March BEAR Newsletter

Published: Posted on

Welcome to the BEAR Newsletter, bringing you the latest news from the BEAR team (Birmingham Environment for Academic Research), as well as other relevant computing and data-related news from both within the University of Birmingham and outside.

Exciting times ahead! Get ready to mark your calendars because the BEAR Conference 2024 is just around the corner, offering staff and students utilising BEAR services a platform to share knowledge and collaborate. The conference provides invaluable experience in teamwork, advertising, and presentation skills. But before we dive into the details, let’s take a quick look at what else is in store for you this month.

Included in this month’s BEAR newsletter:

  • Two new Research Software Engineer posts available to join BEAR
  • BEAR Conference 23rd-24th April – book your place!
  • BEAR & ARCHER2 training
  • Meet the Data Scientists drop-in session, Monday 25th March 12:00 – 13:00
  • Open research conversations with the Library
  • UK Data Service free online training 
  • Case study on using BlueBEAR to investigate the relationship between temperature and decision making
  • BEAR drop-in sessions

Two new Research Software Engineer posts available to join BEAR

The Advanced Research Computing group that manages BEAR services is growing! We’re looking for two permanent Senior Research Software Engineers (RSEs) to join us and help grow and diversify the University’s research software community. Find out more information and how to apply to join our supportive and highly skilled team via our blog post (closing date Monday 8th April). Please forward this on to anyone you think may be interested in applying!

BEAR Conference 23rd-24th April – book your place!

The BEAR Conference 2024 will be held on Tuesday 23rd and Wednesday 24th April and registration is still open for students and staff to attend. The theme of the conference is ‘High-Performance Computing Across Disciplines’, and the organising committee of PostGraduate Researchers (PGRs) is currently preparing an exciting line-up of both Keynote and PGR speakers. For more details and to book your place see the BEAR Conference website.  

BEAR & ARCHER2 training

There are still places available for the upcoming ARCHER2 in-person training being held at the University on Tuesday 16th & Wednesday 17th April on reproducible computational environments using containers – see their website for booking information. There are also places available for MATLAB on 16th April – book via our training webpages.  

Meet the Data Scientists drop-in session, Monday 25th March 12:00 – 13:00

The Data Scientist team – Cai, Kamilla and Jeremy.

A new team of research data scientists is available for hire within the University and they will be holding a drop in session on Monday 25th March in Elm House (ground floor common room). This is a great opportunity to chat to the team to find out more about the new Research Data Science Service and what it can do for you. Coffee, tea and cake will be provided! If you can’t make this time, or would like to have an in-depth discussion about a potential project, you can also contact them via the IT Service Portal to arrange a meeting.

Open Research conversations with the Library

Library Services are currently running a ‘Research Culture’ QR funded project to measure the impact of practicing ‘open research’, so that it can be used in advocacy efforts across the University, particularly in conversation with Early Career Researchers. They are looking for researchers who would be happy to have a 30-minute chat with them to discuss their Open Research activity. If interested, please email Elizabeth George to arrange a meeting.   

UK Data Service free online training

The UK Data Service are providing several upcoming free workshops including ‘How to become a computational social scientist’, ‘Ethical and legal guidelines in data sharing’ and ‘Consent issues in data sharing’. All workshops are listed on their Events page and recordings are made available via their YouTube channel.  

Case study on using BlueBEAR to investigate the relationship between temperature and decision making

In this month’s featured case study, Haonan Tian (PhD student in Economics) explains how she has used our supercomputer BlueBEAR to investigate the relationship between temperature and decision making, to analyse 17 million observations made over 15 years. Did you know that energy ratings of houses were subjective, and a colder day can affect your property value? Have a read of Haonan’s case study to find out more.

BEAR drop-in sessions

We currently just have dates for virtual drop-in sessions but will be scheduling more in-person drop-in’s from April onwards. Further details, including how to join the virtual sessions are available on our drop-in webpage. Upcoming dates are also listed below: 

  • Via Zoom – Tuesday 19th March, 10:00 – 11:00
  • Via Zoom – Wednesday 27th March, 11:00 – 12:00
  • Via Zoom – Tuesday 9th April, 13:00 – 14:00

Missed last month’s newsletter?

Find February’s newsletter here. Sign up to receive the newsletter direct to your inbox by joining our bear-updates mailing list here (UoB login required), or ask to join via email at