Louise Brown

Motivate Better Practice in Research SoftwareBy James Grant, University of Bath, Andrew Washbrook, University of Edinburgh, Louise Brown, University of Nottingham, Niels Drost, Netherlands eScience Center, and Andrew Bennett, European Centre for Medium-range Weather Forecasts

What can be termed as "coding" is a subset of wider software engineering practices such as version control, continuous integration and good software design. Coding is prevalent in academia but practices that allow sustainable software to be produced are frequently overlooked.  Motivating the uptake of the approaches, methods and tools, and highlighting the benefit they deliver, by engaging with researchers who develop software is the first step in spreading best practice in our community.

In discussions with researchers, we find that the use of version control is often highlighted as the first methodology that they would like to introduce into their workflow. We would therefore like to 1) identify approaches that can promote the use of version control by reducing barriers from textbook to full integration and 2) highlight the wider benefits of the methods beyond traditional software development.

Software related courses at an undergraduate level tend to focus on code syntax and functionality with limited time spent covering software management practices.  By including the use of version control as part of these training programs we can avoid much…

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Increasing diversityBy Thomas Robitaille, Freelance, Alice Harpole, University of Southampton, Olivier Philippe, University of Southampton, Louise Brown, University of Nottingham, Clem Tanzi, qLegal, Mateusz Kuzak, Netherlands eScience Center.

This post is part of the Collaborations Workshops 2017 speed blogging series.

There are diverse aspects of diversity, age, ethnicities, disabilities, and so on, however, the most commonly addressed one is the gender. Without taking into account the importance of one or the other aspect, gender has the advantage to be able to be easily assessable. It is easier to measure the situation to a standard and to compare the situation between different projects, careers, conferences, etc. 

However, even if we take the sole issue of gender and its simplified version (binary distinction between male and female), it quickly appears that the context where software developments takes place is already defined by the gender issues at a higher level, such as the representativity in the education field or in the career plan. Therefore, a definition of a standard (directly assessable) is biased, and each event where we try to enforce the diversity should take that into account (see for instance the…

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TexGen: Modelling textilesBy Louise Brown, Senior Research Fellow at the University of Nottingham and EPSRC Research Software Engineer Fellow

This article is part of our series: A day in the software life, in which researchers from all disciplines discuss the tools that make their or someone else’s research possible.

Composite materials are increasingly used in a wide range of applications, particularly in the aerospace and automotive industries. Here their low weight and high strength are a significant advantage, and they will contribute to achieve targets for reduction of greenhouse gas emissions by decreasing the weight of components and therefore energy used. They comprise a reinforcement embedded in a matrix and may be made up from many combinations of materials, typically glass or carbon fibre in a polymer matrix.  Often the reinforcements are produced in the form of textiles for ease of handling, either layering ‘2D’ weaves to give the required thickness or by creating complex ‘3D’ weaves which can enhance properties and reduce manufacturing time.

Given the many possible combinations of reinforcement textiles and matrix materials, it is beneficial to be able to model these systems so that simulations can be run to predict properties for both manufacturing processes and the final…

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Path. Image by Miguel Carvalho. https://www.flickr.com/photos/miguelvirkkunen/4382242057/in/photolist-7Ff8Tx-4FaRUB-dJbcDz-4FpuLy-aswoX-8bRHjP-nMuH4k-4mkXSn-ngi9Rx-pMtkir-ajGwps-5cSUri-4nUhX1-6VGkWF-jwfTNF-fbv68g-e9Hst4-fdRKVP-4yirjk-aVRq58-bn3VPt-5UMJwb-saqPyz-4D1DEu-jwfuzM-i3RcZu-owH6UW-67F1wU-dcpvSR-4nrvzk-892xuZ-6U6HrJ-sjp8TD-5meAyX-e4h7uv-bvNZhf-fx476s-81zcov-aox41f-8oqksv-nNKakF-aAyhDv-7s9yhu-9G4XJu-it8wBd-5zobAE-biUXUF-9FkLjc-8YGjfD-57KRg2By Mark Stillwell, Cisco Meraki, Caroline Jay, University of Manchester,  Robert Haines, University of Manchester, Louise Brown, University of Nottingham, Jeremy Cohen, Imperial College London, Alys Brett, Culham Centre for Fusion Energy, Shih-Chen Chao, University of Manchester, Raquel Alegre, UCL, James Davenport, University of Bath, and James…

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