Newsletter – October 2023
Welcome to the October newsletter from The Society of Research Software Engineering! Our bi-monthly newsletter announces new Society initiatives, gathers 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.
We currently have 683 paid-up members of the Society. Not yet a member? Why not join us today? Should you become member 700, you will win a prize (e.g. a conference tee-shirt)! Read about all the benefits of being a member on our website. We welcome people to become members who are not employed as RSEs but do support our mission. We are looking for a sentence, or one paragraph, contributions from such people to highlight the fact that we are about research software engineering and not just research software engineers. Several professors are active members of the Society, for example. Contact us at [email protected].
And, hot off the press! We’re now on HMRC’s approved list, so you can claim Income Tax relief as an employment expense if you pay for your membership yourself. We come up under Society of Research Software Engineering.
Last month saw the end of a wonderful #RSECon23 in Swansea, full of amazing talks, panels, workshops and satellite events. As always, it’s the community that makes RSECon so special, coming together with such energy and enthusiasm to share, learn, connect and create together. But there’s still time to get yourself some souvenirs! #RSECon23 merchandise and our fabulous #RSEng Unicorn apparel are still available (along with #RSECon22 merch for a limited time) on our Spreadshop page. socrse.myspreadshop.co.uk
Whether or not you were with us at #RSECon23 in Swansea this year, please join us at #RSECon24 in Newcastle from 02-06 September 2024. We were there for #RSECon22 and had a wonderful time, and we’re really looking forward to being back in 2024. Put the dates in your diaries now!
RSECon24 – Committee Call Now Open!
We’re delighted to announce that the committee call for RSECon24 is now open! If you’re interested in helping shape next year’s conference, make sure you let us know via this Google Form by midnight (GMT) on the 7th November 2023. You can find out more information about the committee call and the roles available on the Society’s website. If you have any questions, you can get in touch with the conference steering group by emailing [email protected].
Katie Finch and Dave Horsfall (programme co-chairs) will be hosting a webinar on November 2nd, 10:00 GMT. During the webinar you will learn about the different committee roles that exist, and how to apply for the team. You will hear about the experiences of previous committee members, and how much time you should expect to contribute. You will also have the opportunity to ask questions and give feedback. You can find out more from Katie and Dave here.
The new Board of Trustees was elected at the AGM held during RSECon23. See our Governance page for full details with a list of the current trustees https://society-rse.org/about/governance/.
Call for Papers – RSE-HPC-2023
Announcing the Research Software Engineers in HPC Workshop (RSE-HPC-2023) to be held as part of SC23 (hybrid event, in Denver, CO, USA and virtually). This will be a half-day workshop 8:30am-12:00pm MST (UTC-7), Sunday, November 12, 2023.
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 hear about successes and challenges that RSEs and RSE groups have experienced, and discuss ways to increase awareness of RSE opportunities and improve support for RSEs.
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 SC23 submission website. For more information, see the workshop website.
RESA – the Research Software Alliance
The RESA October newsletter is out: https://preview.mailerlite.com/w6c7v8z9v9/2334141340792658394/l5k1/
Let the Society support your RSE event!
Do you have an idea for an event about research software and supports the Society’s mission statement? The Society is here to help, why not submit a request to our Events and Initiatives Fund to help get your event going. You can submit a request via our Google form or contact us for a more informal discussion via [email protected].
Get involved with the Comms and Publicity Working Group
The Society has agreed the formation of a working group for Communications and Publicity. This working group is open to all Society members who want to get more involved in helping shape the work of the Society around the way we do Communications and Publicity. If you want to get involved with drafting the newsletter, expanding our social media output or shaping other communication based topics let us know via [email protected]. Former trustee Ian Cottam is now such a volunteer with this group.
We’re looking for more case studies!
We want to show all the shapes and forms that RSEs come in, and all the brilliant work they do and are looking for RSEs willing to work with us to put together case studies. We will send you a set of questions to answer (either career-focused or EDI focused, your choice), and are very happy to have a chat if you are unsure about something or need help writing up your answers. Email [email protected] if you are interested or have any questions.
First ever US RSE Conference in Chicago, Illinois, USA, 16-18 October 2023
Starting in 2018, the US RSE association has grown very quickly and now counts 2000 members. In October this year, they held their first ever RSE conference https://us-rse.org/usrse23/. The event sold out fast! Ca 250 attendees found their way to the University of Illinois, Chicago on Monday 16 October to listen to an excellent keynote from Mary Anne Leung on the subject of how to achieve diversity in our community. A number of talks, birds of a feather sessions, workshops and a poster session followed. This being the first event there was a lot of excitement in the air. The organising committee did an excellent job in running the event smoothly.
The next US RSE conference in October 2024 will be in Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA. The association is looking for volunteers and co-organisers. If you are in the USA and interested, get in touch with them.
The Nordic RSE Group https://nordic-rse.org/ held their online Unconference on 25–26 October 2023 https://nordic-rse.org/events/2023-online-unconference/. It is the third event organised by Nordic RSE. As before, the event was a good mix of workshops and presentations.
Check out, and contribute to, the SocRSE Events’ Calendar https://sparrow0hawk.github.io/rse-calendar/.
Cambridge RSE runs a weekly seminar on Thursdays. Whilst local RSEs meet in person, talks are also shared on zoom. The current list of talks can be found here: https://talks.cam.ac.uk/show/index/69831 with more details on Slack channel #cambridge.
A research team at The Alan Turing Institute, exploring ethical practices within the dynamic field of AI products.
AI can transform our society and economy, and it also comes with a lot challenges—especially around accountability and governance. We are developing a methodology and a product to involve people in shaping dialogues and influencing future policies around these areas for development.
We’re organising a full-day remote UX workshop on 8th November, 10am-3pm (UK timezone). For this workshop, we need 15 individuals who are knowledgeable and working within the AI field (research/R&D or product) and interested in assuring that they adopt ethical practices. Together, we’ll explore the ethical landscapes of AI, understanding its intricate challenges, and crafting pathways towards responsible and innovative use.
Join Us: Although we’re unable to offer financial compensation, participating in this workshop provides a unique chance to immerse yourself in cutting-edge research and to play a pivotal role in shaping the ethical framework of future AI products, alongside peers and experts in the field. If you’re ready to embark on this exciting journey with us, please send an email to Kalle Westerling: [email protected]
Spread the Word: If your schedule doesn’t allow you to join, we’d be grateful if you could share this opportunity within your network. Every voice counts in creating an ethically robust AI future!
Let’s co-create a future where AI is not just smart but also ethically responsible!
Documentation to support the use of the Trustworthy and Ethical Assurance Methodology and Platform
deRSE24, the 4th conference for Research Software Engineering in Germany, will be hosted at the Julius-Maximilians-Universität Würzburg from the 5th to the 7th March 2024. The call for contributions is now open and we encourage you to submit early. Submission is through indico and is a very simple process.
Please don’t hesitate to contact the organising team if you have any questions.
New Durham workshop series: Debugging, Testing and Correctness: https://scicomp.webspace.durham.ac.uk/teaching/professional-development/debugging-testing-and-correctness-workshop-series-2023/
The “Platform for Advanced Scientific Computing (PASC24)” conference (https://pasc24.pasc-conference.org/), to be held in Zurich in June 2024. The theme of PASC24 is “Synthesizing Applications Through Learning and Computing”. The PASC Conference series is an international and interdisciplinary platform for the exchange of knowledge in scientific computing and computational science with a strong focus on methods, tools, algorithms, application challenges, and novel techniques and usage of high-performance computing. Contributions from various and diverse venues of scientific computing and its applications are very welcome! Some important dates: 21 October 2023 for expression of interest for a minisymposium proposal (https://pasc24.pasc-conference.org/submission/guidelines-for-minisymposia/); 1 December 2023 for submission of papers (https://pasc24.pasc-conference.org/submission/guidelines-for-papers/); 22 December 2023 for submission of posters (https://pasc24.pasc-conference.org/submission/guidelines-for-posters/). For any questions regarding the submission or reviewing process please email [email protected]
Code for Thought Podcast
It’s been a very busy month for the RSE podcast show, with episodes coming out at least once a week. Here are the episodes for this month to catch up on:
- Hidden Ref festival: the Hidden Ref organised a one day workshop in Bristol to push for more visibility of software, data and other outputs in research. https://codeforthought.buzzsprout.com/1326658/13685481-en-hidden-no-more-the-hiddenref-festival-sep-23
- An episode on a Research Software Directory developed by the eScience Centre in the Netherlands and in collaboration with the Helmholtz Association in Germany https://codeforthought.buzzsprout.com/1326658/13728083-en-where-is-all-the-code-part-2-escience-centre-nl-and-helmholtz-de
- The German RSE association had an Unconference in Jena late September. And this is the (German language) report on it https://codeforthought.buzzsprout.com/1326658/13728983-de-konferenzbericht-unkonferenz-derse-jena-september-2023
- Women in HPC is an organisation that promotes more diversity and inclusion in research computing and HPC in particular. Cristin Merrit and Elsa Gonsiorowski are the guest speakers. https://codeforthought.buzzsprout.com/1326658/13764931-en-diversity-in-tech-part-1-women-in-hpc
- The Helmholtz Association in Germany has created a machine learning and AI centre. Marie Piraud and Peter Steinbach talk about their work (English) https://codeforthought.buzzsprout.com/1326658/13765160-en-ai-at-helmholtz-marie-piraud-and-peter-steinbach
The “next generation of RSEs” by Emma Simpson of the RSE team at The University of Manchester https://research-it.manchester.ac.uk/news/2023/10/24/the-next-generation-of-rses/.
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)
Join the (informal) chats of the Belgium Research Software Engineers community on https://gitter.im/be-rse/.
Digital Research Alliance of Canada / Alliance de recherche numerique du Canada
Dates for the joined monthly calls of the Open Science und Research Software Engineering communities can be found here.
New meet-ups are scheduled for NL RSE. Interested in proposing a workshop, talk, or some other contribution? Get in touch!
The Nordic RSE Group https://nordic-rse.org/ held their online Unconference on 25 – 26 October 2023 https://nordic-rse.org/events/2023-online-unconference/ . It is the third event organised by Nordic RSE. As before, the event was a good mix of workshops and presentations. If interested, follow the link to see more details.
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.
Upcoming and recurring events can be found on the events website!
The next US RSE conference in October 2024 will be in Albuquerque, New Mexico, US. The association is looking for volunteers and co-organisers. If you are in the USA and interested, get in touch with them.