Workshop on Sustainable Software for Science: Practice and Experiences (WSSSPE5.2)
Chairs: Michelle Barker, Brian Corrie, Sandra Gesing, Daniel S. Katz, Steven Manos, Aleksandra Pawlik, Colin Venters

Dr Michelle Barker from Australia’s National eResearch Collaboration Tools and Resources (Nectar) is one of the organisers of the WSSSPE5.2 workshop.  WSSSPE is an international community-driven organization that promotes sustainable research software by addressing challenges related to the full lifecycle of research software through shared learning and community action.

“I’m very excited that WSSSPE is being held in the southern hemisphere for the first time”, said Dr Barker, “WSSSPE has a very strong focus on creating community, and this our workshop at IEEE eScience provides a fantastic opportunity to facilitate regional community discussions focussed on sustainable research software, by sharing and building best practice both locally and internationally. Creation of sustainable research software is a topic of interest to many IEEE eScience attendees, so we are delighted to be able to run a WSSSPE event in Auckland.

The critical role of software in research is an increasingly hot topic. The USA’s National Science Foundation’s research software vision identifies software as “an integral enabler of computation, experiment and theory and a central component of the new computational infrastructure … Software is also directly responsible for increased scientific productivity and significant enhancement of researchers’ capabilities”. WSSSPE5.2 is the seventh workshop convened since 2015 in an international series that provides opportunities for the community to come together to share and advance practices. WSSSPE5.2 represents the second WSSSPE5 workshop being held in 2017.
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BigDig: High Throughput Digitization for Natural History Collections
Chair: Mark Hereld

Workshop organizer Dr. Mark Hereld, from Argonne National Laboratory and the University of Chicago, is hosting the BigDig workshop.  BigDig aims to bring together leading experts in the technologies, practice, and requirements for high throughput digitization of the worlds scientific collections.  Dr. Hereld hopes that the workshop will catalyze new and important ideas that will enable significant progress on the challenging problem of translating large collections of physical specimens into the digital realm where they may contribute to a new understanding of biodiversity and natural history.  Bringing this conversation about large scale digitization and scientific exploration of virtual collections into the larger eScience community seems an excellent match.  He and his international colleagues are looking forward to the opportunity to participate in this excellent conference.

There is a wealth of untapped potential captured in the animal and plant collections held by museums of natural history around the world.  Novel discovery processes will be catalyzed by the existence of large, curated, inter-comparable digital collections of specimen data.  However, it has been noted that current methods may not be able to digitize the existing backlog of an estimated ~1.5 billion specimens, distributed across 1000+ collections, in the next 30 years or more.  Obtaining information on labels of 500 million entomological specimens is particularly challenging. It may even be impossible to keep up with the rate of expansion of these collections as new specimens are added.  Despite successful ongoing efforts, more needs to be done in terms of technology development across the ingest pipeline in order to meet this daunting challenge.  Therefore, it is important and timely that a workshop of practitioners continues to expand upon discussion of how to advance the technology of high-throughput specimen digitization and ingest to match the requirements of this complex but ultimately richly rewarding problem.
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Safe Data Paradigms and Platforms: enabling collaborative analysis of sensitive data
Chairs: Eamon Duede, Ian Foster, Julia Lane

We aim to bring together a diverse group of experts around the motivating applications that illustrate the opportunities inherent in new approaches; the legal, policy, and ethical frameworks that define the risks associated with inappropriate data release or analyses; and the data management, data analysis, security, and other technologies that determine what the shape and scope of flexibly accessible data enclaves can and should be. Specifically, will charge this group with defining the new principles that may govern the collection and use of proprietary or human subjects data this new era, and with identifying promising new methods, policies, and technologies that may allow for the realization of those principles in different settings.
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International Workshop on Workflow Science (WoWS 2017)
Chairs: Ilkay Altintas, Raj Kettimuthu, Craig Tull
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Cancelled – Environmental Computing Workshop (ECW)
Chairs: Dieter Kranzlmüller and Matti Heikkurinen

Already today, many domain- or problem-specific areas – such as meteorology or seismic analysis –use multi-model, multi-data, and multi-scale approaches to analyse and study environmental phenomena and their impact. However, there is still a need for a more generalised approach to producing actionable knowledge from different environmental data sources. The topic is of acute interest due to its societal challenges and state-of-the-art technical developments, requiring generalising, productising and maturing today’s environmental modelling solutions. Application areas include managing disasters and disaster risks, supporting prompt political decision making, and many other similar domains.
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