US-RSE Newsletter

November 2020 Newsletter

Published: Nov 30, 2020

In this bi-monthly newsletter, we share recent, current, and planned activities of the US-RSE Association, and related news that we think is of interest to US-RSE members. Newsletters are also available on our website alongside the growing resources and information on the US-RSE Association. A sign-up option for our newsletter is available here.

In this issue:

First Annual General Meeting

We will hold our first US-RSE Annual General Meeting (AGM) on December 4th, 2020, 1-3pm ET, for all our members. This will be an opportunity to hear from US-RSE leadership about events in 2020 and future plans for the Association. Candidates running for the US-RSE Steering Committee will be given an opportunity to introduce themselves. Questions or discussion topics should be submitted ahead of time via this form. Prior registration is required and must match the email address on file with US-RSE. All members are invited and encouraged to attend, and the meeting will be recorded and made available shortly afterwards for those who can’t make it.

Meet the Steering Committee Candidates

As shared this summer, we’re holding an election for four seats on the Steering Committee in December. Read about the candidates on the website and hear from them during the AGM, and ask any questions you might have for them on the #election channel on Slack. You’ll be asked to rank order the six candidates for the steering committee during the election, which runs December 13-19. Good luck to all of the candidates, and thank you for volunteering!

US-RSE Community Call on DEI

The October Community Call covered the topic “Diversity, Equity and Inclusion” or DEI. The goal of the call was to have an open discussion about steps US-RSE might take in promoting diversity within the US-RSE organization and externally in our profession. A blog post summarizing the call can be found here. As a result of the call, a new DEI working group was formed along with a slack channel, #dei-discussion, for related discussions. The DEI working group has met once since the original community call and is now scheduling a second meeting. All are welcome to join. Because of the AGM in December, the next community call will take place in January. Those interested in proposing a topic for any of the future community calls should do so in the #communitycalls Slack channel.

The 2nd International Leaders Workshop

The 2nd International Leaders Workshop took place in September and attracted 39 participants from 13 countries on five continents, and included delegates from eight national or multinational RSE associations: de-RSE, Society of RSE (UK), NL-RSE, US-RSE, Nordic RSE, African RSSE, beRSE, and AUS/NZ RSE. Even though they do not have formal RSE associations, individuals from Argentina, Colombia, France, Canada, and Spain also joined the workshop. It was thrilling to see such broadly international attendance and we are looking forward to more international collaboration! You can find more information about the workshop in the blog posts linked below in Interesting Reads.

RSE at SC20

We were excited to hold the inaugural Research Software Engineers in HPC Workshop (RSE-HPC-2020) as part of the SC20 conference this year! The half-day, virtual event featured 18 speakers and had over 100 participants. Keynote addresses were given by RSE leaders from the UK and Germany on the history of the RSE movements in their countries. The event also featured three lightning talks, and two panel discussions on the topics “Building RSE Teams and Groups” and “Supporting RSE Careers.” We were glad to see the high level of interest in the talks and discussions, and we look forward to holding more of these workshops in the future.

In addition to the RSE workshop, RSEs from the US and elsewhere led and participated in several other SC20 events. The HPC community is giving increasing attention to the research software they run and the people who write it; this was evident in these events, and we hope to see the trend continue.

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These screenshots show the organizers and featured session speakers at RSE-HPC-2020.

Other Happenings

  • Congratulations to Vanessa Sochat for winning 1st place in the Scientific Software category at ScienceSlam@SC20 with her video submission of “Twas the Night” for RSEpedia. Vanessa has generously donated her prize to US-RSE to support community initiatives and growth. Thank you, Vanessa!
  • On October 30th, US-RSE staffed a booth at the Black in Physics Job Fair to promote and raise awareness about the RSE career path. A special thanks to the booth volunteers: Sajid Ali, Chris Hill, Lance Parsons, and Ian Cosden.
  • Congratulations to Valeria Barra for starting a new job - her first as an RSE! She shared in Slack that she had found the role in the #jobs channel in the US-RSE Slack workspace. We are happy that we can contribute to connecting RSEs with employers. Congrats, Valeria!

Interesting Events

Some other events coming up may be of interest to RSEs:

  • SORSE: A Series of Online Research Software Events - an international answer to the COVID-19-induced cancellation of many national RSE conferences, to provide an opportunity for RSEs to develop and grow their skills, build new collaborations and engage with RSEs worldwide. It has a rolling deadline for events to be proposed as part of the series, and the next deadline is on November 30th. The events will take place at different times to accommodate different time zones. Submitters can indicate preferred dates and times.
  • The Trustworthy Data Working Group is hosting a panel on Monday December 7th at 11 am EST to discuss tools, standards, community practices for trustworthy scientific data sharing. The panelists are Jim Basney: Deputy Director, Trusted CI - Sandra Gesing: Associate Research Professor, Department of Computer Science and Engineering; Computational Scientist, Center for Research Computing; University of Notre Dame (PresQT) - Bob Hanisch: Director of Office of Data & Informatics, NIST- Rebecca Koskela: Executive Director, Research Data Alliance - US (RDA-US). The event is free but registration is required.
  • The Software Sustainability Institute’s Collaborations Workshop series brings together researchers, developers, innovators, managers, funders, publishers, policy makers, leaders and educators to explore best practices and the future of research software. Collaborations Workshop 2021 (CW21) will take place online from Tuesday, 30 March to Thursday, 1 April 2021. The themes of CW21 are 1) FAIR Research Software, 2) Diversity and Inclusion and 3) Software Sustainability. The deadline for submissions is January 31, 2021.

Recent Job Postings

These opportunities were recently posted to the RSE Careers page:

Interesting Reads

Items you may have missed on the blog and Slack:

Get Involved

There are lots of ways to get involved with the US-RSE community. Of course, you can join us on Slack or volunteer for an interview with the RSE Stories podcast. But we’re also looking for ideas and help in many other places. See our list of projects and let us know how you’d like to help. Help with things like the Website Committee, Social Media, and Community Engagement are all needed.