Keynote and Invited Speakers
How Economics Shapes Science
Georgia State University
July 11 Keynote
Economics is about incentives and costs. It is also about whether as a society we are using resources efficiently in the sense that we could reallocate and get more without getting less. The lecture will explore how incentives and costs affect the practice of science, especially at universities. Examples will be provided. The lecture will also argue that there are a number of inefficiencies in the system. Four which will receive special mention are first, “over training” in the sense that the U.S. in certain fields is producing more scientists than can find research positions, second, the increased tendency for funding agencies and scientists to be risk averse, third, misaligned incentives when it comes to publishing, and fourth, incentives that encourage universities to “overbuild” in certain fields.
Paula Stephan is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and a member of the Board of Reviewing Editors, Science. Read her full bio.
Mapping the Poles with Petascale
Polar Geospatial Center
July 12 Keynote
The compelling story of a small NSF-funded team from academia joining with the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency and Blue Waters to create the largest ever topographic mapping project. Surface topography is among the most fundamental data sets for geosciences, essential for disciplines ranging from glaciology to geodynamics. Two new projects are using sub-meter, commercial imagery licensed by the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency and open source photogrammetry software to produce a 2-m posting elevation model of the Arctic and an 8-m posting elevation model for the Antarctic. When complete, this publicly available data will be at higher resolution than the continuous data available for the Western United States. ArcticDEM is made possible through a three-tier strategy using open-source photogrammetry software, petascale computing, and sub-meter imagery licensed to the United States Government.
Paul Morin is Founder and Director of the Polar Geospatial Center, an NSF science and logistics support center at the University of Minnesota. Read his full bio.
Reproducibility and Containers: The Perfect Sandwich
11 a.m. Tuesday, July 11
Vanessa Sochat, Research Software Engineer, Stanford Research Computing Center, and Gregory Kurtzer, High Performance Computing Services group at Lawrence Berkeley National Lab, present on their work with Singularity and Singularity Hub.
Dear reader, how should you disseminate your software? If you want your recipe to come out just right, we encourage you to put it in a container. One such container, Singularity, is the first of its kind to be securely deployed internationally on more than 40 shared cluster resources. Its registry, Singularity Hub, further supports reproducible science by building and making containers accessible to any user of the software. In this talk, Vanessa will review the primary use cases for both Singularity and Singularity Hub, and how both have been designed to support modern, common workflows. (Greg will participate remotely.) She will discuss current and future challenges for building, capturing metadata for, and organizing the exploding landscape of containers, and present novel work for assessing reproducibility of such containers. Containers are changing scientific computing, and this is something to be excited about.
Networking for Research
11 a.m. Wednesday, July 12
Internet2 Principal Scientist
The Internet's conceptual model is that of the classic phone system: connect two instruments (or interfaces) together with a wire. This is today an appropriate model still for some applications - e.g., connecting a remote user to the login host of an HPC system. But even this simple model admits of diversity for varied applications without analogs in classical telephony - quality of service in terms of guaranteed bandwidth and latency control, and elaborations such as the Science DMZ and DTNs. Yet in the computational sciences it is often the case that an investigator's focus is on the dataset(s) to be analyzed, while the interfaces and the hosts on which they reside are of no interest. These ideas lead to the concept of "information-centric networking" and network architectures different from the Internet which are of growing interest both commercially and in the academy. Until quite recently, network designers were forced to choose a communications model and network architecture to implement. Today however, the availability of very fast commodity hardware, inexpensive storage, and abundant bandwidth allow multiple architectures to co-exist on the same network substrate, and for particular instances to be stood up and torn down under end-user control. This talk will elaborate on these ideas, and offer some examples.