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Centre for Advanced Research Computing


ARC is UCL's research, innovation and service centre for the tools, practices and systems that enable computational science and digital scholarship


Archive for December, 2014

UCL Research Software Dashboard Developer

By James P J Hetherington, on 9 December 2014

The University College London Research Software Development Initiative is seeking a full-stack web developer to work on its Research Software Dashboard project from January 2015 to July 2015.

This is a new project, starting from scratch, to develop software to curate, promote, and manage the University’s wide portfolio of cutting-edge scientific and scholarly software.

The project will provide an overview of the research software output of the college for scientists, managers, funders, investors and clients, including both open-source software and software being commercialised through the university’s business and consulting arms. It will integrate with the University’s code management infrastructure, based on GitHub Enterprise, software testing infrastructure based on Jenkins, and commercial software sales platform e-Lucid.

Software is an increasingly important scholarly output for research alongside publications, and this project will help retain UCL’s leadership in this important aspect of twenty-first century research.

Person Specification


  • Full-stack web development expertise
    • Design and layout skills (sass preferred)
    • Client-side Javascript. (jquery preferred)
    • Server-side programming skills with an open source dynamic framework
      • Python with Django or Pyramid preferred
  • API design and integration skills
    • Experience with RESTful API design and consumption
  • Commitment to software development best practice
    • Test driven design
    • Continuous integration


  • DevOps and systems skills
    • Automated deployment (preferably Puppet)
    • Web server management and configuration (Apache or Nginx)
    • Virtualisation and containerisation (vagrant)
  • Experience of research (e.g. MRes, MPhil, PhD…)
  • Experience of semantic web technologies
  • Agile software process experience (e.g. Scrum or XP…)
  • Experience with the GitHub API
  • Experience with Jenkins continuous integration framework
  • High-performance computing experience (Schedulers, MPI)
  • Understanding of UK Research ecosystem (REF, RCUK funding models, research metrics)
  • Experience with technology transfer and research commercialisation

Those interested in being involved in this important project on a freelance or contractor basis should get in touch with James Hetherington (j.hetherington@ucl.ac.uk) for more information.

UCL Research IT helps to win big-data research grant

By James P J Hetherington, on 1 December 2014

Compressive sensing is a recent breakthrough in information theory that has the potential to revolutionise the acquisition and analysis of data in many fields.  UCL Research IT Services (RITS) are an integral part of a team that recently secured grants from the UK research councils to develop compressive sensing techniques to address the challenge of extracting meaningful information from big-data.

The techniques developed will find application in a broad range of academic fields and industries, from astronomy to medicine.  They will allow high-fidelity astronomical images to be recovered from the overwhelming volumes of raw data that will be acquired by next-generation radio telescopes like the Square Kilometre Array (SKA).  The new techniques will also be of direct use in neuro-imaging to accelerate the acquisition time of diffusion magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), potentially rendering its clinical use possible.

Dr Hetherington of RITS’s Research Software Development Team said: “Software which embodies these research results will be readable, well-engineered and efficient to run on the world’s fastest computers, and will be an important output of this research, alongside research publications.” Funding from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council’s Software For the Future Programme which emphasises the importance of sustainable research software, will be used to fund members of the RITS team working to this aim.

Dr McEwen of UCL’s Mullard Space Science Laboratory (MSSL) and leader of the project said: “UCL’s Research Software Development Team, led by Dr Hetherington, were an invaluable partner in securing funding for this project and will be instrumental in its success. Their unique expertise in combining both scientific computing and professional software development will ensure that the software produced will be able to fully exploit high-performance computing architectures, while also being readily usable by the community.”

For more details see: http://www.ucl.ac.uk/mathematical-physical-sciences/maps-news-publication/maps1431

Square Kilometre Array