Plenary Sessions
New Software Institute Conceptualization Projects and how you can engage
Event Type
Plenary Sessions
Plenary Tags
TimeTuesday, July 248:35am - 9:20am
DescriptionSpeaker 1: Vipin Chaudhary

Title: Towards a National Cyberinfrastructure Ecosystem: The role of Software Institutes

Abstract: Starting in 2011, the National Science Foundation began making a concerted investment in software as a research cyberinfrastructure, through the Software Infrastructure for Sustained Innovation (SI2) program and, now, the Cyberinfrastructure for Sustained Scientific Innovation (CSSI) program. Over $150M has been put forth to support the development and deployment of robust, sustainable software elements and frameworks that can accelerate advances across all of science and engineering, and aligned with the National Strategic Computing Initiative (NSCI) and the NSF Big Ideas. Software Institutes have now been established to serve as the anchoring points of a national software cyberinfrastructure ecosystem, hubs of excellence for domain-specific software (such as the Molecular Science Software Institute), and infrastructure software that can serve many domains (such as the Science Gateways Community Institute). Conceptualization efforts are underway for a geospatial software institute, an institute for computational fluid dynamics, and a cross-cutting institute for software sustainability best practices and support. This talk will shed light on the motivation behind software institutes, how their success will be measured, and how these institutes should be leveraged by the science and engineering research community.

Speaker 2: Shaowen Wang

Title: Conceptualizing a Geospatial Software Institute (GSI)

Abstract: Throughout the globe, changes and concerns such as emergency management, population growth, and rapid urbanization are creating scientific and societal challenges that are both localized and interdependent across space and time. Data related to location (i.e., geospatial data) collected and used for academic, governmental, and industrial purposes urgently needs innovative geospatial software to allow such data to be transformed into valuable insights and significant scientific knowledge. Fields such as agriculture, ecology, emergency management, environmental engineering and sciences, hydrology, geography and spatial sciences, geosciences, national security, public health, and social sciences all require geospatial data and software to make important advances. This project seeks to conceptualize a Geospatial Software Institute (GSI) as a long-term hub of excellence in software infrastructure that will bring together the diverse research communities that use advanced geospatial data analysis software to do their research. This project will develop a strategic plan for such a Geospatial Software Institute, that is, develop the vision and roadmap of the Institute by mobilizing the relevant communities and stakeholders. The central goal of this project is to understand how to structure and implement a GSI as a long-term hub of excellence in advanced geospatial software infrastructure, that can bring together and serve the advanced and diverse geospatial software and science research and education communities. The project will bring together the perspectives of diverse academic, governmental, and industrial institutions as well as international partners to better understand the requirements for a GSI, identify potential software contributors, and then develop the mission, vision and plan for the GSI. A community report will additionally be produced, that will assess critical science and engineering needs as well as promising solutions for high-performance geospatial software. Finally, this project will make useful contributions to the strategic objectives of the National Strategic Computing Initiative (NSCI).

Speaker 3: Sandra Gesing

Title: Conceptualizing a US Research Software Sustainability Institute (URSSI) - http://urssi.

Abstract: Many science advances have been possible thanks to use of software. This software, also known as "research software,",has become essential to progress in science and engineering. The scientists who develop the software are experts in their discipline, but not necessarily experts in software engineering and may lack sufficient understanding of the practices that make software development easier, and the software more robust, reliable, maintainable and sustainable. This project will work with these scientists and software engineering experts to understand how the research community can best work together to design and maintain better software with lower effort, so that they and others can continue to use it over long periods of time. This project will conduct several workshops and a survey in order to gather and understand the community's needs addressing the diversity in software expertise of its members. These needs will be widely disseminated via newsletters and via a website. The primary deliverable of this project will be a design and strategic plan for a US Research Software Sustainability Institute (URSSI) which will serve as a community hub and provide services to scientists that will help them create improved, more sustainable software. This software in turn will accelerate the progress of science.

Speaker 4: Kenneth E. Jansen

Title: Conceptualizing a Computational Fluid Dynamics Software Institute (CFDSI)

Abstract: Fluid dynamics is a broad field spanning a large number of science and engineering problem domains that are critical to a wide variety of important applications including manufacturing, climate, environment, health, transportation, propulsion, and power generation. To support the fluid dynamics research and applications community, this project will execute a community-driven conceptualization of a future institute — Computational Fluid Dynamics Software Infrastructure (CFDSI) — to broadly develop, share, and apply computational tools for the generation and analysis of fluid dynamics data from both experimental and computational sources. After conceptualization with the community it serves, CFDSI will create and extend tools for the fluid dynamics community for problem definition, solution, and analysis of both computational and experimental investigations. The primary objective is to facilitate the sharing of computational tools and data resources through a rich and extensible set of software components that can be applied with a wide range of existing fluid dynamics analysis tools. Essential to the success of this objective is to sustainably develop software components to analyze data from a wide range of sources. By improving the efficiency of tools and their ease of use, the ability for scientists and engineers to accurately predict and understand how complex fluid flows behave will be dramatically enhanced — having a huge impact on design, innovation, and discovery across the vast range of applications where fluid dynamics plays a role. CFDSI will also have a profound effect on undergraduate and graduate education by making a wide variety of resources available to students for fluid dynamics investigations, and it will provide visualization of data output that will motivate STEM interest for K-12 students.