USA – UK Travel Grants for Research Software Engineers

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The first two awards from the EPSRC USA-UK Research Software Engineer Travel fund have just been announced and Martin Turner from Research IT has been fortunate enough to receive one them.  The funding aims to encourage greater collaboration between the UK and USA-based Research Software Engineer communities to help with: investigating emerging hardware and the impact on software; building collaboration around a particular science area; developing common community codes; and building links between computational / computer science and mathematics.

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How fast can a T. rex run?

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Dr William Sellers from the School of Earth and Environmental Sciences has been hitting the headlines with his discovery that Tyrannosaurus rex was unable move faster than a gentle jog, let alone run.  The research looks extensively into the gait and biomechanics of the world’s most famous dinosaur and, using the external HPC resources accessed through and supported by Research IT, has created a new simulation model to test its findings.

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Mathematica Summer Workshop Roundup

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Research IT recently hosted, in cooperation with Wolfram, the first Mathematica Summer Workshop. In our case “summer” only referred to the time of year and certainly not the temperature!

Mathematica is a multi-purpose scientific environment used by many researchers here at the University of Manchester. It is very good for rapid development and exploration of data, providing a convenient notebook like interface. Alternatively you can create presentations with embedded Mathematica equations as most of our presenters did. However, you certainly need to know a few tricks before getting started and that was what we aimed to provide through this workshop.

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Wanted: Volunteer Instructors for CodeFirst

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Each semester CodeFirst runs free community courses aimed to provide women with technical and digital skills.  The courses are taught by volunteer instructors all across the country and this October they are coming to the University of Manchester.

They are looking for a diverse range of enthusiastic volunteer instructors for the upcoming autumn sessions. Instructors come from a variety of cultural and coding backgrounds, and include computer science/technical postgraduates, company based professionals, freelance developers, and university staff. All instructors work on a voluntary basis.

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A New Way to Produce Research Papers

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David Mawdsley, a Research software engineer (RSE) in Research IT, presented at the recent Docker Containers for Reproducible Research Workshop (C4RR) organised by the Software Sustainability Institute.

His presentation described a new method of producing research papers using containerisation, which makes both the analysis and manuscript easy to produce and extend.  This can be used as a starting point for a new, versioned publication model, which will allow early publication of results and their incremental extension.

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Research Grant Clinic – June

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Research IT offers a range of services to UoM researchers such as high performance computing and software consultancy but how do you know if these services are relevant to you and your research?  If they are how do you describe them and cost them correctly in your grant proposal?

Come along to the next Research IT Grant Support Clinic on the 22nd of June where researchers and research support staff can discover more about the skills and services that we offer and, importantly, how to include them in grant proposals.

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Rapid Analysis of Video Data

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Traditionally the first step in interpreting video is to code it into a form that can be analysed systematically. The coding process is currently performed manually, and it can be slow and difficult, and biased by subjectivity.  David Mawdsley (Research IT) recently presented a poster at the first “Advances in Data Science” conference explaining how we are helping Dr Caroline Jay’s group develop a way to quickly code human behaviours allowing the rapid analysis of hours of video.

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