May 2021 People Network Calls

Greetings, everyone. We hope your Spring is groing well thus far on this last day of April.

Please mark your calendars for our upcoming People Network Track calls for the month of May, with Zoom details below. For handy calendar entries, please try the CaRCC Events Calendar.

Data-Facing Track (first Tuesdays)

Data Feminism: A discussion of Intersectional Data, discussion facilitated by Professor Catherine D’Ignazio

Tuesday, May 4, 2021 at 1p ET/ 12p CT/ 11a MT/ 10a PT

As data are increasingly mobilized in the service of governments and corporations, their unequal conditions of production, their asymmetrical methods of application, and their unequal effects on both individuals and groups have become increasingly difficult for data scientists–and others who rely on data in their work–to ignore. But it is precisely this power that makes it worth asking: “Data science by whom? Data science for whom? Data science with whose interests in mind?” These are some of the questions that emerge from what we call data feminism, a way of thinking about data science and its communication that is informed by the past several decades of intersectional feminist activism and critical thought. Illustrating data feminism in action, this talk will show how challenges to the male/female binary can help to challenge other hierarchical (and empirically wrong) classification systems; it will explain how an understanding of emotion can expand our ideas about effective data visualization; how the concept of invisible labor can expose the significant human efforts required by our automated systems; and why the data never, ever “speak for themselves.” The goal of this talk, as with the project of data feminism, is to model how scholarship can be transformed into action: how feminist thinking can be operationalized in order to imagine more ethical and equitable data practices.

Researcher-Facing Track (second Thursdays)

Workflow Tools for Portable, Reproducible Data Analysis

Thursday, May 13 at 1pm ET/ 12pm CT/ 11am MT/ 10am PT/ 7am HST

Workflow managers are tools that can be used to orchestrate steps in data preparation, analyses, and visualization that can be deployed on local computers, HPC/HTC clusters, and cloud environments. These steps can be formalized as pipelines, made reproducible, and used to scale. As the landscape continues to mature, join us for a discussion on the current state of these systems and how these will help your research. After an introduction to workflow standards and tools, including reasons for using them, our speakers will present several use cases in research highlighting workflow tools such as SnakeMake and NextFlow.

Emerging Centers Track (third Wednesdays)

Emerging Centers Reflecting Back and Looking forward, discussion facilitated by Jane Combs and Rich Knepper

Wednesday, May 19 at 12pm ET/ 11am CT/ 10am MT/ 9am PT/ 7am HT

We’ll be discussing the Emerging Centers calls so far (18 of them!) and identifying what members want to discuss in the coming months. We will be sending out some pre-meeting materials to help prompt our memories of prior talks and ideas for future discussion. Track chairs will also discuss the upcoming PEARC workshop activity on “Refining your Research Computing Pitch”.

Systems-Facing Track (third Thursdays)

Clusters in the Sky: How Canada is Building Beyond Iaas Cloud with Magic Castle, discussion facilitated by Jeff Albert, University of Victoria / Compute Canada, and Félix-Antoine Fortin, Université Laval / Compute Canada

Thursday, May 20th at 1p ET/ 12p CT/ 11a MT/ 10a PT

During this session, we will tell the story of the evolution of Canadian IaaS research cloud services. We will cover users’ needs for tools that help them marshal computing resources into functional platforms.  As a proposed solution to these needs, we will present project Magic Castle that takes general purpose cloud resources and makes them into useful scientific toolkits. Finally, we will also discuss how the infrastructure and tools initiatives are evolving together in order to meet the increasingly specialized needs of researchers.​

General Track Call Information

Interested members of the People Network need not subscribe to a particular track to participate in calls. Additional details for track members, including notes documents and any pre-call activities, will be distributed ahead of the call via the email lists and other communication channels within each track.

The CaRCC (Campus Research Computing Consortium) People Network, aims “to foster, build and grow an inclusive community (termed the “People Network”) for campus CI, research computing and data professionals.” If you have received this email NOT via CaRCC’s People Network, and you would like to join the People Network, which includes Researcher-facing, Data-facing, Systems-facing, and other tracks, please fill in the form at