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BOF: A Focus Group Discussion on Software Sustainability
    Wednesday July 18, 2012 5:30pm - 6:30pm @ St. Clair, 5th floor

    BOF: A Focus Group Discussion on Software Sustainability Characteristics

    Abstract: The National Science Foundation Software Infrastructure for Sustained Innovation (SI2) program solicitation states that software is "central to NSF's vision of a Cyberinfrastructure Framework for 21st Century Science and Engineering (CIF21)," and goes on to emphasize that, in general, software is essential to computational and data-enabled science. The SI2 program is one vehicle by which the NSF hopes to enable sustained and well-supported software to provide services and functionality needed by the U.S. science and engineering community. Two NSF-funded Early Concept Grants for Exploratory Research (EAGER) projects are studying and analyzing the state of comprehensive software infrastructure to provide a more accurate understanding, new insight, and increased awareness of characteristics of software sustainability. These projects compliment one another in developing a methodology and strategy for conducting the studies and identifying common elements and best practices for software sustainability. 

    The purpose of NSF award #11129017 (PI James Bottum, Clemson University), “EAGER: A Study of the National Software Cyberinfrastructure Environment” is developing a framework to provide NSF data-driven insight of software cyberinfrastructure that NSF has invested in since 2000. This effort will create a software CI data collection methodology and a taxonomy that inventories and categorizes NSF’s investments by software type for awards made since the year 2000. In addition, this project will conduct in-depth case study analysis that will provide an increased understanding of characteristics common to sustaining software environments. Findings from the case studies will be used to generate a set of recommendations of areas of future study for NSF consideration in developing a software sustainability strategy as well as a target audience for these analyses. 

    Through a combination of detailed case studies and surveys of software producers and users, NSF award # 1147606 (PI Craig Stewart, Indiana University), “EAGER: Best Practices and Models for Sustainability for Robust Cyberinfrastructure Software” is identifying best practices for the process of moving software from a "discovery" process to well-maintained and sustainable infrastructure for 21st Century science and engineering. The work is focusing in particular on the following scenario: Given a piece of software that provides interesting capabilities and a community that wants to use (and possibly contribute to the further development of) that software, what steps are necessary to transform that software from "interesting tool" to "robust and widely used element of national infrastructure, contributing to the NSF vision for CIF21?" This research will lead to greater availability of widely usable software tools and curriculum materials, increasing the quality of education in computer science, computational science, and STEM disciplines. 

    Speakers: Dustin Atkins, Clemson; Nathan Bohlmann, Clemson; and Julie Wernert, Indiana.


    NOTE ADDED JULY 16: In conjunction with this BOF, three informal focus group discussions also will be held: Thursday, July 19, from 7:30-8:30 a.m. in the Root room, 8th floor, and during the Tuesday and Wednesday conference lunches -- Look for reserved tables. For more info, contact Julie Wernert, jwernert@iu.edu, or Nathan Bohlmann, nlb@clemson.edu.



    Clemson University

    Indiana University

    Clemson University

    Type BOF

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