Bethel and his team conduct basic and applied research and development on techniques and tools for enabling
scientific knowledge discovery in some of the world's largest collections of scientific data generated by computational models, simulations, and experiments. This work lies at the nexus of data management, data
analysis, scientific visualization, and high performance computing. He was the Coordinating Principal Investigator for the SciDAC Visualization and Analytics Center for Enabling Technology (VACET), which made production-quality, petascale-capable visualization a reality at DOE supercomputing facilities, and that produced software tools in use by a worldwide scientific community in disciplines ranging from high energy physics to climate modeling. Under his leadership, the LBNL visualization program grew from two persons in 2001 to a vibrant program consisting of twelve full-time staff, an annual budget of about $4.5M/yr, has achieved broad computational/scientific impact, and that has earned a worldwide reputation for excellence and field leadership. His research interests include software architecture for data-centric computing, high performance computing, scientific and information visualization, and computer graphics. He is an ACM Distinguished Scientist.