@ARC Five Months In
It has felt like a whirlwind of activity at Advanced Research Computing (ARC) since I arrived at the end of February 2022. There is always lots of new ‘stuff’ going on, from interesting projects with our academic friends to student competitions and conferences. We are also continually refining our systems and processes and are expanding our group with new people joining all the time; welcome to Jon, Simon, Chris, and Iain. What we do at ARC is support research activities through the application of high performance computing and we are organised into three teams to cover the infrastructure, engagement, and software sides of things. Having said that we all work pretty closely, and I am very impressed with how well everyone seems to be motivated to meet up, especially if this involves food of some description! I am in the Research Software Group (RSG) and we do things like install software pipelines onto BlueBEAR or Baskerville (supercomputers) or mentor research groups on improving their own code. My role is focussed on writing software and I am involved with Prof Dylan Owens’ group, developing a repository for point-cloud microscopy and making their innovative analysis routines available to the wider research community. It’s great to be actively involved in the wonderful research that goes on at the UoB, and we also run coding clubs and free engagements and generally embed ourselves in anything to do with research software. For example we recently hosted the Research Software Leaders group, and several of us are going to the RSECon22 soon – in fact one of my colleagues, Jenny, will be presenting there.
It was great to see how well everyone pulled together to protect our infrastructure from the record-breaking heat last week, and also a timely reminder that we should all think about how we can address our own carbon footprints in these changing times. I really do love my work here, so much that I come onto campus every day, even though I could work from home for many of my tasks. The reason I ‘fight the traffic’ each day is because of my fantastic colleagues: ARC is chock-full of friendly, funny (in a good way!), open people and I couldn’t be happier than where I am right now.