Centre staff presenting at 2nd Research Software Engineering conference

Centre staff presenting at 2nd Research Software Engineering conference

Centre staff will be presenting their research and holding workshops at the 2nd Research Software Engineering conference, this year to be held at the Museum of Science and Industry in Manchester on the 7-8 September 2017. Over 200 attendees will participate in a programme of talks, posters, hands-on tutorials and discussion workshops.

This follows on from EPSRC Fellow Dr Ian Bush's talk on Fortran at the 1st Research Software Engineers conference in September last year. The Centre's involvement is part of the University's focus on supporting RSE's in Oxford, which includes developing and maintaining the Research Software Developers Network (RSDN), website and mailing list. The network currently has over 300 members.

In 2017 the Centre's Research Associate Iain Emsley, along with Dr Torø Graven from the Department of Experimental Psychology, and Nicola Bird, Susan Griffiths and Jessica Suess of Oxford University Museums and Collections. They will be talking about a joint project which is developing multisensory tools to help enable blind or partially sighted people (BPSP) to engage in a more accessible and meaningful way with visual arts.

Their talk at the RSE conference is entitled 'Please touch the art: Experiences in developing for people who are visually impaired in museums':

An ongoing project with the Oxford University Museums is working to improve access to visual art works via audio and haptic interfaces for people who are visually impaired. As part of the research an Android application was developed to enable the modelling of how people touch the paintings and photographs. As a sighted person, it is extremely difficult to comprehend how touch is used to explore raised images – 'touch tiles' – of visual art works. Working with the existing Touch Tours, provided by the Museums, and focus groups over 6 months we collected data on how touch is used when exploring the tiles, including its attentiveness to features, its exploring pattern, and its preferred touch tile material. We soon realised that we needed more detailed data on exploration pattern, and so developed an application that could track and record both pressure and movement. The tile was placed on top of a tablet screen. This application enables us to model with what exploring movements and with what exploring pressure the touch tiles are explored. It also enables us to investigate exploration time per feature, e.g. for how long a certain shape is explored. These experiments support the further development and testing of the interface

Research Software Engineer Ania Brown will give a workshop on 'An introduction to GPU optimisation using the NVIDIA visual profiler'aimed at developers with beginning to intermediate level CUDA who want a deeper understanding of the program and possibilities for its optimisation.

Graphical processing units (GPUs) are a vital HPC tool due to their high computing power and good energy efficiency compared to CPUs. However it is not straightforward to write performant GPU code due to certain requirements of the architecture, including management of the memory hierarchy, the need for high computational throughput and grouping of thread execution. To help understand these critical optimisation opportunities this workshop will introduce the NVIDIA Visual Profiler (NVVP), and through that basic optimisation strategies for GPU application developers.

Workshop exercises will be driven by use of NVVP; through information gained from it small edits to example code in one of C, C++ or Fortran will be made to illustrate the points above.



Registration for the conference is now open.