Viral Shah


Viral Shah

Co-Founder and CEO, Julia Computing. Co-creator, Julia Language

Dr. Viral Shah is CEO of Julia Computing, co-creator of the Julia programming language and winner of the 2019 James H. Wilkinson Prize for Numerical Software. Viral started programming in BASIC in eighth grade and taught himself C programming in high school. As an undergraduate at the PVPP College of Engineering in Mumbai, Viral implemented a risk management system for derivatives trading on the National Stock Exchange in India. Viral completed his PhD in computer science at UC Santa Barbara, where his thesis on abstractions for large scale combinatorial computing was advised by John Gilbert. Viral also developed Circuitscape, a widely used tool in conservation and landscape ecology, for which he received an award from the Wildlife Society in 2013. Soon after, Viral relocated to India to work on India’s Aadhaar (National ID) project, and co-authored Rebooting India with Nandan Nilekani, co-founder of Infosys and founding chairman of the Unique Identification Authority of India, which has delivered unique biometric identification to 1.2 billion Indians in the past decade. Rebooting India describes Nandan and Viral's experience implementing a large-scale technology project in government. Viral and his co-creators started Julia as a hobby but it is now their full time occupation at Julia Computing. Julia is the fastest dynamic programming language for numeric and scientific computing, including artificial intelligence and machine learning. Julia is free and open source and is used by more than 10,000 enterprises and 1,500 universities with over 2 million downloads, 1,900+ packages and 800+ open source contributors.