Building Capability and Support in Research Software

Lead Research Organisation: University of Sheffield
Department Name: Computer Science

Abstract

"Software is the most prevalent of all the instruments used in modern science" [Goble 2014]. Scientific software is not just widely used [SSI 2014] but also widely developed. Yet much of it is developed by researchers who have little understanding of even the basics of modern software development with the knock-on effects to their productivity, and the reliability, readability and reproducibility of their software [Nature Biotechnology]. Many are long-tail researchers working in small groups - even Big Science operations like the SKA are operationally undertaken by individuals collectively.

Technological development in software is more like a cliff-face than a ladder - there are many routes to the top, to a solution. Further, the cliff face is dynamic - constantly and quickly changing as new technologies emerge and decline. Determining which technologies to deploy and how best to deploy them is in itself a specialist domain, with many features of traditional research.

Researchers need empowerment and training to give them confidence with the available equipment and the challenges they face. This role, akin to that of an Alpine guide, involves support, guidance, and load carrying. When optimally performed it results in a researcher who knows what challenges they can attack alone, and where they need appropriate support. Guides can help decide whether to exploit well-trodden paths or explore new possibilities as they navigate through this dynamic environment.

These guides are highly trained, technology-centric, research-aware individuals who have a curiosity driven nature dedicated to supporting researchers by forging a research software support career. Such Research Software Engineers (RSEs) guide researchers through the technological landscape and form a human interface between scientist and computer. A well-functioning RSE group will not just add to an organisation's effectiveness, it will have a multiplicative effect since it will make every individual researcher more effective. It has the potential to improve the quality of research done across all University departments and faculties.

My work plan provides a bottom-up approach to providing RSE services that is distinctive from yet complements the top-down approach provided by the EPRSC-funded Software Sustainability Institute.

The outcomes of this fellowship will be:

Local and National RSE Capability: A RSE Group at Sheffield as a credible roadmap for others pump-priming a UK national research software capability; and a national Continuing Professional Development programme for RSEs.

Scalable software support methods: A scalable approach based on "nudging", to providing research software support for scientific software efficiency, sustainability and reproducibility, with quality-guidelines for research software and for researchers on how best to incorporate research software engineering support within their grant proposals.

HPC for long-tail researchers: 'HPC-software ramps' and a pathway for standardised integration of HPC resources into Desktop Applications fit for modern scientific computing; a network of HPC-centric RSEs based around shared resources; and a portfolio of new research software courses developed with partners.

Communication and public understanding: A communication campaign to raise the profile of research software exploiting high profile social media and online resources, establishing an informal forum for research software debate.

References

[Goble 2014] Goble, C. "Better Software, Better Research". IEEE Internet Computing 18(5): 4-8 (2014)

[SSI 2014] Hettrick, S. "It's impossible to conduct research without software, say 7 out of 10 UK researchers" http://www.software.ac.uk/blog/2014-12-04-its-impossible-conduct-research-without-software-say-7-out-10-uk-researchers (2014)

[Nature 2015] Editorial "Rule rewrite aims to clean up scientific software", Nature Biotechnology 520(7547) April 2015

Planned Impact

The proposed program of work will bridge between academic researchers and commercial and non-commercial providers of research software. It will deliver improvements in the availability, usability and awareness of research software and best practice in its use and development. The impacts will be felt both at the University of Sheffield and across the national research software landscape. Through collaboration with commercial and non-commercial partners and delivery of ideas both in Sheffield and across the UK, I expect to provide a framework for research software support that will be used as an international exemplar of best practice.

My workplan provides a bottom-up approach to providing RSE services that is distinctive from yet complements the top-down approach provided by the EPRSC-funded Software Sustainability Institute.

Academic researchers and RSEs at The University of Sheffield will benefit from the formation of a RSE group whose remit is to provide scalable RSE support to the entire University. This group will directly improve academic software, provide a wide range of training opportunities, advise on best practice and directly contribute to research grants. The RSE profession will benefit from the creation of this high-profile node in the national RSE network.

Academic researchers and RSEs around the UK will benefit from the formation of a RSE brokerage. Seeded initially by effort from The Software Sustainability Institute, Manchester, UCL and Sheffield (See letters of support), this will form a national RSE capability. This capability will be enhanced through the development of a Continuing Professional Development (CPD) programme.

Commercial developers of scientific software will contribute to and benefit from the development of research software guidelines aimed at easing integration into commercial products. The RSE CPD programme will take contributions from commercial partners (see letters of support) which will assist them in developing closer links with academia and disseminating their latest products and features.

Academic researchers and RSEs around the world will benefit from the open course materials developed in collaboration with high-profile project partners including Microsoft Research, the N8 research partnership of northern universities and Software Sustainability Institute (see letters of support). Initial outputs will include 'HPC Carpentry' and 'Software and Data Carpentry for Windows'.

All users and developers of research software will benefit from the wide range of articles published on social media, blogs and websites. In particular, the 'long tail' of self-taught research software developers will have access to a large quantity of quality advice and tutorial materials developed as a result of RSE consultancy activities. These will be disseminated on my popular (500,00 annual visitors) website, www.walkingrandomly.com along with the websites of project partners.

The improved research made possible by the improved software landscape will benefit the wider public. Previous work includes research in areas such as land-mine detection, radio astronomy, medical image processing, computational finance, numerical algorithms, pure mathematics and functional genomics. It is expected that the support provided by this fellowship will increase the breadth and depth of such contributions.

Publications

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Ihle M (2017) Striving for transparent and credible research: practical guidelines for behavioral ecologists. in Behavioral ecology : official journal of the International Society for Behavioral Ecology

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Richardson C (2018) Research Software Engineer: A New Career Track? in Siam News

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Description BBSRC: Workshop to discuss Non-Faculty Researchers Careers and Recognition 
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URL https://github.com/tobyhodges/building-communities/blob/master/blogpost-AK.md
 
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Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
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Geographic Reach Regional
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Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
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Geographic Reach International
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consuming or producing software as an output of the academic process;
consuming or producing software as a component of the research methods.

Society is now in the tricky situation where several deeply established academic fields (eg physics, biology, mathematics) are shifting towards dependence on software, programming technology and software engineering methodology which are backed only by young and rapidly evolving fields of research (computer science and software engineering). Full accountability and even validity of software-based research results are now duly being challenged.

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Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL http://www.dagstuhl.de/de/programm/kalender/semhp/?semnr=16252
 
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Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
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Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
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Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
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I additionally interviewed all 7 of the new fellows at http://www.walkingrandomly.com/?p=6037
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URL https://storify.com/SoftwareSaved/rse-fellows-launch-at-the-royal-society
 
Description EPSRC Tier-2 launch event 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
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Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL http://www.walkingrandomly.com/?p=6305
 
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Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
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EPSRC recognised the importance of software and the need for it to be regarded as an infrastructure in its own right. EPSRC published the Software as an Infrastructure strategy in 2012 to ensure that our investments added value to the software landscape and supported the Engineering and Physical Sciences Community. Furthermore, we also published an e-infrastructure roadmap , which highlighted the importance of investing in software.

1.2 The need for a new strategy
The EPSRC Software as an Infrastructure Strategy and associated action plan was published in 2012 following a community workshop and consultation. Four years on, inevitably, the desired outcomes for the software landscape have evolved. EPSRC have also published our new Delivery Plan, which outlines how we will deliver our strategy for the period of 2016-2020, and we have a renewed vision for software.

Our vision is for Software as an Infrastructure to continue to receive support and deliver a robust, long-term programme and vision to support the research, development, management and maintenance of high-quality, robust, recognised and accredited software for the scientific communities.
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1.3 Aims of the software workshop

The aims of this Software workshop are to:

• Gain community feedback on key priorities in software to address in the future.
• Gain input from the community on how to ensure a long term strategy for software.
• Get advice on new objectives that require action and investment in the short, medium and long term.

The aim of this briefing is to:

• Provide some background information on the Software as an Infrastructure strategy.
• Present a summary of EPSRC's investments since 2012.
• Present EPSRC's proposed framework for a new software strategy.
• Provide further information about the workshop sessions.
• Give some background on the software landscape in the UK.
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Description Future Open Science services for scientific communities panel 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
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Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL https://eoscpilot.eu/events/eoscpilotopenaire-de-joint-workshop-future-open-science-services-scienti...
 
Description HPC and Cloud computing seminar with Red Oak Consulting 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
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Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL https://www.redoakconsulting.co.uk/hpc-and-cloud-seminar/
 
Description International Research Software Engineering Conference 2016 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
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Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL http://www.walkingrandomly.com/?p=6236
 
Description Introduction to Moden Fortran (Ian Bush) 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact Ian Bush is one of EPSRC's RSE fellows and is a national expert on the Fortran programming language. Despite its age, Fortran is still THE programming language of choice for HPC applications and so Fortran skills are in demand from the research community. This event was a collaboration between Research Software Engineering Sheffield and Ian Bush and aimed to ensure that people new to Fortran learned modern good practice from the outset.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Introduction to parallel computing with MPI 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact This 2 day workshop was arranged in collaboration with NAG, The Numerical Algorithms Group and taught postgraduate students and researchers how to use the MPI protocol for parallel computing.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL https://github.com/mikecroucher/CloudCluster
 
Description Invited to attend Scifoo and ran session on capacity building for open reproducible research 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact SciFoo is invite only and includes researchers, technologists, writers, educators, artists, policy makers, investors and other thought leaders for a weekend of unbridled discussion, demonstration and debate.

It is an informal conference format pioneered by O'Reilly Media, a leading book publisher and event organiser in the field of information technology. There is no predefined agenda, instead attendees collaboratively create one, with little if any boundaries as to what can be discussed. During the event, I ran a session on 'Open Data, Open Software, Reproducible research: everyone wants it, who's going train us?". The session was well attended considering the split across sessions (~25 attendees) and generated some interesting discussion around how to build computational literacy capacity throughout academia. I also gave Tim O'Reilly a copy of UK RSE state of the nation report.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL https://www.digital-science.com/events/scifoo-camp-2017/
 
Description Keynote speech at 2nd International Research Software Engineering conference 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact I was invited to give one of the keynote talks at this international event which attracted over 200 people from more than a dozen countries.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL https://mikecroucher.github.io/RSE_2017_keynote_presentation/
 
Description Mozilla Open Leaders Mentorship Program 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Undergraduate students
Results and Impact I mentored two project on round 4 and 5 of the Mozilla Open Leaders Mentorship program. Round 4 (Fall 2017): Project Data Literacy Playground: Open Educational Resource lead by Samantha Ahern, targeted at 16-24 yr olds to help them navigate their privacy rights and the implications of sharing their data (https://medium.com/read-write-participate/data-literacy-playground-cabcf7d9dab). Round 5 (Spring 2018): GirlsGetGeeky: Mentoring a team of web development educators (Cecillia Mbugua and Stella Maris Njage) to develop offline ruby on rails training material and run a training series with 16+ yo girls and women in Kenya.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017,2018
URL https://mozilla.github.io/leadership-training/round-5/projects/#girlsgetgeeky
 
Description N8 Microsoft Azure training day at University of Sheffield 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact I arranged this workshop with Microsoft under the auspices of Research Software Engineering Sheffield. Delegates were invited from universities comprising the N8 consortium, a collaboration of the eight most research intensive Universities in the North of England: Durham, Lancaster, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle, Sheffield and York.

Microsoft taught a range of short lessons on various aspects of cloud technologies. The event led to at least one research group applying for and winning a $20K grant of Azure time for use in their research. This represents a significant computational resource for their work.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description Open Science Workshop at International Society for Behavioral Ecology 2016 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact A seminar called 'Is Your Research Software Correct?' was delivered that discusses the problems inherent in research software practices and what can be done about them. This was followed by a workshop for participants in how to use Version control within R and RStudio, commonly used data analysis tools in Ecology.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL https://malikaihle.wordpress.com/openscienceworkshop/
 
Description OpenCon London Reprohack 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact OpenCon is a conference series and community bringing together leading students and early career academic professionals from across the world to learn about Open Access, Open Education, and Open Data, develop critical skills, and catalyze action toward a more open knowledge sharing system. For the 2017 OpenCon London satellite event, I co-organised and ran the day long doathon. In particular a ran a reproducibility hackathon, where participants attempted to reproduced published papers from published code and data. We then fed back to the original authors on aspects of reproducibility, transparency, documentation and reuse.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL http://rse.shef.ac.uk/blog/opencon_london/
 
Description Parallel Programming with OpenMP workshop (Collaboration with NAG 2016) 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact OpenMP is one of the most popular technologies used to accelerate software through the use of parallelisation. This workshop was a collaboration between Research Software Engineering Sheffield and the Numerical Algorithms Group (NAG) and targeted delegates from University of Sheffield although some places were available to academics from nearby institutions. Some of the audience members reported that they had accelerated their own code within a couple of weeks of completing the course.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description R Data Carpentry workshop 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact Taught R for a Data Carpentry workshop organised by the University of Sheffield Library for Life Sciences for circa 30 postgraduate students
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL https://alfawolf140.github.io/2017-07-26-Sheffield/
 
Description R awareness session for IT support staff 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact The audience was a combination of desktop support, applications support and research software engineers from The University of Manchester

The focus of the session was not the R language itself but the software infrastructure that surrounds it. Multiple versions of R, packages, R Studio, Jupyter notebook, Microsoft R Open, SageMathCloud and the way that various applications such as Mathematica, Maple and Visual Studio interact with R.

I chose to deliver the material in the same way that The Code Cafe is delivered - self directed material where I act as facilitator. This seemed to work really well and there was a lot of conversation and interaction with the audience that I find is missing when doing a more traditional presentation.

Course material is at https://github.com/mikecroucher/R_awareness
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL http://www.walkingrandomly.com/?p=6115
 
Description RCUK Cloud Computing Workshop 2018 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact The RCUK Cloud Working Group hosted this workshop to bring to together researchers and technical specialists to share their experiences in the application of cloud computing technology for the research community. The meeting included presentations from a range of research domains including particle physics, the environmental sciences, medical research and bioinformatics.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL https://cloud.ac.uk/
 
Description RSE Leaders meetings 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact The RSE-Leaders network is made up of leaders of Research Software Engineering groups in universities and research institutes around the UK. The aim of the network is to co-ordinate RSE activities nationally as well as to disseminate good practice in this emerging community.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015,2016,2017
 
Description Research software management, sharing and sustainability workshop (University of Birmingham) 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Jisc, in collaboration with the University of Birmingham invited all researchers interested and passionate about developing or using research software to join a free workshop on this subject.

The aims were to:

- Bring a range of experts who can answer and guide delegates with your most critical issues
- Provide delegates with a list of available resources on the subject and tailored to the problems that they encounter when managing research code
- Listen and collate the most common problems that you are having in this area
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL http://www.birmingham.ac.uk/events/events/Research-software-management-sharing-and-sustainability-wo...
 
Description Research software management, sharing and sustainability workshop (University of Sheffield) 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Jisc, in collaboration with The University of Sheffield, have organised a free workshop for researchers who are interested in developing or using research data software.

We are wanting to collate common problems and share experiences around managing and sharing software, as well as developing new solutions.

There will be experts on hand to answer any questions and inform participants of available resources.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL https://www.sheffield.ac.uk/library/libnews/researchworkshop
 
Description SSI Collaborations Workshop 2017 (CW17) 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact The Software Sustainability Institute's Collaborations Workshops series brought together researchers, developers, innovators, managers, funders, publishers, leaders and educators to explore best practices and the future of research software. Collaboration Workshop 17 (CW17) took place from 27th to 29th March 2017 at the Leeds University Business School, University of Leeds.

The theme of the workshop was be The Internet of Things (IoT) and Open Data: implications for research.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL https://www.software.ac.uk/cw17
 
Description Sheffield R Users Group 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Member of the organising committee of the Sheffield R Users Group.
SheffieldR provides a space for anyone with an interest in R to meet up, hear from their peers about R packages and implementations and network. The events are free and anyone, at whatever level of R skill, is welcome to attend.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017,2018
URL https://www.meetup.com/SheffieldR-Sheffield-R-Users-Group/events/
 
Description Sheffield R Users Group - Hacktoberfest Hacky Hour series 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact Ran weekly Hacktoberfest hacky hour sessions throughout October for the R Users group. Hacktoberfest is a month-long celebration of open source software ran through a partnership between GitHub and Digital Ocean with t-shirt prizes for participants who complete the challenge. The sessions introduced participants to contributing to open source and gave them the opportunity to practice using open source collaborative tools.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL http://rse.shef.ac.uk/blog/sheffieldR-hacktoberfest/
 
Description Sheffield R Users Group Talk - Literate Programming 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Gave a talk and demonstration of different approaches to literate programming in R at the May 2017 Sheffield R Users group meetup for 18 attendees (https://www.meetup.com/SheffieldR-Sheffield-R-Users-Group/events/240261060/)
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL https://github.com/annakrystalli/lit-prog
 
Description Sheffield R Users Group Talk - Literate Programming 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Gave a talk and demonstration of project organisation and documentation through the workflowr package in R at the Novermber 2017 Sheffield R Users group meetup for 16 attendees (https://www.meetup.com/SheffieldR-Sheffield-R-Users-Group/events/244746978/)
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL https://github.com/annakrystalli/workflowr-demo
 
Description Sheffield Research Software Engineering Blog 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact The Sheffield RSE blog is intended to showcase Research Software Engineering activities at University of Sheffield. It serves as a hub for all RSE activities within the University.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017,2018
URL http://rse.shef.ac.uk/blog/
 
Description Software Sustainability Collaborations Workshop 2016 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact This event was arranged by the Software Sustainability Institute and was focused on credit in academic software.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL https://www.software.ac.uk/blog/2016-04-28-collaborations-workshop-2016-cw16-report
 
Description Talk at l'Université Paris-Sud - PRATIQUES COLLABORATIVES & COMPÉTENCES NUMÉRIQUES 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact An event to discuss collaborative research computing practices in France including Research Software Engineering and data science.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL http://proto204.co/portfolio/codefoc/
 
Description University of Lancaster Visit (Is Your Research Software Correct) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact A seminar called 'Is Your Research Software Correct?' that discusses the problems inherent in research software practices and what can be done about them.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL https://github.com/mikecroucher/MLPM_talk
 
Description University of Nottingham visit (Is Your Research Software Correct) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact A seminar called 'Is Your Research Software Correct?' that discusses the problems inherent in research software practices and what can be done about them. It was delivered to the School of Mathematical sciences.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL https://github.com/mikecroucher/MLPM_talk
 
Description Visit to Sparx - Is your research software correct? 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Sparx is a scientifically driven and research based educational technology company who are using technology, data and real world classroom observation to scientifically investigate the way young people learn. https://www.sparx.co.uk/

They employ a data science team who have a workflow that is very similar to that of academic researchers. As such, they face a very similar set of challenges. I visited the company in February 2017 to give a talk 'Is your research software correct?' and discussed best practice with them.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description WalkingRandomly blog 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact WalkingRandomly is a blog focused on research software, high performance computing and mathematics. It is widely read and cited by community members in these subject areas and receives between 250,000 and 500,000 visitors a year.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity Pre-2006,2007,2009,2011,
URL http://www.walkingrandomly.com/
 
Description Warick University: Bad software and how it is ruining your research 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact I gave a talk to researchers at The University of Warwick about good software practices in Research.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL https://warwick.ac.uk/fac/sci/wcpm/seminars/
 
Description Wolfram Research Training Day 2016 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact A day of training and workshops for members of the University of Sheffield on how to make good use of Mathematica and The Wolfram Language, a popular commercial computer algebra system and technical computing environment. The event was a collaboration between Research Software Engineering Sheffield and Wolfram Research and has led to a call to host a larger event in collaboration with University of Manchester in 2017.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description Workshop on Nordic Big Biomedical Data for Action in Stockholm 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact NIASC and NeIC organised a three-day Nordic Workshop on Nordic Big Biomedical Data for Action which brought together practitioners, software developers and compute infrastructure providers from across the Nordic region. The aim of the event was to showcase what the community was doing in the areas of HPC, big data and how it could assist biomedical research.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL http://www.nordicehealth.se/2016/12/04/workshop-on-nordic-big-biomedical-data-for-action/
 
Description ___ and R: How R relates to other technologies 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact This was a presentation given to the Sheffield R User's group, a grassroots club made up of enthusiasts, researchers and industrial users of R. My talk focused on how R interfaced with a range of other technologies such as High Performance and Cloud computing, commercial software packages and open source libraries. It sparked discussion and led to the discovery of academics who need help with their R code.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL https://mikecroucher.github.io/x_and_R/#/1