Neil Chue Hong

Understanding how to choose a piece of software is difficult. What code should I bet my research on? Will the project producing the software grow or shrink? Is the code base stable or changing? Does the project depend on one organisation or many? Is the community healthy or hopelessly ill?

At the Software Sustainability Institute, we want to ensure that research software is sustainable. One of the ways we can do this is by measuring the general health of the community around the software and developing methodologies and tools for analysing modern software development. With this in place, we can improve the health of projects and make it easier to answer the questions above.

We are therefore delighted that the Software Sustainability Institute is a founding partner in the Community Health Analytics Open Source Software project (CHAOSS). CHAOSS is a new Linux Foundation project focused on creating the analytics and metrics to help define community health that was officially launched this week.

The aims of the project are to:

  • Establish standard implementation-agnostic metrics for measuring software community activity, contributions, and health, which are objective and repeatable.
  • Produce integrated open source software for analyzing software community development.

Other members contributing to the project include Bitergia, Eclipse Foundation, Jono Bacon Consulting, Laval University (Canada),…

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We are pleased to announce the next awardees from the EPSRC USA-UK Research Software Engineer Travel fund. This funding aims to encourage greater collaboration between the UK and USA-based Research Software Engineer communities to help with: investigating emerging hardware and the impact on software; building collaboration around a particular science area; developing common community codes; and building links between computational / computer science and mathematics. The deadline for the next round of the fund is 1st September.

Awardees

A consortium led by Dr James Hetherington, Head of the Research Software Development Group at UCL and Head of Research Engineering at the Alan Turing Institute, comprising the five Alan Turing Institute partners (UCL, University of Cambridge, University of Edinburgh, University of Oxford, and University of Warwick) has been awarded money to help establish an ongoing exchange program with the three US Moore-Sloan Data Science Environments at University of California Berkeley, New York University and the University of Washington. The funding will help to bring across leading data scientists / RSEs including Dr Ariel Rokem, Dr Claudio Silva, Dr Jacob VanderPlas, and Dr Stéfan van der Walt, for an un-conference event hosted at the ATI to identify collaborations and visits to partner sites.

Dr David Henty, group manager at EPCC at the University of Edinburgh, has been awarded money to support the visit of Dr Elsa…

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RCUK are conducting a survey to understand the skills and training needs of researchers using UK computational research resources, including traditional HPC for simulations and modelling to high throughput and data-intensive science applications. If your work is supported by a non-desktop system then this survey applies to you!

The data will be used to understand the range of skills across the UK HPC community, and the training needed to fill those skills gaps. The survey will take no more than 10 minutes to complete and closes on 1st September 2017.

Take the survey.

We are pleased to announce the first two awardees from the EPSRC USA-UK Research Software Engineer Travel fund. This funding aims to encourage greater collaboration between the UK and USA-based Research Software Engineer communities to help with: investigating emerging hardware and the impact on software; building collaboration around a particular science area; developing common community codes; and building links between computational / computer science and mathematics. The deadline for the next round of the fund is 1st August.

Awardees

Dr Chris Richardson, EPSRC Research Software Engineering Fellow at the University of Cambridge BP Institute and core developer of the FEnICS software environment for finite element analysis, has been awarded money to enable the visit to the UK of Greg von Winckel, the developer of the ROL optimisation library based at Sandia National Labs. Greg will give seminars in Oxford and Cambridge to share knowledge of the current capabilities of the underlying ROL library and work with Chris and his team on code sprints to develop PyROL, a Python interface to ROL that will enable integration with FEnICS and other codes.

Dr Martin Turner, currently Relationship Manager in the University of Manchester, has had related overlapping secondments being Visualisation Director for the Harwell Imaging Partnership (HIP) at STFC/RAL and Visualisation Group Leader within the Scientific Computing Division in STFC/DL, has been awarded money to support the visit of Marcus D. Hanwell, Technical Leader at Kitware, and lead for the…

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The UK Open Research Data Task Force has just released a report looking at the Research Data Infrastructure Landscape in the UK and beyond. The report provides a thorough overview of the infrastructure that supports open research data in the UK and abroad.

It details the policies that have been implemented by research funders and universities themselves; the technological platforms and tools developed at local, national and international levels; and the cultural challenges that are still present across different disciplinary research groups. The report has been reviewed and discussed by members of the Open Research Data Taskforce who represent HEFCE, RCUK, Wellcome Trust, UUK, Jisc, BEIS, academics from a number of disciplines and champions of open research data, including Software Sustainability Institute Co-Investigator, Professor David De Roure.

The report highlights a number of issues covering technical, cultural and behavioural, and operational and policy concerns. With respect to software, the report notes that:

"Few data policies make more than passing reference to software and code, though they can constitute a significant barrier to data sharing and open data. For they are integral to the generation of research data; and access to them is essential if users are to be able to re-use data effectively or validate research findings. There is potential to use software management plans to encourage researchers to consider how the code they develop is organised and published, improving its reuse and the…

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Please note that all funds under this initiative have now been allocated - this page is for archive purposes only.

Key dates

  • Deadline for applications: 1st of each month, until all funds disbursed. This fund is now closed.

  • Funding decision made: two weeks after deadline

  • Impact Event: TBC

  • Fund spending deadline: 31st March 2018

Background

EPSRC has made a sum of £35,000 available to support collaboration, share knowledge and build stronger partnerships between UK and US Research Software Engineers (RSEs).

The Software Sustainability Institute, acting through the University of Edinburgh, will administer this initiative and make grants available to support objectives such as sharing specific expertise or projects, or promoting and sharing RSE experiences with international centres.

An initial round of funding will target applications from individual EPSRC RSE Fellows, and organisation-led proposals from the UK Research Software Engineer Leaders Network, and the UK RSE Association. Following this, applications will be open to any UK-based RSEs working in an EPSRC remit area.

Aims and Scope

This funding aims to encourage greater collaboration between the UK and USA-based Research Software Engineer communities around the following topics:

  • investigating emerging hardware and the impact on software;

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Software metricsBy Neil Chue Hong, Software Sustainability Institute, Daniel S. Katz, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, Thomas Kluyver, University of Southampton, David Mawdsley, University of Manchester, Patrick McSweeney, University of Southampton, Geraint Palmer, Cardiff University.

This post is part of the Collaborations Workshops 2017 speed blogging series.

Software is important to research. Whether you think software is a primary product of research or not—or indeed not yet—it’s clear that a lot of researchers rely on a lot of pieces of software. From short, ill-planned, thrown-together temporary scripts to solve a specific problem, through an abundance of complex spreadsheets analysing…

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We have funding available at EPCC for PhD places to study different aspects of research software, related to the work of the Software Sustainability Institute.

To be eligible for funding covering both fees and stipend, students must be UK nationals, or EU nationals who have been resident in the UK for at least 3 years before commencing the studentship. 

There is a deadline of 15th May 2017 for applications for funded places. Prospective students should contact Neil Chue Hong (n.chuehong @ software.ac.uk) who will help them develop a short (2-3 page) research proposal which they must submit as part of their application. Please note that Neil is on leave between 21st April and 7th May, so responses will be slightly delayed.

 

Newcastle University are seeking to recruit a researcher with experience in the development of optimised high performance computing software to join a large multi-disciplinary team of researchers on an ambitious research project. The researcher will be expected to extend and develop a large scale biological simulation model built around LAMMPS. The initial focus for this work will be on parallelising extensions to the LAMMPS codebase which simulate microbial cells using an Individual Based Model. 


This post will be based within the Large Scale Modelling Team of the NUFEB project at Newcastle University. For more information about the project please see the NUFEB website http://research.ncl.ac.uk/nufeb

The closing date for applications is 26 April 2017. Further details can be found at: http://bit.ly/2mZHkBN or contact Steve McGough.

As part of the ongoing public consultation on the midterm evaluation of Horizon 2020, the Free Software Foundation Europe published and submitted to the European Commission its Position paper for the endorsement of Free Software and Open Standards in Horizon 2020, the biggest EU Research and Innovation programme.

Because software is a vital part of today's scientific research, the FSFE believes that Open Access policies promoted in the framework of Horizon 2020 should also explicitly cover the publication of software under Free Software licences. This way, the EU will truly support Open Science.

If you would like to contribute your views, please read more about how to participate in the public consultation and how to share the FSFE's position paper, here: https://wiki.fsfe.org/Activities/OpenScience_InterimEvaluation_Horizon2020

The consultation, run by the European Commission is open for everyone until 15th January 2017.

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