A laptop half open with surrounding text describing the Society of RSE newsletter.

Newsletter – June 2021

Please pass this newsletter on to any of your colleagues who might be interested.

Welcome to the June newsletter from The Society of Research Software Engineering! Our monthly newsletter will announce new Society initiatives, gather RSE news, events, blogs, papers and anything else interesting and relevant together in one place. If you would like to add an item or suggest a new section to the next newsletter, submit it via this short form or get in touch with Claire Wyatt, RSE Community Manager.

Newsletter Contents:
>Society Update
>Announcements
>RSE Case Studies and Profiles
>Events
>Podcasts
>Talks
>Papers
>Blog posts
>Community info
>RSE Worldwide

Society Update

RSE Career Pathway Event: The presentations of our RSE Careers event are now available on the SocRSE YouTube channel along with the Q&A Panel. We will collate and share your feedback from the event and event survey with the UKRI and other funding councils to ensure that they continue to engage with our community on the topic of improving research culture around software and the people who develop it (i.e. you). 

RSE Conference 2021 – SeptembRSE update

Submission Mentoring Event: The #SeptembRSE Submitters Mentoring Event will take place 10.30am-11.30am BST, Friday 25th June. The event will start with a brief talk about the different types of submissions to #SeptembRSE (which will be recorded and then posted), followed by a Q+A session with the committee (which won’t be recorded). The Q+A is your chance to ask any questions about your planned submission, and we will have breakout rooms so that you have 1-to-1 discussions.There is no registration. To attend, just use this zoom link on Friday: https://zoom.us/j/95717963346?pwd=SkFSd1VsNkhPaVMvQ1A2bUJWRkdyZz09

Reviewers: The SeptembRSE committee are looking for reviewers who can help review submissions to SeptembRSE. Reviewing will take just 10 minutes per submission, and we are keen to build as diverse a pool of reviewers as possible. If you are interested in reviewing, please fill in this form.

Submissions: The deadline for submissions to SeptembRSE is approaching. The deadline for most submissions is Friday 2nd July. Submit here.

Vote on Discussion Topics: We are proud to present our list of prospective discussion topics for SeptembRSE. In order to select the topics that best reflect our audience requirements, voting is now open to help us find the most relevant discussions that matter to our community.

How to vote: We ask you to select up to five (5) topics that you would like to hear discussed during the conference.  Each topic selected has equal weight.  If you would like to vote on the discussion topics, click the link below.  To prevent multiple votes being submitted for a specific topic and to monitor the diversity of our voting submissions we are requesting you submit your email address and fill in the Presenter Details and Diversity Form, using the same email address for both forms. You only need to fill in the Presenter Details and Diversity form once, regardless of the number of submissions you make to SeptembRSE. All submissions will be reviewed anonymously, and all data will be managed according to our privacy policy.

Vote Now

Voting closes on Friday 9th July 2021. The winning selections will then move on to the stage three call for participation.  More details to be made available soon.

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Trustee Updates

You can keep up to date with trustee meetings as we have shared a summary of Society monthly trustee meetings including the decision log. And, Trustee role descriptions are on our website now.

The trustees had our usual monthly meeting on the 10th June 2021 and continue to work hard on various initiatives. As before, we provide updates from some of the trustees below to give you more detail on the types of things we are working on.

Paul Richmond (President): This month I was involved in the organisation and delivery of the RSE Careers Pathway event. The event was a great success attracting over 100 attendees and over 200 registrations. I will work with the events team to publish a summary of the outcomes. From a more strategic perspective I have been engaging with UKRI and Research England this month. Firstly following up on discussions with EPSRC on a request to present to the ICT SAT on the issue of improved guidance for the inclusion of RSES and Research Software as part of the research award process. EPSRC are keen to engage with our community on this and so I will be proposing an event as part of SeptembRSE to give our community a voice on this topic. Secondly, I attended a round table discussion on the future of research assessment which provided an opportunity to ensure that software and RSEs form a more integral and recognised part in the delivery of “team” science. Lastly I have been working on some constitutional changes (within a society sub-group) as part of a number of proposed constitutional amendments which will be submitted to the community prior to our AGM.

Teri Forey (Secretary):  This month, alongside my normal secretary tasks, I’ve been working on setting up a pack for working groups and special interest groups, this includes information on what we offer those groups and what we ask for in turn. This work should help working groups and special interest groups get started with full support of the Society, and let us share and make the most of all the governance work we’ve been doing lately. I’ve also been working with the RSE Role Diversity group, prepping a submission for SeptembRSE where we hope to run a similar workshop to what we did at CW21. I’m also continuing to work on the Anvil app which we can use to create an interactive survey on RSE roles.

Kirsty Pringle, Vice Treasurer: We have changed the software that we use to manage SocRSE’s accounts, this will make it easier for us to provide regular financial reports. We have been trained on the new Xero software and started using it to log the financial transactions. I have also been working with the SeptembRSE committee on the finance for the online conference.

Ian Cottam, Membership Team Lead:  We have 433 paid-up members as of 23 June 2021. There will almost certainly be a discount on the conference (#SeptembRSE) equal to SocRSE’s joining fee (£20), so why not get signed-up now, and support your fellow professionals https://society-rse.org/join-us/.
British Computer Society (BCS) meeting. This month I joined our president (Paul) in chatting with BCS’s Policy Director Bill Mitchell. As a result, one or two misunderstandings about our Society have now been corrected in BCS policy drafts. Bill – and the BCS – are very supportive of the work SocRSE does.

Marion Weinzierl, Communications Team, RSE Role Diversity working group: This month, in addition to the usual comms team duties of tweeting, sending Slack message and broadcast emails and creating the newsletter, we also took on the SeptembRSE communications. As part of the membership team, I am also helping our members if they have membership questions or problems with our membership platform. Additionally, I helped with the RSE Careers Event and we continued our discussions in the RSE Role Diversity Group. We are still looking for people who would be willing to work with us to provide RSE case studies, so please contact us if you think that your story and your career could help to show the diversity of RSEs!

Claire Wyatt, Vice President and RSE Community Manager: I have been working on the online RSE conference, SeptembRSE and the careers event we had last week. You can rewatch the videos on our YouTube channel if you missed it. As part of the governance sub group we’re working with NCVO to start the audit soon.

James Graham, Infrastructure Lead, Elections Working Group: Early this month we completed a full upgrade of every layer of the Society’s website infrastructure, from Virtual Machine specification to WordPress packages, which went without issue. If you were one of the few people who happened to try to visit our site during the downtime, we apologise for the inconvenience. The Elections Working Group has agreed a timetable for the upcoming trustee elections this September, so expect news from us soon on this. We are currently discussing possible voting mechanisms which will address some of the feedback we’ve received in previous years and work for both elections and other votes as necessary during our AGM.

Ania Brown, Web team, Mentoring scheme working group: This month I continued to work on the RSE mentoring scheme, getting in touch with two organisations who specialise in designing mentoring schemes for more details about their work. As part of the web team I also continued to support day-to-day operations on the website, including uploading pages and managing job postings.

Society Events and Initiatives Funding Policy

The RSE Society is able to provide financial support for events and initiatives which support our mission statement and charitable objectives (see our constitution section). These are summarized below.

Society’s Charitable Mission Statement: “Our mission is to establish a research environment that recognises the vital role of software in research. We work to increase software skills across everyone in research, to promote collaboration between researchers and software experts, and to support the creation of an academic career path for Research Software Engineers.

The objectives of the RSE Society are:

  • To advance education particularly but not exclusively amongst research software engineers; and/or 
  • To promote and advance research particularly but not exclusively in all aspects of research that rely on software engineering and to publish the useful results.

See our strategy for 2020/2021 for further details about our planned activities to support these objectives.

Read the full SocRSE Events and Initiatives Sponsorship Policy here. 

Membership and Mailing list

Thanks and welcome to all who have joined the Society in the last month. New members of both the Society and the mailing list are always welcome! We have 433 paid-up members with several thousand people forming the online community on the RSE Slack space.  Sign up for membership! There are three options for payment: credit card, debit card or direct debit.

Currently the members benefits are:

  • Support the work of the Society to further research software engineering
  • Eligible to apply for any future opportunities for Society funding
  • Opportunity for early registration to the Society annual conference
  • Opportunity for early registration to any future Society’s professional and networking events
  • Eligible to vote in Society decisions such as electing trustees or changing the constitution
  • Eligible to stand for election as a trustee
  • Eligible to be a volunteer or be nominated for working groups or committees that the trustees may establish
  • Up to 20% discount on a variety of Dell laptops, desktops and accessories (UK-based members)

RSE Slack space and channels

We have >3000 members in our Slack workspace! There are 120 public slack channels in the RSE space that you can join so feel free to explore by clicking on the +  on the left hand side, next to ‘Channels’ and then ‘Browse Channels’. If you joined the slack space recently, you were automatically added to these channels:- #general, #random, #introductions– where we can all get to know each other more and hear about you and your work,  #jobs – where you can post and see new vacancies and #events – to read and post about any relevant interesting events, and the #training channel.  If you’ve been here a while you might not be in those channels so use the + to join them and browse all the other channels available. We’d like to encourage everyone to introduce themselves in the #introductions channel…Connect to the RSE Community by joining the RSE Slack https://society-rse.org/about/contact/

RSE Vacancies – You can post an RSE role or a role supporting RSEs to the vacancy page on the Society website via a form.

You can also subscribe to our YouTube channel here.

Announcements 

Dave Horsefall, newly awarded SSI Fellow, has written a blog post about the immensely important topic of RSE Mental Health: https://society-rse.org/mental-health-in-research-software-engineering/. We are proud to support Dave in his work, and ask everyone in our community to look out for each other (and for Dave’s survey in a few months time!).

RSE Case Studies and Profiles

In this new category, which we hope to make a regular feature, we want to present Research Software Engineering case studies and Research Software Engineer profiles, in order to show all the shapes and forms that RSEs come in, and all the brilliant work they do.

We would also like to add new case studies and profiles to our website. 

If you are willing to work with us on a case study about your work and/or your career, please contact us.

Events

The 2021 sktime summer programme – Workshops, talks and tutorials for sktime community members and people interested in contributing – please reach out if you want to get involved or have any questions!  https://github.com/alan-turing-institute/sktime/issues/863. sktime is a unified framework for machine learning with time series https://github.com/alan-turing-institute/sktime

GPU Hackathons in Europe 2021

The GPU Hackathon program is designed to help scientists, researchers and developers to accelerate and optimize their applications on GPUs. The hackathons are four day intensive hands-on events designed to help computational scientists port their applications to GPUs using libraries, OpenACC, CUDA and other tools by pairing participants with dedicated mentors experienced in GPU programming and development. 

Domain scientists are paired with experienced GPU mentors to learn the critical accelerated and parallel computing skills needed by the scientific community.

Today, more than 1800 domain experts from premier universities, research centres, and high performance computing centers around the world have been trained and over 400 scientific applications have been ported in part or completely to GPUs.

Throughout this year there will be multiple GPU Hackathons taking place in Europe. Don’t miss your chance to attend one these GPU Hackathons and work with experts to get the latest updates on programming models, best practices and tools for using and optimizing your codes on GPU.

Site Dates Submission Deadline
CSCS Sep 20,28-30 July 13th
ENCCS Dec 7,14-16 Oct 6th

The full schedule is available at www.gpuhackathons.org/events

June

The #SeptembRSE Submitters Mentoring Event will take place 10.30am-11.30am, Friday 25th June. The event will start with a brief talk about the different types of submissions to #SeptembRSE (which will be recorded and then posted), followed by a Q+A session with the committee (which won’t be recorded). The Q+A is your chance to ask any questions about your planned submission, and we will have breakout rooms so that you have 1-to-1 discussions.There is no registration. To attend, just use this zoom link on Friday: https://zoom.us/j/95717963346?pwd=SkFSd1VsNkhPaVMvQ1A2bUJWRkdyZz09

Nordic RSE Unconference 29-30 June: Nordic-RSE invites everyone interested in “Research Software Engineering” activities to join and shape the agenda of the NordicRSE unconference (lightweight get-together) on June 29+30. Submit proposals and find out more at: https://nordic-rse.org/events/2021-online-unconference/

IDSAI2021 DATA SCIENCE WEEK: Mon 28 June-Fri 2 July. Join us to celebrate the best of Data Science and AI at University of Exeter with seminars, workshops, presentations and training opportunities. Full online programme, registration essential.

July

The role of the R community in the RSE movement — A participatory session on Research Software Engineering and R. Tuesday July 6, 2021, 4:00pm – 5:00pm UTC.

Canadian Research Software Conference, July 6-8, virtual.

Are you wondering why and how AMD got back in the HPC game recently, or how to get the most out of your own new AMD-based HPC cluster? If so, join the next EasyBuild Tech Talk: Performance Optimizations & Best Practices for AMD Rome and Milan CPUs in HPC Environments. Date & time: Fri July 2nd 2021 – 16:00-17:30 UTC. Speakers: Evan Burness and Jithin Jose (Principal Program Managers for High-Performance Computing in Microsoft Azure). The talk will be presented via a Zoom session, which registered attendees can join, and will be streamed (+ recorded) via the EasyBuild YouTube channel. Q&A via the #tech-talks channel in the EasyBuild Slack. Please register (free of charge) if you plan to attend.

An AWS hackathon on HPC / ARM.

“Next generation careers in and from Digital Humanities” — 15 July — run by the @DHNetworkOrg— free to register — ideal for postgrad or early-career researchers + those looking to build a DHy @ResearchSoftEng path.

September

RSE Conference 2021 – SeptembRSE – Sign up to participate, submit talks, posters and more. Follow #septembrse for future updates and announcements, and to join in with the discussion with the RSE community.

The HPC Autumn Academy, hosted by the Centre for Scientific Computing at the University of Cambridge, will be online again this year, 6th-17th September 2021. Lectures will be given on C++, Fortran, Performance Programming, OpenMP, MPI, and various other topics suitable for Master’s/Ph.D. students, early-career researchers, and early-career industrial software developers who need High-Performance Computing skills as part of their course or work. If you know any students or colleagues who would benefit from this, please encourage them to book a place. If you have any questions, please contact [email protected] .

IWOMP 2021 will be hosted by the High Performance Computing research group at the University of Bristol, UK. IWOMP is the annual workshop dedicated to the promotion and advancement of all aspects of parallel programming with OpenMP. It is the premier forum to present and discuss issues, trends, recent research ideas, and results related to parallel programming with OpenMP.

A free and open online course on reproducibility in data science provided by Harvard University, September 16, 2020 – September 15, 2021.

November

SocRSE Trustee Mozhgan Kabiri chimeh writes: There is still time to apply for the Early Career Program (ECP) as part of the SC21 conference . The ECP will be held virtually this year. If you have any questions, let me know.

Another Call for Papers: PAW-ATM 2021: Parallel Applications Workshop, Alternatives To MPI+X. Held in conjunction with SC21, St. Louis, MO

Research Software Engineers in HPC: Creating Community, Building Careers, Addressing Challenges (RSE-HPC-2021): To be held in conjunction with SC21, St. Louis, MO & virtual – Monday, 15 November, 2021. Contact the organizers: sc-ws-rse[email protected].

Research software engineers are critical to the impact of HPC, data science, and the larger scientific community.   They have existed for decades, though often not under that name. However, the past few years have seen the development of the RSE concept, common job titles, and career paths; the creation of professional networks to connect RSEs; and the emergence of RSE groups at universities, national laboratories, and industry. This workshop will bring together RSEs and allies involved in HPC, from all over the world, to grow the RSE community by establishing and strengthening professional networks of current RSEs and RSE leaders. We’ll discuss the current activities and plans of national RSE organizations, discuss the needs of RSEs and RSE groups, and write a report on ways RSE organizations can help address these.

We encourage prospective participants to submit position papers (limit of 2 pages, not counting references; no format prescribed) on topics related to RSE issues.  Papers and discussion topics should be submitted using the submission website.  The deadline for submissions is Friday, August 6, 2021, at 11:59 PM AoE (UTC-12).

January

Fancy being in Hawaii in January 2022? Papers wanted by HICSS 22.

Podcasts

New episodes of the RSE Stories podcast:

New episodes of the Code for Thought podcast:

New podcast: 100 moments that rocked Computer Science

Open Science Stories – Open science concepts explained as stories in 10 minutes or less

Talks

Youtube playlist for last week’s sessions on open working: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLYvvDqd6lJbTY4naJceMG9E_NZb38xkXo. Featuring Git, Python, R, RAP, communities, publishing, data maturity, data science, business and more.

Papers

Special issue on software citation, indexing and discoverability – Daniel S. Katz and Neil Chue Hong are editing a special issue of PeerJ CS on software citation, indexing and discoverability, so if you are doing any work in this area, please consider submitting it to this special issue.

Blog Posts

GUIs for research software by Diego Alonso Alvarez (Snr RSE at Imperial): parts 1 and 2 have now been published by the Software Sustainability Institute: Part 1 and Part 2

Manchester RSEs help to support and celebrate 200 years of The Guardian newspaper.

Overview of the Software Sustainability Institute Fellows Inaugural Meeting 2021

Scalable computational reproducibility

Community info

The Sheffield RSE Newsletter for June is out.

Open source / open science sustainability study: 

Do you lead an open source/open science project, or know someone who does? Take part in a study following open projects over time, to see if we can identify common elements amongst the more sustainable projects.

Reminding you about..

RSEs in the UK now have the opportunity to apply for the new Open Plus Fellowships that are funded by EPSRC. The Open refers to the fellowship being open to all who work in academia e.g. RSE and technicians while the Plus refers to being able to use some of your time for community activities. The RSE Fellowships will still continue but in time will migrate to these.

UKRI are building a new funding service that will eventually replace the existing Je-S system. If you have any experience of applying for funding, or are likely to apply for or assess funding in the future you can join the effort to help design the service in a way that will meet your needs. If you would like to input into the design of the new service please provide your details here

The DiversIT Charter is CEPIS’ flagship initiative aimed at reducing gender disparity in IT roles. It is a roadmap which moves through three levels of attainment: Bronze, Silver and Gold. Each level has a focus on attraction and retention, asking applicants to showcase their initiatives and policies for increasing gender diversity in ICT professions.

A new ‘Resources‘ database has been set up on the Society website which will hold the links to all the static useful items that have featured here under Community info. Help us to fill the resources database by submitting an item to the database.

Imperial College Newsletter…The Imperial College RSE Team have been producing a newsletter for a while now for their institute community. They include a ‘Research Software of the month’, links to blog posts and dates for your diary.

Better Scientific Software – a blog with relevant articles.

RSE Worldwide

Awareness of the RSE role and the RSE community is growing around the world with new national groups being created all the time. In this section, we introduce these groups and raise awareness of their success. The Society supports new groups and collaborates with representatives from them on various initiatives (papers, international workshops).

In January 2021, the International Council of RSE Associations was founded as a forum to communicate and formally meet to ensure cohesion between associations and to provide a platform for open discussion around international issues and affairs.

(In alphabetical order)

AU/NZ RSE Group

Belgium Research Software Engineers Community

Join the (informal) chats of the Belgium Research Software Engineers community on https://gitter.im/be-rse/

CANARIE

Check out upcoming events!

Some great keynotes confirmed for the Canadian Research Software Conference https://www.canarie.ca/event/crsc-2021/#speakers

de-RSE

Dates for the joined monthly calls of the Open Science und Research Software Engineering communities can be found here.

NL RSE

New meet-ups are scheduled for NL RSE. Interested in proposing a workshop, talk, or some other contribution? Get in touch!

Nordic RSE

Research Software Hour…Hosted by members of the Nordic-RSE community, this continues weekly on Twitch. Research Software Hour is an online stream/show about scientific computing and research software. It is designed to provide the skills typically picked up via informal networks; each week, they do some combination of exploring new tools, analyzing and improving someone’s research code, and discussion. Watchers can take part and contribute code to us which they analyze and discuss on stream. They broadcast on Twitch Thursdays at 20:30 Oslo time / 21:30 Helsinki time.

Nordic RSE Unconference: Nordic-RSE online Unconference 29-30 Jun: Nordic-RSE invites everyone interested in “Research Software Engineering” activities to join and shape the agenda of the NordicRSE unconference (lightweight get-together) on June 29+30. Submit proposals and find out more at: https://nordic-rse.org/events/2021-online-unconference/

US RSE

Upcoming and recurring events can be found on the events website!

The latest (May) US-RSE newsletter is out

Collect your gold star here if you’ve read all the way to the end!

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