Welcome to the March edition of the Imperial Research Software Community newsletter
Do you know of an event, activity, project or tool that may be of interest to the community? We’re always on the look out for newsletter items, so please 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.
March has been an auspicious month for research software, with confirmed funding for the new national supercomputer Archer 2 and HRM The Queen blogging about Charles Babbage and Ada Lovelace. More details below…
In this month’s newsletter:
NHS Hack Day: Applications are open until midnight on 31st March to attend the next NHS Hack Day. NHS Hack Day is for geeks who love the NHS: it runs all day Saturday and Sunday (15th-16th June), including a social event on the Saturday evening.
SSI Collaborations Workshop 2019 (CW19): The Software Sustainability Institute’s (SSI) Collaborations Workshop 2019 will take place 1st-3rd April. 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: On Wednesday 3rd April, RSLondon, the regional research software community for London and the South East will be holding its next lunchtime seminar with a set of talks from members of the community. The event will take place at University of Westminster, with a light buffet lunch served from 12:00 and talks starting at 12:30. The event will finish at 14:00. Full details and registration are available on Eventbrite.
pFUnit Webinar: The webinar “Testing Fortran Software with pFUnit”, part of the series Best Practices for HPC Software Developers, will take place on Wednesday April 10th at 1.00pm Eastern Time. Register on Eventbrite.
Pydata Call for Proposals: A Call for Proposals is open until the 19th of April for PyData London. Pydata welcomes presentations focusing on Python as well as other languages used in data science (eg: R, Julia). Presentations can be at a novice, intermediate or advanced level and can take the form of a talk or tutorial. Proposals from first-time speakers are encouraged and there is an accompanying speaker mentorship programme.
KQ Codes Technical Socials: The Knowledge Quarter Codes are informal events for anyone with an interest in the computational methods and technology behind research and innovation. They are an opportunity to get to know fellow practitioners, and to discuss and learn about useful tools and techniques which may help with your work. All are welcome, whatever your background or career stage. The events are held monthly, with the next one on Wednesday the 24th of April 5pm-6.30pm.
RSE Conference 2019 Call for Participation: A Call for Participation is open until the 7th of May for RSE Conference 2019. RSECon19 are looking for talks, walkthroughs, panels, posters, lightning talks and workshops. Proposals in a wide range of subjects are encouraged, and from researchers at any career stage and software developers working in a research context, whatever their job title or field. First-time speakers are encouraged and there is mentoring available.
Tenth international Women in HPC workshop: Women in HPC will be participating in the ISC High Performance Conference 16th-20th June in Frankfurt, Germany. The Workshop “Diversifying the HPC community and engaging male allies” will run on the 20th June 2019 - more details here.
Archer Summer School: Registration is open for the Archer Summer School 2019. This includes a Hands-on Introduction to HPC (15-16 July) and Message-passing Programming with MPI (17-19 July). Registration here.
Each month we highlight a piece of research software that is being used or developed at Imperial. If you have a software suggestion, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
This month we feature Devito, which is developed by a team based in the Earth Sciences department at Imperial. Devito is a code generation framework for the design of highly optimised finite difference kernels. It utilises SymPy to allow the definition of operators from high-level symbolic equations and generates optimised and automatically tuned code specific to a given target architecture. API documentation and tutorials are published automatically, and Azure pipelines are used for testing and deployment.
The Society of Research Software Engineering has just been registered by the Charity Commission as an independent organisation. This means that the RSE movement now has an independent organisation where the votes and input of members will shape the future direction - you will soon be able to join and shape the future direction of the society.
Philip Hammond has announced £79 million to fund the next national supercomputer ARCHER2 which will come into service in 2020. He stated that “with the right algorithms it might even be able to come up with a solution to the backstop”, but we’re not holding our breath.
An alpha version of Iodide, “an experimental tool for scientific communication and exploration on the web”, has been released from the folks at Mozilla. There is a demo and a browser-based Python science stack to try out, but it’s not yet ready for critical work.
Mozilla are seeking technologists, activists, policy experts, and scientists devoted to a healthy internet, with a particular interest in individuals whose expertise aligns with the Mozilla 2019 impact goal “better machine decision making”. Learn more and apply to be a 2019-2020 Mozilla Fellow here - applications close Monday 8th April at 5pm Eastern Time.
RSE Conference 2019 are funding eight travel bursaries for up to £250. This is open to students, early-career attendees and international attendees. If you wish to apply for a travel bursary, please do so by the early submission deadline on the 9th of April.
There are a number of training courses at Imperial over the next couple of months, including an R-focused Software Carpentry workshop R for reproducible scientific analysis taking place at St Mary’s Campus on 15th-16th April 2019. The goal of this workshop is to teach novice (or nearly novice) programmers common approaches for data analysis in R and to write modular R code. The emphasis is on giving attendees a strong foundation in the fundamentals of R, and to teach best practices for scientific computing: breaking down analyses into modular units, task automation, and encapsulation. Further details and registration are here.
See the full list of courses (including Software Carpentry workshops) at Imperial here. More training dates for the summer term will appear in April - if you have any questions, please email Katerina Michalickova (email@example.com).
HelioML is an online, interactive, open source textbook on data-intensive heliophysics. The book includes a collection of interactive Jupyter notebooks, written in Python, that explicitly shows the reader how to use machine learning, statistics, and data minining techniques on various kinds of heliophysics data sets to reproduce published results.
It was great to see The Queen mention Ada Lovelace, Charles Babbage and coding in her first Instagram post.
The Materials and Megabytes podcast explores the development of machine learning for materials science, physics, and chemistry applications through conversation with researchers at the forefront of this growing interdisciplinary field.
That’s all for this month, and thanks to everyone who suggested links for this edition. If you’d like anything included in the newsletter, have ideas about how it could be improved, or would even like to guest-edit a future edition then just drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org. And if you’re reading this on the web and would like to receive the next newsletter directly to your inbox then please subscribe here.
This edition of the Research Software Community Newsletter was edited by Lucy Whalley