Happy New Year! Despite the difficult times, I hope you all had some time to spend with family and friends - with the appropriate precautions - and to clear your minds of troubles. 2020 was pretty dark in many ways, but we all like to see 2021 as the light at the end of the tunnel and a new begining.
Research software never takes a rest and proof of it is how loaded this newsletter is of events, news, blog posts and podcasts. If you made any new year resolutions related to research software, chances are you will find something useful for you here.
Without any further delay, let the show begin!
The next event in UCL’s series of monthly Tech Socials will take place on Wednesday 27th January at 3pm. Stefan Helfrich (KNIME) will speak about “KNIME - Visual Workflows for Pushing Data Literacy”. You can find more information on the Eventbrite page and you can join the event via this Teams link. For details on other Tech Social events, see the KQ Codes Tech Socials page.
SORSE (the Series of Online Research Software Events) already has plenty of events in February! On Wednesday 3rd, 16:00-17:00 UTC there will be a seminar about “Web apps with the power of Python” using Anvil. On Thursday 11th, 17:00-17:45 UTC there will be a pair of talks - Research Squirrel Engineers - An independent squirrel network for RSEs in DH and archaeology and Particle image velocimetry to study cell migration. And, finally, if you are looking to start a career in France, check the event on Thursday 23rd, 14:00-15:00 UTC about RSE careers in France: the French National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS) option.
Collaborations Workshop 2021 (CW21) will take place online from Tuesday 30th March to Thursday 1st April 2021. Registration is now open, as is the call for submissions for mini-workshops and demos - the deadline for submissions is 31st January 2021.
The Software Sustainability Institute’s (SSI) 2021 Fellowship Programme is now open for applications. The deadline for application submissions is the 5th February 2021. Our own community committee member Diego Alonso-Alvarez is a current SSI Fellow so if you’re interested to apply you are welcome to contact Diego for advice or information.
The Software Engineering for Computational Science (SE4Science’21) workshop’s Call for Papers is open. The submission deadline is 12th February. This year, the workshop is being held in conjunction with the International Conference on Computational Science (ICCS21), 16th-18th June 2021.
SAVE THE DATE: On Tuesday 9th March 2021, we’ll be hosting a ReproHack. Registration details will follow in next month’s newsletter but if you’re interested to help out with organising/running this event, please get in touch with Jeremy Cohen via email or our Research Software Community Slack.
The hidden REF aims to recognise and celebrate research outputs beyond the traditional outputs that contribute to the regular REF exercise. This is particularly relevant to RSEs, with submission categories such as “Hidden Role”, “Training materials and courses” and “Research Citizenship”. The deadline for submissions to the hidden REF is 26th February 2021.
Research Software Directories: The discussion session “Research Software Directories: What, Why, and How?” was held on September 16th as part of the SORSE event series. Here you can find an excellent blog post authored by Mark Woodbridge summarising the event and the different approaches taken to showcase research software.
Have you ever been told that open research or open science is not the way to go? Here you have Ten arguments against Open Science that you can win.
If you organise events (or are hoping to do so in 2021), take a look at the Software Sustainability Institute’s Event Organisation Guide that was recently announced. The guide contains an array of helpful information highlighting the various things you might need to think about when organising and running events.
“A damn stupid thing to do” - the origins of C. An interesting blog post on the origins of C - worth reading whether you’re familiar with the history of C or not.
Two new episodes in the Research Software Engineer Stories podcast. All things R features Maëlle Salmon, widely known in the R community for a number of good reasons while in The Purple Pythonista Tania Allard talks about the magic of open source, the importance of training and how to make the development experiences better.
Have you seen the new GitHub homepage (you’ll need to be signed out!)? The page features an interactive globe showing pull requests that have recently been merged. If you’re interested in how this was built and how it works, check out this excellent blog post describing “How we built the GitHub globe”.
The November/December 2020 issue of IEEE’s Computing in Science and Engineering journal looking at “Computational Science in the Battle Against COVID-19” is currently available for free access.
Learn how to write good Python code by learning how NOT to do it with The Little Book of Python Anti-Patterns.
Code for Thought, the new podcast about software, engineering, research and anything in between. On Episode I, some background of research software engineering (RSE) and a taster for things to come.
Solving differential equations is the bread and butter in many research areas. If that is your case, chances are you have heard of Firedrake!
Firedrake is an automated system for the solution of partial differential equations using the finite element method (FEM). Firedrake uses the Unified Form Language from the FEniCS Project but with a much stronger reliance on automatic code generation, centred on the on the composition of several existing and new abstractions for particular aspects of scientific computing. The result is a more complete separation of concerns which eases the incorporation of separate contributions from computer scientists, numerical analysts and application specialists. These contributions may add functionality, or improve performance.
The documentation and examples are extensive and likely to have something similar to what you are trying to do, so give it a try and adapt it to your own needs!
RS Community coffee continues weekly - normally on Friday afternoons at 3pm but check our Slack workspace for exact times and connection details.
The Slack workspace also features an #OpenFOAM channel where regular code review sessions are announced (amongst other CFD-related discussions…)
See the Research Computing Service’s Research Computing Tips series for a variety of helpful tips for using RCS resources and related tools and services.
Drop us a line with anything you’d like included in the newsletter, ideas about how it could be improved… or even offer to guest-edit a future edition! firstname.lastname@example.org.
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This issue of the Research Software Community Newsletter was edited by Diego Alonso Alvarez. All previous newsletters are available in our online archive.