Welcome to our second Research Software Community monthly newsletter
We’re always on the look out for interesting events, activities, projects, software libraries and tools, so if you come across something that you think may be of interest to the community and that you’d like to see included in our next newsletter, do let us know. Likewise, we’re always happy to receive feedback and suggestions. Details of how to get in touch are at the end of the newsletter.
February has been a busy month for research software activities at Imperial and around the London region in general with the RSLondonSouthEast workshop which took place earlier in the month, Imperial’s software carpentry team running one of their regular, well-attended, workshops and an Imperial/RSLondon talk taking place at the end of the month.
In this month’s newsletter:
SRUK Scientific Computing Workshop: The Society of Spanish Researchers in the UK are running a free 1-day hands-on event on Saturday 9 March guiding participants through some first steps with scientific computing: what it can be used for, what tools are out there to automate tasks, the basic use of the terminal and of two of the most popular computer languages, R and Python.
SSI Collaborations Workshop 2019 (CW19): The Software Sustainability Institute’s (SSI) Collaborations Workshop 2019 will take place 1st-3rd April. Registration is open and the event will feature community-run workshops, discussion sessions, a hackday (3rd April) and keynotes from Franziska Heine and Catherine Stihler.
RSLondon Community Lunchtime Seminar, 3rd April: The London and South research software community (RSLondon) will be running a lunchtime seminar hosted by University of Westminster, 12pm-2pm on Wednesday 3rd April. Further details and registration will be available soon via the RSLondon events page.
The Alan Turing Institute Data Study Group - April 2019: The Data Study Group is a five-day hackathon-style event at the Turing Institute. There is an application process to attend this event and the application deadline is Monday 4th March.
ComBioMed Containerisation Meeting: This meeting on “Container Technologies in Cloud and High Performance Computing Research and Commercial Applications” will take place in Amsterdam, Netherlands on 28th-29th March.
WOSSS19: Workshop on Sustainable Software Sustainability 2019. 24th-26th April, The Hague, Netherlands.WOSSS19 is a workshop looking at long-term software sustainability.
deRSE19: The deRSE19 conference, the first international RSE conference to be held in Germany, will be hosted by the deRSE community, 4th-6th June. Abstract submissions close on the 28th February. The event will include a variety of talks and workshops.
CarpentryConnect: The first CarpentryConnect event in Europe in affiliation with The Carpentries and the SSI will be held in Manchester on 25-27 June. There is now an open call for topic suggestions and abstract submissions for breakout sessions, workshops, lightning talks and posters.
IC RSE Community: More information on this term’s activities will be announced shortly on our events page. In the meantime we’re keen to hear ideas on topics for potential lunchtime tutorial sessions, from software testing to machine learning or anything else: please get in touch using the address at the end of the newsletter.
Thursday 7th February saw the first of what is planned to be an annual workshop for researchers, software developers, academics, systems/infrastructure professionals and anyone based in the London and South East region who is building or working with research software. The RSLondonSouthEast 2019 workshop was held at the Royal Society and attracted over 100 registrations from individuals based at more than 20 different institutions. There were a number of Imperial community members present. The workshop started with a keynote from Professor Spencer Sherwin of Imperial’s Department of Aeronautics and Director of the Research Computing Service. Following the keynote there was a full-day programme of eight 15-minute standard talks and nine 5-minute lightning talks offering an insight to a wide variety of different RSE work going on at institutions within the region. There was also time for networking and discussion at coffee and lunch breaks, nine posters on display and a round-table group discussion session in which participants looked at two specific questions that were pitched by the session organisers. The discussions generated some very interesting feedback and ideas to help the community grow and to help highlight where the community can best support its members.
The workshop received a number of abstract submissions for talks and posters and all submissions were anonymously reviewed by three reviewers. Imperial was well represented in the schedule with 3 talks from different departments/groups in the College, in addition to the keynote. Mark Woodbridge’s blog post on the event highlights the Imperial talks.
Following Richard FitzJohn’s presentation on reproducible research and “productionising” research code at RSLondonSouthEast 2019, we’re highlighting Orderly – an R package to order, produce and store reports from a database. It’s a tool that addresses provenance – tracking how research outputs are generated from source data and ensuring that the analysis is repeatable. The project’s approach to software engineering is worth taking a look at – including automated builds and 100% test coverage.
Orderly is developed by Richard FitzJohn, Martin Eden, Tini Garske, Alexandra Hill, Wes Hinsley, Emma Russell and James Thompson in the MRC Centre for Global Infectious Disease Analysis at Imperial.
GitHub draft pull requests: GitHub has recently introduced draft pull requests.
SSL access to Redis: For anyone programatically accessing the Redis in-memory data store from your code, SSL support was recently merged into master in the hiredis C client library and should be available in a release soon.
Version 6.0 of JuliaDiffEq’s DifferentialEquations.jl has been released. The library brings together a range of differential equation solving functionality for Julia.
IDEAS Project Webinars: The next webinar in the IDEAS project’s Best Practices for HPC Software Developers series is “Parallel I/O with HDF5: Overview, Tuning, and New Features” on Wednesday 13th March.
Lectures in Quantitative Economics: These lectures include both Python and Julia versions covering language basics, scientific libraries and tools in addition to domain-specific models.
An interesting blog post from the BBC Visual and Data Journalism team looks at their use of R for graphics: How the BBC Visual and Data Journalism team works with graphics in R
Small research teams ‘disrupt’ science more radically than large ones - A Nature article that looks at the application of a new citation metric, with findings that are also applicable to code on GitHub.
The Imperial Research Software Community is run by a committee of community volunteers. We’re keen to ensure that the community provides useful and interesting activities to its members and are always happy to receive feedback to help improve the community. You can contact the community committee at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you’d like to get involved with the running of the community, why not volunteer to join the committee. We’re also always looking for speakers for our events. If you’d like to give a presentation to the community, or just a short 5-minute lightning talk describing work you’ve been doing, an interesting idea or collaboration, or a new tool that you love using and would really like to share with the community, get in touch.
That’s all for the February newsletter. We hope you’ve found something of interest here and do send us anything that you come across that you would like to appear in next month’s newsletter. Thanks to everyone who contributed material for this newsletter.
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This edition of the Research Software Community Newsletter was edited by Jeremy Cohen