As the 2023/2024 academic year approaches, the campuses are gearing up for a vibrant atmosphere that only an educational institution can offer. The hustle and bustle of students and faculty returning brings a unique energy to the College.
It’s also a time when new faces join our groups and labs. What better moment than now to introduce them to the Imperial College Research Software Community? They can become part of our community by joining our mailing list and Slack channels, and staying tuned for upcoming events and opportunities related to software development for research.
While the wider Research Software Engineering community may be going through a relatively quiet period following RSECon2023, there are still numerous events and resources worth exploring. These resources will not only help expand awareness about RSE but also foster a sense of belonging within the community, all while enhancing technical skills.
So, read on to find out more!
Join the 20th HiRSE Seminar on Thursday 5th October 2023 at 11am CEST/10am BST, featuring Tobias Schlauch from the DLR Institute for Software Technology. Tobias will talk about “All you need to know about Software Licenses as an RSE”. If you would like to attend, please get in touch with the organisers to request connection details. Otherwise, you can wait to see the recordings on the HiRSE YouTube channel.
Registrations for the Julia in High Energy Physics JuliaHEP Workshop 2023 are now open! It’s a hybrid event, hosted at the Erlangen Centre for Astroparticle Physics in Erlangen, Germany from 6th to 9th November 2023. The online participation is free, and you can register and submit your abstracts for talks and tutorials here. The extended deadline for submissions is 9th October 2023
The week of the 23rd to 29th October 2023 is International Open Access Week. This year’s theme is “Community over Commercialization”. Numerous events are planned worldwide to celebrate and discuss open access initiatives. In the UK, the University of Derby and the University of Essex will host a series of online talks as part of their events. Additionally, the British Library has scheduled the “Open and Engaged 2023: Community over Commercialisation” hybrid event, which will be held at the British Library’s Knowledge Centre in St. Pancras, London, and will also offer online participation.
UKRI is actively seeking new members to join their Science, Engineering and Technology Board and Strategic Advisory Teams. Simon Hettrick, chair of the Hidden REF Committee, encourages applications from RSEs, RTPs (Research Technology Professionals) and other hidden roles. The participation on these committees can help shape the future of research. The closing date is 24th November 2023
Mark your calendar for PyLadiesCon, an impactful event dedicated to fostering diversity, education, and empowerment within the Python community. The conference will take place online from 1st to 3rd December 2023.
And a few reminders from last month:
The UNIVERSE-HPC project will hold its first project seminar on Monday 9th October, 11:30-13:00, online and in person at University of Edinburgh. UNIVERSE-HPC is working to develop a training curriculum and associated framework to provide skills to potential and existing RSEs across all career and skill levels. From basic core computing skills through to specialist competencies supporting work in the High Performance Computing (HPC) and Exascale domains, the project is collecting and developing a wide array of training materials. This first seminar will be delivered by Dr David Henty who leads HPC training activities at Edinburgh Parallel Computing Centre (EPCC).
US-RSE will run their first conference, US-RSE 2023 on 16th-18th October 2023 in Chicago. You can register for the online US-RSE tutorials that will take place virtually from 1st to 15th October 2023.
Registration is also open for International Data Week 2023: A Festival of Data, taking place 23rd-26th October 2023. This will be a hybrid event taking place in Salzburg, Austria. In addition to a range of talks, the event also hosts working group meetings for Research Data Alliance WGs.
Nordic-RSE invites everyone interested in Research Software Engineering activities to join & shape the agenda of the online Nordic-RSE unconference (lightweight get-together) which is taking place on 25th/26th October 2023.
This month, our Research Software of the Month feature is taking a break.
Instead of featuring a single project in detail, we’ve decided to provide a selection of Python libraries and tools that can be useful for your research:
Do you have a piece of research software that you’re actively working on and would like to see featured in a future newsletter? Have you used other research software, that has an Imperial link, that you’d like to share with the community? Maybe you are using some open source software as part of your research workflow that doesn’t have a link to Imperial but you believe is something we should all know about!
Get in touch with your suggestions for RSotM at email@example.com.
Following last month’s coverage of the Chandrayaan-3 mission and it’s landing in the south pole region of the Moon, it appears that both the Vikram lander and Pragyan rover have failed to ‘wake up’ after the two-week lunar night. The Earth-based ISRO team will attempt to re-establish contact until 30 September, just before the next lunar sunset. If they are unable to do so, the team say that these robots will remain on the Moon, serving as India’s “lunar ambassadors”. This could mark the final chapter of a mission that had already been a major success and achieved its main objectives.
The Software & Systems Engineering Chair of Prof. Vogelsang, University of Cologne, is looking for survey responses about the importance of code quality for researchers. It should take 15-20 minutes.
In the effort to inspire and catalyse action, Prof Daniel S. Katz and Prof Eric A. Jensen have authored an LSE Impact blog post outlining a series of potential initiatives aimed at emphasizing the critical role of research software. Notably, they have also compiled a list of practical actions to implement it, and they are open to contributions.
A reminder of the Research Data Alliance / Research Software Alliance Working Group Policies in Research Organisations for Research Software (PRO4RS) that is currently being set up. You can join the group via the RDA website to get involved with the discussions and participate in the group’s activities to better understand and offer guidance on organisational policies for research software.
While RSECon for this year has come to a close, if you fancy official merchandise, you can still find it right here.
Are you aware that if you do not have a license for a publicly shared research output, it is effectively unusable by the whole research community? The Turing way, a handbook for reproducible, ethical and collaborative data science, has a section dedicated to licensing.
There are four brand new episodes of the Code for Thought podcast by Peter Schmidt available online. From the evolution of Fortran (Hello Fortran!), to software preservation (Where is all the code, Part 1: Software Heritage ), from the latest RSECon2023 (Conference Report: UK RSECon 2023 in Swansea ) to software reproducibility (Reproduzierbarkeit und Physik - mit Julian Lenz [in German]), you can definitely find something interesting to listen to.
The recordings for September’s the Turing Way Fireside chat are available online covering a range of interesting topics.
If you want to challenge your proficiency with Python, you can check pytudes a collection of (mostly short) Python programs for perfecting programming skills. The name is inspired by the French word “étude” used in music.
If that sounded (pun intended) too formal, you can have a look at The Glowing Python, a “collection of sloppy snippets for scientific computing and data visualization in Python” instead.
The CEO of Figshare, Mark Hahnel, published the third and final part of a trilogy of blog posts about Who benefits when, from FAIR data? Part 3.
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 AI/ML-related questions and discussion. 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.
If you need support with your code, seek no more! The Central RSE Team, within the Research Computing Service is here to help. Have a look at the variety of ways the team can work with you:
All the documentation, tutorials and howtos for using Imperial’s HPC are available in the HPC Wiki pages. See also the Research Computing Service’s Research Computing Tips series for a variety of helpful tips for using RCS resources and related tools and services.
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.
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 Stefano Galvan. All previous newsletters are available in our online archive.