Software Sustainability Institute

DiRAC driving test ready to roll

Author: Mike Jackson
Posted: 25 Jul 2013 | 10:44

Since June 2012, The Software Sustainability Institute and Software Carpentry have been working with the DiRAC consortium to develop a "driving test" or basic software skills aptitude test. The test is now ready to be rolled out across DiRAC, the UK's integrated supercomputing facility for theoretical modelling and HPC-based research in particle physics, astronomy and cosmology.

Software Carpentry in Bath

Author: Mike Jackson
Posted: 19 Jul 2013 | 07:35

This week I was in Bath to lead a Software Carpentry boot camp organised by Software Sustainability Institute fellow, Alex Chartier. I was joined by Chris Woods from the University of Bristol, who made his instructor debut. The SSI fellow Manchester fellow, Michael Croucher, also came along to help out.

Survey on Software Discovery and Usage

Author: Mario Antonioletti
Posted: 19 Jun 2013 | 07:31
In connection with the Software Hub project that we are involved with, Jisc is performing a survey on how you discover and use software in a work-related context. Findings from this survey will help Jisc to better understand problems that the Higher and Further education sectors face in this area and what Jisc and its partner organisations might do to help.

The Jisc Software Hub

Author: Mario Antonioletti
Posted: 6 Jun 2013 | 10:20

In my Software Sustainability Institute role here at EPCC, together with Neil Chue Hong and Arno Proeme, I have been working on a Jisc-funded project that is attempting to create a Software Hub for Jisc.

What is the Jisc Software Hub? Well, it serves two purposes: it attempts to catalogue all the existing software that Jisc has funded over the last decade or so and it will also try to promote some of this software to encourage uptake within the UK academic community and further afield. This is a Jis-funded pilot project to establish the feasibility/cost/value of such work and based on that a decision will be made on how to progress this and whether other organisations may join in this effort. Jisc is keen for other funding councils to join in this undertaking, instead of building their own Software Hub.

PATC Computational Chemistry Spring School @ CSC Helsinki

Author: Arno Proeme
Posted: 20 May 2013 | 17:43

The CSC (IT Center for Science) in Helsinki could be said to be EPCC's equivalent in Finland, at least when it comes to the provision and support of high-performance computing services to academia and industry.

If we value software, we need "a fundamental sea-change" in academia

Author: Simon Hettrick
Posted: 17 May 2013 | 09:26

Combining the skills of a scientific researcher and a software developer, the research software engineer is ideally placed to bring scientific software up to scratch. An ongoing discussion that began at the Collaborations Workshop asks what obstacles need to be removed to clear the way.

Software Carpentry @ Oxford DTC

Author: Mario Antonioletti
Posted: 14 May 2013 | 09:35

Wearing my Software Sustainability Institute (SSI) hat I participated as an instructor in a Software Carpentry bootcamp that took place on the 9th and 10th of May in Oxford. The bootcamp was organised by Jonathan Cooper and targeted at researchers involved in the Oxford Doctoral Training Centre. Shoaib Sufi from the SSI was the other instructor at this event. The three of us taught about 30 attendees from various disciplines studying for DPhils (this being Oxford) as well as some Postdocs, giving them some basic computing skills that we hope will make their research more productive.

Don't forget the people - a fractured training landscape

Author: Simon Hettrick
Posted: 24 Apr 2013 | 11:43

In his keynote address at the EGI Community Forum, Peter Coveney described the need to combat the fragmentation of e-Infrastructure. Unlike other talks I have seen on this subject, Peter’s focus went beyond the hardware "it’s not just the tin and iron boxes but the software and - most importantly - the people". It is the human capital, the well informed and correctly trained researchers, that we need to make the most of e-Infrastructure.

The APES Project

Author: Arno Proeme
Posted: 23 Apr 2013 | 10:23

The picture of a great ape cousin hoarding food at Edinburgh Zoo is deliberately misleading!  The "APES" acronym (pronounced "A-PES") actually stands for Advanced Potential Energy Surfaces, and refers to a new project that EPCC is involved in. The project in question is an NSF-EPSRC funded US-UK collaboration that aims to incorporate APES into a range of computational chemistry packages. EPCC's main contribution will be to parallelise software to take advantage of the large-scale compute resources offered by supercomputing clusters such as HECToR and its upcoming successor, ARCHER, as well as NFS-provided resources in the US. This should equip researchers with better tools to advance their understanding of the structure and function of molecules such as, hypothetically, the smell molecule isoamyl acetate (shown), which interacts with simian olfactory receptors to give bananas their irresistible allure. Isoamyl acetate  

Collaborations Workshop 2013

Author: Mario Antonioletti
Posted: 27 Mar 2013 | 13:02

This year's Collaboration Workshop, organised by the Software Sutainability Institute, was held in the dreamy spires of Oxford. In particular Merton College, Oxford which turned out to be an apt setting for this kind of thing. 

Merton College at dusk.

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