Software and research: the Institute's Blog

Open DataBy Naomi Penfold, eLife, Penny Andrews, University of Sheffield, M. H. Beals, Loughborough University, Rosie Higman, University of Cambridge, Callum Iddon, Science and Technologies Facilities Council, Cyril Pernet, University of Edinburgh, Diana Suleimenova, Brunel University London.

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

What resources already exist and what’s needed next?

Data sharing relies on having somewhere that the data can be accessed, typically in a repository. Some researchers are lucky enough to have university repositories; for the others they have to rely on external resources, such as Zenodo or disciplinary repositories such as those found at Re3data. This is a trivial but necessary first step: identifying the most suitable place to host data.

It is also worth noting that open data does not mean just posting your research…

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Containers for HPCBy Krishna Kumar, Institute's fellow, University of Cambridge

The University of Cambridge with the support of the Software Sustainability Institute is organising a workshop on Containers for HPC: A Workshop on Singularity and Containers in HPC and Cloud on 29th and 30th June 2017. The aim of the workshop is to give an overview of container technologies in the context of Research Computing, with a specific focus on enabling HPC and GPU workloads.

The main focus will be around Singularity which is available in the current HPC system at Cambridge and is also the chosen technology that will be implemented in the new Cambridge Service for Data Driven Discovery at Cambridge (CSD3). Alongside a few special keynote talks, an afternoon session will cover practical examples from running a container on HPC to building your own Singularity container images.

Further information and registration is available at Containers for HPC workshop website. Places are limited, please make sure you have a real interest and need of this container technology and you are also familiar with Linux environments.

Containers for High Performance Computing

Reproducible…

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Sustainable Software ArchitectureBy Edward Fisher, University of Edinburgh, Raquel Alegre, University College London, Grace Cox, University of Liverpool, Edward Smith, Imperial College London, Violeta Holmes, University of Huddersfield, Catarina Martins, University of Manchester.

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

A critical concept within software sustainability is the correct choice of a suitable software architecture that can be supported long-term and can be easily adapted given changes in the base requirements. But what do we mean by software architecture, what can we draw from the historical development of software since the birth of computer systems, and from personal experience and intuition?

A software architecture is a roadmap or blueprint for use during the development cycle. It is also a method of segregating work packages amongst multiple developers or the logical separation of tasks in a single developer’s sequential work pattern. As with building architecture, there…

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career paths in academicaBy Jonathan Cooper, University College London, Ilektra Christidi, University College London, Thomas Etherington, Royal Botanic Gardens Kew, Caroline Jay, University of Manchester, Martin O’Reilly, The Alan Turing Institute, Melody Sandells, CORES Science and Engineering Limited, Andy South, Freelance.

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

“Is there an alternative to the standard academic career path that would actually make research work better?” There are many essential roles that make up a team. At present, the creativity and skills of those outside of a principal investigator role are often hidden behind academic power structures that do not necessarily…

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Collaborations Workshop 2017, IoT, Open Data, research softwareBy Edward Smith, Institute’s fellow, Imperial College London.

The Collaborations Workshop 2017 (CW17) was the first event I've attended by the Software Sustainability Institute. The topic this year—big data and internet of things (IoT)—didn't exactly inspire me with hope that it would be relevant to my (heavily numerical) work. I couldn't have been more wrong; it was great to gain an insight into the wider infrastructure of software development and, by moving out of my comfort zone, get a new perspective on how similar problems are solved. The keynote talks by Usman and Thomas were very interesting and I have even played around with the IoT Adafruit Feather HUZZAH we were given. The "unconference" aspects meant lots of time to chat and it was great to meet people struggling with the same problems. The hackday was rewarding, again a first for me, working together on a shared GitHub repository. We managed to put together a web visualisation tools for migrant movements and a demo.

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