Imperial College Research Software Community Newsletter - July 2021

Dear RSE community, it is great to write to you after an interesting July. At least in London, we have had some lovely weather as well as an unexpectedly high amount of rainfall. Research shows that these new extremes are a consequence of global warming. Importantly, research software has been crucial for climate and environmental science. The software that implements climate models has improved our understanding of the causal relationship between global warming and climate change. Additionally, greenhouse gas visualisation software provides strong arguments in support of a faster energy transition.

Now let’s turn our attention to the core of the newsletter that covers a broader spectrum of research software. Have a great weekend, and looking forward to speaking with you in our weekly RSE coffee and through our Slack channels!

In this month’s newsletter:

Dates for your diary

SeptembRSE - September 2021

After a two-year gap, the annual RSE conference is back this year but in a rather different format. SeptembRSE, the 5th Conference of Research Software Engineers will take place online throughout the month of September. Registration for the conference is now open at £35 for non-members of the Society of RSE and £15 for Society members. See the registration page for more details.

RSE Bytes


Blog posts, tools & more

Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD)

Research Software of the Month


Our research software of the month for July is KungFu. KungFu is a novel distributed machine learning library that helps users achieve scalable and adaptive training of large deep learning models. It exposes rich high-level Python APIs. These APIs allow users to monitor statistical metrics of gradients, optimise training parameters according to monitored metrics, and scale operation to many machines without incurring communication bottlenecks. KungFu can support multiple machine learning frameworks, including TensorFlow, Keras, PyTorch and MindSpore. It has become a popular project on Github and has attracted users and developers from both industry and academy.

See this paper and presentation for more details of the library. The project is available on GitHub at

Some reminders…

RS Community coffee

…continues weekly via Teams - normally on Friday afternoons at 3pm but check our Slack workspace for exact times and connection details.

RS Community Slack

The Imperial Research Software Community Slack workspace is a place for general community discussion as well as featuring channels for individuals interested in particular tools or topics. If you’re an OpenFOAM user, why not join the #OpenFOAM channel where regular code review sessions are announced (amongst other CFD-related discussions…). Users of the Nextflow workflow tool can find other Imperial Nextflow users in #nextflow. You can find other R developers in #r-users and there is the #DeepLearners channel for our new AI/ML group. Take a look at the other available channels by clicking the “+” next to “Channels” in the Slack app and selecting “Browse channels”. If you want to start your own group around a tool, programming language or topic not currently represented, feel free to create a new channel and advertise it in #general.

Research Computing Tips

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.

Research Software Directory

Imperial’s Research Software Directory provides details of a range of research software and tools developed by groups and individuals at the College. If you’d like to see your software included in the directory, you can open a pull request in the GitHub Repository or get in touch with the Research Software Community Committee.

Get in Touch, Get Involved!

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!

If you’re reading this on the web and would like to receive the next newsletter directly to your inbox then please subscribe to our RSE Community Mailing List here.

This issue of the Research Software Community Newsletter was edited by Felipe Huerta. All previous newsletters are available in our online archive.