By Blair Archibald, University of Glasgow.

Building reproducible research workflows can be a messy business: data comes from many sources, it may need formatting, combined with other data and analysed in some way. Luckily, there is a whole host of software tools available to help manage some of this complexity (and hopefully let you keep your sanity!). In particular, (GNU) Make is ideally suited for the purposes of producing reproducible workflows. To see why let's join the FAKE research group.

The FAKE Research Group

Welcome to FAKE, a data driven research group that makes heavy use of computational science to perform analysis for publication. Our first task is to get up to date with the current publication. Luckily our predecessor has left detailed written instructions of the data analysis workflow:

  1. Run the formatData.awk script over the raw data to generate a tabular formatted output for later analysis

  2. Use the summarise.R R script on the formatted data to create two new data sets: summarised-group-1 and summarised-group-2

  3. You can then use the Python script on the two groups to generate the plots for the paper: stats-average.…

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Women in HPC will once again attend the Supercomputing conference to discuss diversity and inclusivity topics. Activities will bring together women from across the international HPC community, provide opportunities to network, showcase the work of inspiring women, and discuss how we can all work towards improving the under-representation of women in supercomputing.

The 7th International Women in High Performance Computing (WHPC) workshop at SC17 in Denver brings  together the HPC community to discuss the growing importance of increasing diversity in the workplace. This workshop will recognise and discuss the challenges of improving the proportion of women in the HPC community, and is relevant for employers and employees throughout the supercomputing workforce who are interested in addressing diversity. 

Sessions include:

- Improving Diversity in the Workplace: What methods have been put in place and tested to improve workplace diversity and inclusion?

- Career Development and Mentoring: Skills to thrive; sharing your experiences and advice on how to succeed in the workplace.

- Virtual Poster Showcase: Highlighting work from women across industry and academia. 

Call for posters: Now Open!

Deadline for submissions: August 13th 2017 AOE

As part of the workshop, Women in HPC invite submissions from women in industry and academia to present their work as a virtual poster. This will promote the engagement of women in HPC research and applications, provide opportunities for peer to peer networking, and the opportunity to interact with female role models and employers. Submissions are invited on all topics relating to HPC from…

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Steve Harris' article "Data Science for Docs" was recently published as the guest editorial in Bulletin, July 2017, the magazine for members of the National College of Anaesthetics, which reaches every anaesthetist in the UK (largest hospital speciality). 

You can find the article on pages 12 and 13 of Bulletin, Issue 104.

Dr Daniel S. Katz will talk at a Helmholtz Open Science Webinar in August about "Using citation to provide credit for software contributions". Most research today in many fields is dependent on software, but academic culture does not reward development, support, and maintenance of that software. A potential method to provide such credit is to insert software into the current publication/citation system. This talk will discuss an effort that is underway to do this, the FORCE11 Software Citation Implementation working group.

The webinar will take place on Wednesday, 9 August 2017, 3 to 3.30 pm CEST with a rerun on 
Monday, 14 August 2017, 3 to 3.30 pm CEST.

Registration: There isn't any registration required. Please go to the instructions page for details on how to access the webinars.

After the talk, there will be time to chat with the speaker for questions. Please have a look at the webinar details for further information.

SupercomputingBy Weronika Filinger, Applications Developer, EPCC

This post was originally published in the EPCC blog.

Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) provide free web-based distance learning opportunities to large numbers of geographically dispersed students. Here at EPCC we are always keen to talk about supercomputing, and becoming involved in this MOOC was a natural development for us. 

Course structure and delivery  

In accordance with the MOOC methodology of presenting the content in small, easily digestible portions, we designed this course to last for 5 weeks. 

Each week has a distinct theme, and is further divided into smaller modules called ‘activities’, consisting of a number of ‘steps’. Steps are the smallest units of the course structure and, regardless of their type – article, video, discussion, exercise, quiz or test – should not require more than 20 minutes to complete. Learners can spend as much or as little time on each step as they wish, and do them at any time. In our estimate the week’s worth of content should not take more than 3 hours to complete. Learners are granted access to all of the material at once, which allows them to proceed at their own pace. 

Programme content

The first week provides a gentle introduction to the world of supercomputing, including some basic terminology, a brief historical overview and…

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The Workshop on Sustainable Software for Science: Practice and Experiences (WSSSPE5.1) will take place on Wednesday 6th September 2017, at the School of Computer Science, University of Manchester. Register at WSSSPE5.1.

The call for submissions is also currently open until the 10th July. For further information and how to apply, please visit the WSSSPE5.1 Call for Submissions.


WSSSPE is an international community-driven organization that promotes sustainable research software by addressing challenges related to the full lifecycle of research software through shared learning and community action. WSSSPE5.1 is the seventh workshop convened since 2015 in an international series that provides opportunities for the community to come together to share experiences and advance practices.

WSSSPE5.1 aims to capture the state of the art in sustainable research software, discuss ongoing efforts to improve it, and identify potential topics to act upon. The workshop will report updates on and evaluations of present efforts from the community, including Working Groups established at past workshops, and suggest and discuss future measures. In order to provide short-term documentation, WSSSPE5.1 will produce a series of speed blogs in addition to the workshop report.

coding for humanitiesBy Iza Romanowska, University of Southampton, and Software Sustainability Institute fellow.

It may be challenging to teach an old dog a new trick but to change him into a cat is a whole new level of difficulty. So when we embarked on an ambitious task to teach archaeologists to code a simulation, we knew we need to make an extra effort. How do you explain a while-loop to someone who has never seen a line of code? How do you discuss different testing paradigms when you know the main issue will be to get the code to run in the first place? How simple can you make a simulation without losing all of its functionality? These type of questions are best approached by diving into the deep end and running a training workshop on an unsuspecting sample of not-so-computationally-savvy-yet-quite-interested researchers. Here we report on an Software Sustainability Institute sponsored workshop and present a few lessons we have learnt on the way.

Archaeologists usually found knee-deep in mud or elbow-deep in medieval manuscripts are not known for their outstanding computational literacy. This translates into a limited use of many computational tools commonly employed in other disciplines. In particular, formal, computational modelling techniques, which require a high level of technical and mathematical skill such as simulation are severely…

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Cardiff Conference Centre nice pic not CW18 venueTwitter: #CollabW18

We are pleased to announce that the Software Sustainability Institute's Collaborations Workshop 2018 (CW18) will take place from Monday 26th March to Wednesday 28th March 2018 at the School of Mathematics, Cardiff University, Cardiff - so hold the dates! The themes of CW18 will be Culture Change, Productivity and Sustainability in research software.

To find out more and to register your interest please visit the CW18 page.

Computer programming is not commonly taught to geographers, but the advent of NeoGeography, big data, and open GIS means that programming skills are becoming more important. To help support geographers to begin the process of learning to program, the Software Sustainability Institute and the Royal Geographical Society (with IBG) have provided support to run an introductory programming pre-conference workshop between 10am and 5pm on Tuesday 29 August at the Society in South Kensington ahead of the society's annual conference.

The workshop will be free to attend, and refreshments and lunch will be provided. As space is limited, interested participants will need to apply for a place at the workshop by completing a short survey about their programming interests and background.

For further information about the workshop and how to apply, please visit the workshop page.

Applications close on Friday 21 July.

Successful applicants will be notified by Tuesday 1 August.

Cardiff Conference Centre nice pic not CW18 venueTwitter: #CollabW18

The Software Sustainability Institute’s Collaborations Workshops series brings together researchers, developers, innovators, managers, funders, publishers, leaders and educators to explore best practices and the future of research software. Collaboration Workshop 18 (CW18) will take place from Monday 26th to Wednesday 28th March 2018 at The School of Mathematics, Cardiff University.

The themes of the workshop will be Culture Change, Productivity and Sustainability.

This page will be updated as plans for CW18 develop; in the meantime hold the date!

Fill in this form and we will let you know when registration opens (Sept/Oct 2017)

What's a CW like

Find out more by looking at the previous CW.

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