February 2022 Newsletter

10 February 2022 16:00

The University of Sheffield Research Software Engineering Community Newsletter February 2022

Hi everyone!

Welcome to the monthly newsletter for the Research Software Engineering Community at The University of Sheffield.

Code Clinics

Code Clinics are fortnightly support sessions run on alternate Wednesdays by the RSE Team and IT Services’ Research and Innovation IT (ITS R&I) team. They are open to anyone at TUOS writing code for research to get help with programming problems and general advice on best practice.

At each session, members of the RSE and/or ITS R&I teams will be available to review code, advise, troubleshoot and suggest ways to improve your computational workflows.

To find out more and book a slot click here


LunchBytes are a monthly series of short talks from the research community on research software, data and infrastructure.

We have LunchBytes sessions scheduled for February and March, save the date!

  • High Performance Computing (HPC) at Sheffield and Beyond, 17th February 2022 12:00-13:00 If you find yourself running simulations that take days, struggling to fit datasets in your computer’s memory, training deep learning models or wish you had more computational resource for doing research, HPC might be the solution!

More details about the event are available on our website.

  • Software engineering in High Energy / Particle Physics, 17th March 2022 12:00-13:00 Talks include:
  • Migrating 4 million lines of C++ code to multi threading
  • A new era of computing at the Large Hadron Collider

More details about the event are available on our website.

Previously scheduled event cancelled, watch this space

  • Parallelisation: an easy trick to speed up your code? Parallelisation - running multiple pieces of work at the same time - can be a great way to speed up research code, but requires an appreciation of the costs introduced by distributing work concurrently over computational assets. This session will be made up of short talks introducing both fundamental concepts needed for successful use of parallelisation, and state of the art technologies available for researchers.

More details about the event are available on our website.

LunchBytes needs YOU!

LunchBytes are organised by and for the research software community at The University of Sheffield. If you’d like to curate a session on a topic or present something, get in touch by emailing lunchbytes-organisers-group@sheffield.ac.uk - Or suggest topics on the jamboard


  • Software Sustainability Institute Fellows 2022 Announced - Among this year’s cohort is Sheffield RSE Team member, Dr David Wilby. During his fellowship, David will be developing guidance and training resources around best practices for sustainable research software development in MATLAB, watch this space!

  • Enabling Access to UK Environmental Data - University of Manchester Research IT is to a play a major role in a £7 million project, led by The University of Manchester, to provide easy access to an extensive range of the UK’s environmental data.

  • Call for computationally-intensive papers for review at the first HPC ReproHack ReproHacks are one-day hackathons providing a sandbox environment for practicing reproducibility.
    • Authors submit their papers, and publicly available code and data for review prior to the event. On the day, participants attempt to reproduce submitted papers and feed back their experiences to the authors.

    • The format of these events so far has precluded the examination of computationally intensive research. However, with support from the EPSRC, we are excited to partner up with the University of Warwick, UK, who have allocated a large portion of the Sulis tier 2 service (both CPU and GPU resource) to run a pilot HPC ReproHack event focusing on computationally intensive research for students of three of their Centers for Doctoral Training in late March 2021!

    • We invite authors who would like feedback on the reproducibility of computationally intensive research to submit details of their paper, code and data for reproduction and review. You can submit your paper on the ReproHack Hub. To ensure your paper is associated with this event, please make sure to select the event on the form during submission. If you would like to make your work available for future HPC ReproHacks, we recommend including an HPC tag. Please see our Author Guidelines for more information.

  • French government has awarded Open Science prizes for research software (en Français) - Top prizes were awarded to: Coq (Scientific and Technical Category), Scikit-learn (Community), Faust, and Gammapy (Jury Prize).

semantic-release automates the whole package release workflow including: determining the next version number, generating the release notes, and publishing the package.

This removes the immediate connection between human emotions and version numbers, strictly following the Semantic Versioning specification and communicating the impact of changes to consumers.


Web, Blogs & Articles


  • Git & GitHub through GitKraken - from Zero to Hero! - There are still a few spaces available on our popular version control course in March and April. Visit the links below for more information and to register.
  • 12-week Parallel Computing with GPUs Course:
    • The course has started but late registrations are available until week 4 when the GPU content starts. The course has been designed as an undergraduate 4th year (and MSc) module for Computer Science but is available to staff and PhD Students (as part of the DDP program) and regularly has staff and PhD student enrolment. The first 3 weeks are focused on teaching C and OpenMP followed by GPU programming with CUDA C. Lectures are provided as pre-recorded mini lectures and there are 2 hours of scheduled support per week to undertake practical lab classes. Assessment is not required for DDP or staff participants. If you are interested in enrolling as staff or a PhD student then please contact the module leader p.richmond@sheffield.ac.uk


Many of these opportunities are shared in the UKRSE slack channel run by the Society of Research Software Engineering - join to get the latest news and discussions in the RSE community in the UK and globally.

Sheffield RSE Team

The Sheffield RSE Team aims to collaborate with you to help improve your research software. They can provide dedicated staff to ensure that you can deliver excellent research software engineering on your research projects.

The Sheffield RSE Team provides free Code Clinics (in collaboration with IT Services), plus paid services that allow us to collaborate longer term.

Contact Us

For queries relating to collaborating with the RSE team on projects: rse@sheffield.ac.uk

Information and access to JADE II and Bede.

Join our mailing list so as to be notified when we advertise talks and workshops by subscribing to this Google Group.

Queries regarding free research computing support/guidance should be raised via our Code clinic or directed to the University IT helpdesk.