OSDC PIRE Workshop in the Netherlands


Open Science Data Cloud researchers from all over the world gathered June 16-20 in the Netherlands at the University of Amsterdam (UvA) Science Park for the annual OSDC Partnerships for International Research and Education (PIRE) Workshop. At the workshop, this year's selected OSDC PIRE fellows kicked off their fellowships by meeting their international summer research hosts and being trained in the basics of data science and cloud computing from experts in the field.

Over the course of the week, the fellows learned about open data repositories such as the OSDC Public Data Commons, the ENVRI project, the Global Biodiversity Information Facility, data.tt out of Trinidad and Tobago, and Japan's Landsat-8 Real-time Release site. They worked through tutorials on tools for data intensive research such as the Open Science Data Cloud and projects like SAGA (Simple API for Grid Applications). The fellows also learned best practices for data visualization and research reproducibility.

Armed with these new skills, the fellows formed teams to compete in a data science hack-a-thon challenge with great results. Teams worked on projects aimed at facilitating cross-disciplinary data analysis, using OSDC public datasets for educating the public on extreme weather conditions, developing mobile apps using public geospatial datasets, and making clouds like OSDC easier for scientists to use.

The first place team, Cody Buntain (University of Maryland) and Nelson Auner (University of Chicago), created a program they call "Mayfly," a toolkit that enables reproducible research by allowing researchers to easily publish and share their analysis, data visualizations, and results to Dropbox for others to view. The team installed their toolkit on an OSDC public virtual machine snapshot for any OSDC user to adopt and also made the source code and documentation available on github for other users.

All teams delivered impressive results after only a few short days of work during the workshop. Imagine what else could be accomplished!

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