individual Member Seat
First Elected, June 2022
Current term, July 1, 2022 – June 30, 2025
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

Wes Turner has a long association with Open Source Software beginning in 2001 when he joined GE Global Research in the Visualization and Computer Vision Group (VCV). VCV researchers had been the originators of the open-source Visualization Toolkit (VTK) and soon after became part of the original developer group for the open-source Insight Toolkit for Segmentation and Registration (ITK). At GE, Dr. Turner embraced these efforts and became part of the team applying open-source software to varied fields such as creating virtual environments for industrial planning, cancer detection, lesion sizing, and even forensic facial reconstruction. On leaving GE, he continued to work in and contribute to these open-source toolkits from within Kitware, a small business which was a major user of and which eventually became the primary maintainer of these same frameworks. While at Kitware, Dr. Turner focused on medical applications, primarily cancer detection and characterization, but also worked in the areas of informatics. He was the PI on multiple NIH grants including the open-source Visomics project for performing biological research in genomics, proteomics, transcriptomics and metabolomics. Around 2010 the Veterans Administration recognized the need to open source their Electronic Health Record (EHR) software, forming an entity, OSEHRA, as the custodian of the effort. Kitware was one of the primary architects and Dr. Turner played a significant role in building the community, becoming the Director of Open Source Operations in 2013. On leaving Kitware, Dr. Turner joined Simquest, the originator of the open-source OpenSurgSim where he worked to add algorithms for supporting suturing.

Since 2016, Dr. Turner has been a Senior Lecturer at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI). Computer Science at RPI has a hybrid student led/academic center called the Rensselaer Center for Open Source (RCOS). RCOS is dedicated to promoting Open Source on campus and both advocates for and teaches courses in that area. Dr Turner has been associated with the RCOS since joining RPI and among the courses he teaches are the studio course CSCI-2960/2961 RCOS and CSCI-4470 Open Source Software. These courses give students instruction and practical experience in the development and application of open source and are very popular among the students. RCOS alone has a yearly enrollment of 350+ students all contributing to open source. In June 2018, Dr. Turner became Director of RCOS, a position he continues to hold.