FLOSS for Science

FLOSS for Science

Open Source software in Science

Episodes

April 26, 2021 48 min
Note : This interview was recorded in the summer of 2020. However, due to the pandemic we could not release the episode timely. Therefore, the current status of FSF and recent events are not discussed in this episode. In episode 31, we interviewed Craig Topham from the Licensing and Compliance Team of the GNU Project about GNU software licenses. We started by discussing about his involvment in the compliance team at the Free Softw...
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In episode 30, we interviewed Todd Gamblin from the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory about the Spack project. We discussed his current research project along with his involvement in Spack. We widely discussed the philosophy of Spack, some usage patterns, its capabilities for managing package management in HPC clusters as well as standalone computers and which operating systems it supports at the moment. Todd shared with us hi...
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In episode 29, we interviewed Jason R Coombs from the setuptools project. We started with a discussion about his background and his interest for Python and other programming languages. Following that, we had a thorough discussion about setuptools. We covered topics such as how he got involved in the project, the nature and composition of a Python package, why packaging your code can be important even for small projects, the hidden ...
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In episode 28, we interviewed Leah Silen from the NumFocus organization. She introduced us to the goals and the mission of the organization. We then had a discussion about the different levels of support provided by the organization to its member projects. She informed us about the legal, financial, technological and logistical support that can be provided by NumFocus. Following that, we asked her about the revenue sources of the o...
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In episode 27, we interviewed Ralf Gommers from the NumPy and SciPy projects. We started our discussion by talking about his past research experience as a physicist and his transition to open source software and programming. This led him to get involved in projects such as PyWavelets, NumPy and SciPy. Following that, we had a great discussion about NumPy, its many features, its target audience and its performance. We learned why Nu...
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March 4, 2020 27 min
In episode 26, we interviewed Bhavani Ravi about the Python data analysis library pandas. After a brief introduction about her use of machine leaning models for pharmaceutical research, we talked extensively about pandas. She told us how much pandas is important for her everyday tasks and the strict quality standards of the project. We talked about the features provided by pandas and its compatibility with other Python libraries. W...
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February 5, 2020 51 min
In episode 25, we interviewed Kurt Kremitzki about the paramatric 3D modelling tool FreeCAD. After discussing his previous experiences with CAD software and how he got involved in the FreeCAD project, we asked him about the current development status of the project before digging deeper into a few of the workbenches offered by FreeCAD. We also compared FreeCAD to LibreCAD and QCAD for applications only requiring 2D drawing instead...
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December 4, 2019 52 min
In episode 24, we interviewed Simon Hettrick Professor at the University of Southampton in the UK. We started the discussion with him by asking about his transition from deveoppin high-power lasers to founding the research software engineers (RSE) association and how his experiences got him in his current position. We then discussed about the roles of RSE in research and how funding for RSE evolved over the past. The discussion wen...
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In episode 23, we interviewed Dan Quintana from the University of Oslo. We started the discussion with him by asking the link between all his subjects of interest and where R fits into his workflow. We then had an extensive discussion about R including his must have R packages and the synthpop package for generating synthetic datasets. We then widened the discussion and talked about the multiple facets of open science and reproduci...
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October 2, 2019 45 min
In episode 22, we interviewed Robert Dodier from the Maxima project. After a brief introduction and a presentation of Robert's current uses for Maxima he introduced what is Maxima and what can be achieved with it. We discussed some core concepts of Maxima's language as well as how to access the documentation within the software to help users. Then discussion went on about the interesting origin story of Maxima and its origi...
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In episode 21, we interviewed Juan Pablo Carbajal, an Argentinian physicist currently working as a postdoctoral researcher in the Department of Urban Water Management at the ETH domain in Switzerland. We had a great discussion about GNU Octave and how it can help scientists. We compared its core functions and its expandability through packages to its commercial equivalent Matlab and its toolboxes. An interesting feature of GNU Octa...
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In episode 20, we interviewed Arfon Smith, Editor-in-chief of the Journal of Open Source Software (JOSS) and Head of Data Science at the Space Telescope Science Institute. We talked with him about the creation of JOSS and its role in peer reviewed publications of research software. He described to us how to start a peer reviewed scientific journal and the challenges and competition that he faces. We chatted about how, by using auto...
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In episode 19, we interviewed Glenn Cooper the Head of experiment computing department at Fermilab about the history and future of the linux distribution Scientific Linux. The discussion started with a brief overview of current research activities at Fermilab. When then extensively talked about Scientific Linux, its goals, the reason why it was started and what made it successful. Glenn made a good argument about the need for a sta...
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June 5, 2019 55 min
In episode 18, we interviewed Jesse Allison an Associate Professor of Experimental Music and Digital Media at Louisiana State University. We had a great discussion about his work to expand the experience and interactivy of music and sounds. He shared with us his view on how sciences and arts intersect in his projects. He listed some of the tools he uses to create sounds and how these can be applied to create sonic intervention. We ...
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In episode 17, we interviewed Adrian Serio the Scientific Program Coordinator of the STELLAR group about the C++ Standard Library for Concurrency and Parallelism (HPX). We started with a general discussion about parallel computing, where it comes from, where it is going and what can we still expect to gain. We then clarified what are C++ standards and how HPX is developed to be standard compliant. HPX was compared t...
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For episode 16, we interview the Research Associate Professor Karl W. Schulz. The episode starts with a discussion about High Performance Computing and how OpenHPC facilitate the managment of computing ressources. We then open the discussion towards open source tools, how they became so important for HPC and the their importance for open science. We also discussed about the inception of the OpenHPC project and its governance struct...
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For episode 15, we interview the Associate Professor of Archaeology Ben Marwick. We start our discussion with an overview of some FLOSS tools he uses and how much FLOSS are used in archaeology. He shares with us his experience in regard to working completely in the open with GitHub and his hope that open science will become the norm in the future. We also discuss about rrtools and his propositions on how to greatly improve the re...
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February 6, 2019 47 min
In episode 14, we interview Pat David a Free Software advocate, occasional photographer and engineer about the GIMP project. We talked about how GIMP can be used by scientists to enhance their images for their publications. Also, Pat shared with us his strong opinions regarding scientific communication and why free software matters. You will also learn a few interesting trivia about the origins of the GIMP project, including the co...
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January 8, 2019 37 min
For episode 13, we interviewed Martin Owens, a British Free Software contractor based in Boston Massachusetts, during the 2018 Kiel Inkscape Hackfest, about the Inkscape project. After a brief presentation of Inkscape, we talked about the svg file format and the compatibility of Inkscape with other commercial proprietary offerings. He presented us a list of features planned for Inkscape 1.0, the next major version. We discussed abo...
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In Episode 12, we interviewed Kenneth Hoste, who is an HPC system administrator at Ghent University in Belgium. We talked about the problems that arise when installing scientific software on HPC systems and how the EasyBuild project that originated at HPC-UGent helps dealing with those problems, the impact of open source software in scientific research, as well as the yearly FOSDEM open source software meeting in Brussels where he ...
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