Mike Jackson's blog
Posted: 4 Mar 2019 | 09:42
In our role as members of the Research Engineering Group of the Alan Turing Institute, Anna Roubickova and I worked with Efi Tsamoura and Benjamin Spencer (Department of Computer Science at the University of Oxford) on PDQ, a proof-driven query planner that has great potential within the realm of data science for medical research.
Posted: 14 Dec 2018 | 17:33
PickCells is image analysis software developed by the Centre for Regenerative Medicine (CRM) at The University of Edinburgh. PickCells allows biologists to explore multidimensional biological images of stem cell niches, organoids, and embryos. In late October, with the assistance of six researchers, we evaluated the usability of PickCells to help guide its future development.
To run our usability evaluation, we followed Steve Krug's highly-recommended and very readable book "Rocket Surgery Made Easy: The Do-It-Yourself Guide to Finding and Fixing Usability Problems". This book describes a practical way to carry out usability evaluations with minimal overhead.
Posted: 11 Sep 2018 | 16:09
Posted: 8 Aug 2018 | 10:55
The Software Sustainability Institute has published a set of guides to depositing research software into digital repositories. The guides, development of which was funded by Jisc, are intended for researchers, principal investigators and research leaders, and research data and digital repository managers.
Research software is an integral part of the modern research ecosystem. Taken together, research software – alongside data, facilities, equipment, and an overarching research question – can be viewed as a research activity or experiment, worthy to be published. Conversely, a publication can be considered as a narrative that describes how the research objects are used together to reply to the research question.
Posted: 24 Jul 2018 | 16:50
On the 11th July, the Software Sustainability Institute and Jisc ran a Software Deposit and Preservation Workshop at St Anne's College, Oxford. This workshop brought together twelve research data managers, digital repository vendors, publishers, policymakers and researchers. We reviewed draft guidance on software deposit and preservation, discussed software deposit and preservation from the perspectives of the foregoing stakeholders, and explored ways in which to drive forward the adoption of best practices in software deposit and preservation.
Posted: 7 Nov 2017 | 11:13
In October I attended GRADnet's "Moving Forward for 2nd Year PGRs" day in London for physics post-graduates, and ran two sessions on "Writing better software to research".
SEPnet, the South East Physics Network, is a consortium of universities in the south east of England. It promotes excellence in physics in both academia and industry via research, collaboration, training, and outreach. GRADnet is SEPnet's collaborative graduate school which provides professional skills training to PhD students.
GRADnet's "Moving Forward for 2nd Year PGRs" day offered attendees a choice of 5 sessions both morning and afternoon, on 'Creating impact', 'How to write a successful Fellowship application', 'Research data management', 'Unconscious Bias', and 'Writing better software for research'. Sixty-six students attended the event.
Free pizza, prizes and research software best practice: Collaborations Workshop 2015... Registration open!Author: Mike Jackson
Posted: 13 Feb 2015 | 12:45
CW15 focuses on software, best practice and the social side of working past the boundaries of traditional disciplines and roles to accelerate research outcomes. Or, put differently, interdisciplinarity done right!
Posted: 8 Jan 2015 | 11:53
EPCC helped lead the way in creating the standardised Message-Passing Interface (MPI) programming system to enable faster, more powerful, problem solving using parallel computing. It is now the ubiquitous de-facto standard among both hardware and software vendors.
Posted: 16 Dec 2014 | 11:27
In 2013, the DiRAC consortium rolled out the DiRAC driving licence, a software skills aptitude test for researchers wanting to use DiRAC's high-performance computing resources. Now ARCHER, the UK National Supercomputing Service, is to roll out an ARCHER driving test.
Despite their similar names, these tests differ in nature, intent, scale and reward. In this post, EPCC's Mike Jackson, Andrew Turner and Clair Barrass compare and contrast these two supercomputer tests.
Posted: 11 Dec 2014 | 12:24
Last week EPCC's ARCHER training team ran another Software Carpentry workshop here in Edinburgh, on 3rd and 4th of December. The workshop provided attendees with an introduction to version control and Git, building programs with Python, automating tasks with Make, and how (and how much) to test programs. These were set within the context of best practices for scientific computing.