Greetings, Imperial RSEs!
Summer is here and it almost never gets dark. It is time to go to the park, to organise BBQs and to be outside 😎… or not 🌧️ . There are plenty of options and things to do in the world of research software, so have a look at the latest news and what this Summer will bring.
In this newsletter:
Congratulations to Yiannis Simillides for winning one of the Britain’s Open Source Awards!! This awards recognises his work on FEniCS.jl, the julia-version of the popular open-source finite element package.
Our RS Community members Mark Woodbridge, Jeremy Cohen and Alex Hill were at the first German national RSE conference, and brought some news and highlights. Imperial College was the best represented institution outside Germany. Well done!!
The first release of binderhub-deploy, a tool to easily deploy a Binder server into Azure, was released this month! This project, led by Sarah Gibson from the Turing Institute, was one of the outcomes of the Research Software Reactor sprint that took place last May. Also part of the team were Tania Allard, a Microsoft Developer Advocate; Diego Alonso Álvarez, Research Software Engineer at Imperial; Tim Graves, Research Software Manager for the department of Earth Sciences at Imperial; and Gerard Gorman, Senior Lecturer also in the Department of Earth Sciences and co-organiser of the sprint. Try it out and read Sarah’s blog post about the whole process.
NOW: Registration for the RSE 2019 is now open, so get your tickets before it is too late! Don’t miss the workshop Diego Alonso is leading on graphic user interfaces for Python or the poster presented by Jeremy Cohen.
7 July: Early bird registration closes for the 12th European Conference on Python in Science in Bilbao, Spain.
8-9 July: Registration is now open for our first regional Research Software London Software Carpentry Workshop, to be held at Queen Mary University.
12 July: PyData London 2019. Mainly about Python tools but also R & Julia.
Late July: There are several ARCHER courses scheduled for late July. Some are fully booked, but you can register anyway to be added to the waiting list. Info and registration.
22-26 July: in Warsaw, Poland: 3rd International Summer School on Deep Learning
2-6 September: 12th European Conference on Python in Science in Bilbao, Spain.
17-19 September: RSE 2019 will be held at the University of Birmingham.
28 September: The Festival of Maintenance in Liverpool. A celebration of those who maintain different parts of our world, and how they do it, recognising the often hidden work done in repair, custodianship, stewardship, tending and caring for the things that matter. And that includes code maintainers everywhere…
17 November: Supercomputing 2019, Denver, Colorado, includes the International Workshop on Software Engineering for HPC-Enabled Research
Solar energy - and wind - is the riding horse of the renewable energy sources and the Department of Physics at Imperial has been a leader in this area since the early 90’s. Back then, research software was at the heart of the development of novel solar cell concepts. Nothing remains of that software, now, but their heirs are very much alive and kicking:
Solcore, created by the Quentum Photovoltaics Group, is the direct descendant of those early programs. Written mostly in Python (with some bits in Fortran), it was conceived as a teaching tool as much as a modelling tool. Solcore was specialised in the modelling of quantum well solar cells and multi-junction, high concentration photovoltaics, able of reaching efficiencies of nearly 50%.
Driftfusion was born to tackle the idiosyncrasy of perovskite solar cells, which need to consider the movement of ions (charged atoms) in the structure of the cells, and not just electrons as in any sensible semiconductor material 🙃. Unique in its features, Driftfusion is written in Matlab and therefore not as free as we would like it to be. For now.
Last but not least we have RayFlare, the ultimate software for modelling light absorption in solar cells. Written in Python and still in its infancy, RayFlare has been designed to address the basic problem of calculating how much sunlight is absorbed in a solar cell and, especially, where. It combines different numerical techniques and approximations to deal efficiently with the problem in different scales, from a few nanometers to hundreds of micrometers.
If you have a suggestion for software that you’d like to see us feature in this section, please email rse-committee at imperial.ac.uk.
The Crick Networking Fund will support networking activities for collaborations, up to £3K: the next deadline is 7th of October.
The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative is inviting applications for open source software projects that are essential to biomedical research. First round closes on the 1st of August. The RSE team at Imperial can help you with the application, so get in touch if you have an idea!
Registration is now open for the first regional Research Software London Software Carpentry Workshop. This is the first such event to be run by RSLondon and it is being organised and run by a group of volunteers from Queen Mary University of London, UCL and Imperial. It is being hosted by Queen Mary who are providing rooms and refreshments.
As always, keep an eye on this page for in-house up-coming training events. If you have any questions about Software Carpentry or any of the other listed training courses please email Katerina Michalickova.
The Imperial College Advanced Hackspace may be of interest too.
Want to find out about other software development related topics not listed? Contact Jeremy Cohen to discuss.
Some outcomes of the Collaborations Workshop 2019:
High-Level Webinar: Eureka 2.0 - Why Recognising Scientific Software Experts is Key to Open Science, by Simon Hettrick, deputy director of the Software Sustainability Institute.
Generate new repositories with repository templates, a new tool by the GitHub team.
How to begin data science projects from Research Engineering at the Turing:
“Part of the joy of being a data scientist is that we get to mess around in new domains.”
5 July: POP Webinar on the Software for Linear Algebra Targeting Exascale (SLATE) project. SLATE aims provide fundamental dense linear algebra capabilities for today’s high-performance computing (HPC) community. Its ultimate objective is to replace the Scalable Linear Algebra PACKage (ScaLAPACK) library, which has become the industry standard for dense linear algebra operations in distributed memory environments.
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 rse-committee at imperial.ac.uk. 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 Diego Alonso Álvarez