Edinburgh e - Science MSc Institute for Astronomy

Edinburgh e-Science MSc
Bob Mann
Institute for Astronomy & NeSC
University of Edinburgh
Overview of e-Science MSc
Due to start in September 2005
– ~15 students in the first year
– ~80 students within five years
Take broad view of e-Science
– Multi-disciplinary course
– Aiming at suiting a wide range of students
Build on existing Edinburgh strengths
What kind of students?
We see three types of students:
1. Science students needing to develop IT
skills for their future research
2. Computer scientists looking to future
work in scientific computing
3. Computer scientists looking to web and
Grid services in commercial IT
Challenge – to satisfy all three types
What kind of course?
Basic requirements
– Underlying principles and hands-on
experience of current technologies
– Discipline in software engineering
– Range of options, given range of students
Requires strength in computer science
and in a range of application areas
What can Edinburgh offer?
– Existing MSc offering a wide range of courses
– Expertise in training in e-science technologies
– HPC and mix of CS and application students
– Physical, earth and life sciences, plus new
national Digital Curation Centre
Basic programme structure
Semester 1 (Sep-Dec)
– Four mandatory courses
– Two optional courses
Semester 2 (Jan-Mar)
– Four mandatory courses
– Two optional courses
“Semester 3” (Apr-Sep)
– Individual research project
Mandatory courses
Semester 1
Distributed Computing for e-Science 1
Scientific Software Engineering 1
Introduction to Scientific Data
Programming for e-Science
Semester 2
Distributed Computing for e-Science 2
Scientific Software Engineering 2
Topics in e-Science
Project Preparation
Distributed Computing
for e-Science 1 & 2
Topics to include:
– Models of distributed computation and their
appropriateness for different tasks
– Generic problems in distributed computing
„ Platform
dependence, security, fault recovery,
resource discovery and unavailability
– Hands-on experience of current packages
„ Condor,
web services, Globus Toolkit, etc
To be taught by NeSC Training team
Scientific Software
Engineering 1 & 2
Topics to include:
– Software development cycle
„ From
initial requirements to maintenance of code
– Benefits from disciplined software engineering
– Unified Modelling Language (UML)
„ Its
use in the design of object-oriented software
– Managing distributed software teams
– Development of distributed software
Developing existing Informatics courses
Introduction to
Scientific Data
Topics to include
– The role of data in the scientific process
„ Validation,
reproducibility, provenance
„ Passage from raw state to archived products
– Data management strategies
„ Databases,
files, XML, etc
– Metadata for data discovery & integration
– Case studies from several disciplines
Seek collaboration with Digital Curation Centre
Optional courses
Three types of optional course
– Courses from existing MSc programmes
„ e.g.
Informatics, High Performance Computing
– New courses from application areas
astronomy - The Virtual Observatory
„ Preparing students to undertake projects in several
Schools within the University
„ e.g.
– Advanced (4th/5th year) undergrad. courses
Wide range of existing options
Examples of individual
study programmes
Student wants to work in drug discovery
Student wants to be astronomer
Core, plus Bioinformatics 1 & 2, Applied Databases
and Learning from Data 1
Core, plus Virtual Observatory, Astrophysical
Cosmology, Applied Databases, High Energy Astro.
Student wants to work in IT industry
Core, plus Computer Networking, Computer
Graphics, Parallel Architectures, Parallel Algorithms
and Programs
Current status
Anticipate first admissions in Sept 2005
– course approved at School & College level
– awaiting rubber-stamping at University level
Seeking funding to support students
– Priority in recent EPSRC CTA bid
– Marie Curie EST proposal in Dec (Dip.?)
– Student Awards Agency for Scotland (Dip.)
Long-term goal
– All-Scotland (or all-UK?) collaboration