Support for science

Data and Software Carpentry combo at Edinburgh

Author: Mario Antonioletti
Posted: 29 Aug 2016 | 10:35

Software Carpentry attendees during the shell session. Pic Credit: Martin Callaghan.

With my Software Sustainability Institute hat on, I recently participated in a back-to-back Data Carpentry and Software Carpentry course sponsored by the University's Research Data Service here at the University of Edinburgh. The courses were held in the main University library in a gorgeous room with a glass wall, providing a rather distracting view of the Meadows parkland. 

​A not-so-brief history of research software engineers

Author: Guest blogger
Posted: 22 Aug 2016 | 11:28

This guest post by Simon Hettrick, Deputy Director of the Software Sustainability Institute, explains how the role of research software engineer has gained greater definition and recognition.

On a beautifully sunny day in March 2012, a small group met at Queen’s College Oxford and challenged a long-standing problem: why is there no career for software developers in academia? They didn’t know it at the time, but this meeting led to a nationwide campaign that created a vibrant and rapidly growing community, and established a new role in research: the Research Software Engineer.

ExTASY: a flexible and scalable approach to biomolecular simulation

Author: Iain Bethune
Posted: 18 Jul 2016 | 12:20

Over the last 10 years, the growth in performance of HPC systems has come largely from increasing core counts, which poses a question of application developers and users – how to best make use of the parallelism on offer?

Building a scaleable, extensible data infrastructure

Author: Amy Krause
Posted: 8 Jul 2016 | 14:48

Modern genome-sequencing technologies are easily capable of producing data volumes that can swamp a genetic researcher’s existing computing infrastructure. EPCC is working with the breeding company Aviagen to build a system that allows such researchers to scale up their data infrastructures to handle these increases in volume without compromising their analytical pipelines.

Creating a safe haven for health data

Author: Donald Scobbie
Posted: 6 Jul 2016 | 14:36

Safe havens allow data from electronic records to be used to support research when it is not practicable to obtain individual patient consent while protecting patient identity and privacy. EPCC is now the operator of the new NHS National Services Scotland (NSS) national safe haven in collaboration with the Farr Institute of Health Informatics Research which provides the infrastructure. 

ARCHER Champions: spreading the word

Author: Jo Beech-Brandt
Posted: 27 Jun 2016 | 15:01

ARCHER Champions began with a vision: every research organisation that could benefit from ARCHER should have someone local who knows about the routes to access ARCHER and who can help potential users to get started.

We want Champions to tell us how we can improve support for them and their local users, and how to start joining up all the HPC facilities and the people with the expertise around the UK.

Large Synoptic Survey Telescope: data-intensive research in action

Author: George Beckett
Posted: 24 May 2016 | 09:49

This is an exciting time for astronomy in the UK, a fact that is reflected by our involvement and leadership of some amazingly ambitious new telescopes.

A number of recent, significant discoveries have propelled astronomy research into the spotlight. The discovery of dark matter and dark energy at the beginning of the 21st century over-turned our understanding of how the Universe works. And the first observation of a gravitational wave earlier this year confirmed Albert Einstein’s long-standing hypothesis precisely 100 years after it was first published in his general theory of relativity.

ExTASY: smarter simulations for chemists

Author: Mario Antonioletti
Posted: 23 May 2016 | 14:43

Last week I attended an ExTASY tutorial here in Edinburgh. The project aims to build a set of Extensible Tools for Advanced Sampling and Analysis (hence the name) to allow chemists who use computational methods and off-the-shelf molecular dynamics (MD) packages (such as GROMACS, AMBER and NAMD) to be cleverer and more efficient with their simulations.

The Extasy-based tools are well worth considering if you are doing MD calculations. If you want to be smarter about how you do your simulations, take a look at ExTASY.

Mozilla Science Lab Global Sprint 2016

Author: Mario Antonioletti
Posted: 5 May 2016 | 15:51

We will be one of the participating sites at this year's Mozilla Science Lab Global Sprint here in Edinburgh.

The event will take place from 2nd-3rd of June, and will bring together researchers, developers, librarians and the general public from all over the world to hack on open science and open data projects.

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