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SGCI - URSSI - Research Software Engineers, Science Gateway Developers and Cyberpractitioners – Initiatives in the US

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The conceptualization of the US Research Software Sustainability Institute (URSSI) just received funding in December 2017 and aims at building the focal point for RSEs in the US similar to SSI in the UK. The Science Gateways Community Institute (SGCI), opened in August 2016, provides free resources, services, experts, and ideas for creating and sustaining science gateways on national and international level. Science gateways – also called virtual research environments or virtual labs – allow science and engineering communities to access shared data, software, computing services, instruments, and other resources specific to their disciplines and use them also in teaching environments. Especially the goals of the workforce development and incubator services have a broad overlap with RSE initiatives to improve career paths of developers and building on-campus developer teams. ACI-REFs (Advanced Cyberinfrastructure Research and Education Facilitators) is a synonym for RSEs and the goal of the project and the trainings aims also at building a network and training the trainers for efficient research software support. The talk will give an overview on the diverse initiatives and highlights the international collaboration possibilities.

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SGCI - URSSI - Research Software Engineers, Science Gateway Developers and Cyberpractitioners – Initiatives in the US

  1. 1. Award Number ACI-1547611 Sandra Gesing Center for Research Computing, University of Notre Dame sandra.gesing@nd.edu RSE Leadership Meeting, London, UK 30 January 2018 Research Software Engineers, Science Gateway Developers and Cyberpractitioners – Initiatives in the US
  2. 2. 2 • In the middle of nowhere of northern Indiana (1.5 h from Chicago) • 4 undergraduate colleges • ~35 research institutes and centers • ~12,000 students University of Notre Dame
  3. 3. University of Notre Dame
  4. 4. Center for Research Computing • Software development and profiling • Cyberinfrastructure/science gateway development • Computational Scientist support • Collaborative research/ grant development • System administration/ prototype architectures • Computational resources: 25,000 cores+ • Storage resources: 3 PB • National resources (e.g., XSEDE) • ~40 researchers, research programmers, HPC specialists CRC and OIT building http://crc.nd.edu CRC HPC Center (old Union Station)
  5. 5. 5
  6. 6. 6 It’s Research Software Engineering It’s Postdoc Work It’s Research Programming It’s Computational Research It’s Science Gateway Development It’s Research Facilitation
  7. 7. URSSI: Conceptualizing a US Research Software Sustainability Institute 7 •  PIs: Karthik Ram, Jeffrey Carver, Sandra Gesing, Daniel S. Katz, Nicholas Weber •  December 2017 – December 2018 •  Goals: •  Plan an institute in the context of research software •  Build the community •  Vision of the institute: •  Improve how individuals and teams function •  Improve research software •  Improve the research field itself
  8. 8. URSSI Activities and How to Get Involved 8 •  Workshops •  First one will be 10-12 April 2018 at Berkeley •  Survey •  in preparation •  Ethnographic studies •  Web site & dissemination •  http://urssi.us/ •  https://twitter.com/si2urssi •  Sign up for Newsletter •  Email list •  Support for building US RSE community
  9. 9. Science Gateways (VREs and VLs) 9 •  Increased complexity of •  today’s research questions •  hardware and software •  skills required •  Greater need for openness and reproducibility •  Science increasingly driving policy questions •  Opportunity to integrate research with teaching •  Better workforce preparation We need end-to-end solutions that provide broad access to advanced resources and allow all to tackle today’s challenging science questions è Science Gateways
  10. 10. Science Gateways Community Institute 10 •  Diverse expertise on demand •  Longer term support engagements •  Software and visibility for gateways •  Information exchange in a community environment •  Student opportunities and more stable career pathshttps://sciencegateways.org/ https://twitter.com/sciencegateways
  11. 11. Incubator Service 11 Technology Planning •  Choosing technologies •  Cybersecurity •  Software engineering •  Interfaces to compute and data •  Business model development •  Financial planning •  Project management •  Software licensing •  Staff and sustainability planning Business Planning Specialized Expertise Security • Center for Trustworthy Scientific Cyberinfrastructure Sustainability • Nancy Maron, creator of the ITHAKA S+R course on Sustaining Digital Resources Evaluation & Impact Measurement • Ann Zimmerman Consulting Campus Resource Development Client Interaction Planning •  Usability studies •  Web/visual/graphic design •  Impact measurement •  Community engagement •  Support for education Common Experiences •  Training sessions •  Group interactions Continuing Engagement •  Customized structure, content, goals •  Mentoring •  Pay It Forward A Framework for Decision Making Network / Cohort Formation An Ongoing Dispassionate Ear
  12. 12. Sustainability via On-Campus Teams •  Great visibility for the institution’s research activities •  Synergy effects between projects •  Shared resources, costs and expertise across departments •  Lower learning curves •  Expertise that is otherwise difficult for individual projects to obtain •  Ability to retain top-quality research computing support by providing interesting projects 12
  13. 13. Challenges •  Some topics and roles are only needed for part of the project ⇒ Not fully funded positions via one project ⇒ For diverse expertise, several different people are needed 13
  14. 14. Opportunities •  A breadth of interesting topics in the science gateway creation process •  Novel frameworks and web applications •  Inter- and multidisciplinary work •  Contributing to grand challenges, e.g., Malaria eradication •  HPC usage… •  A breadth of interesting roles •  HPC programmers, designers, statisticians, librarians, machine learning experts, usability experts,… 14
  15. 15. Workforce Development 15 Providing Financial Support •  Enabling students learning gateway skills •  Including internship experiences Integrating Gateways into Course Content •  Providing broader access to high-end resources Promoting Gateway- Related Career Paths •  Campus opportunities •  Job boards Partners National Organization for the Professional Advancement of Black Chemists and Chemical Engineers (NOBCChE) Association of Computer/ Information Sciences and Engineering Departments at Minority Institutions (ADMI) Molecular Science Software Institute Google Summer of Code (GSoC) Establishing Center for Training and Education at ECSU •  Vigorous schedule of on-site and virtual training •  Development of training and course curricula about science gateways technologies SGCI Institute Areas 4 Focal Areas •  Student- related conference programs
  16. 16. ACI-REF •  Advanced Cyberinfrastructure – Research and Education Facilitators 16 https://aciref.org/
  17. 17. ACI-REF Virtual Residency •  Yearly workshop since 2015 •  Intense one-week long •  Hands-on and presentations (technical and soft skills) •  Proposal for workshop series underway 17 http://www.oscer.ou.edu/acirefvirtres2017.php
  18. 18. Thanks! 18 https://sciencegateways.org/ https://twitter.com/sciencegateways http://urssi.us/ https://twitter.com/si2urssi https://aciref.org/ http://www.oscer.ou.edu/ acirefvirtres2017.php

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