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dScience – up and running!

dScience has soon existed for four months. Despite the fact that there is an ongoing pandemic a lot has happened since we started in January 2021. Let me give you some highlights!

dScience Research Activities

dScience is an interdisciplinary centre developing and supporting research within computational science and data science across the University of Oslo (UiO). Important research is also conducted together with partners in industry and the public sector.

Moreover, researchers at UiO have, over the past months, submitted a huge number of project proposals to the Research Council of Norway and EU. We are looking forward to the results of these processes. However, new projects have also been started during spring.

  • The dScience Council has been appointed by the dScience Board. They will be the center’s management team on strategic research issues. The dScience Council will have monthly meetings.
  • Within our own investment in machine learning we have launched eight projects and the calls for PhD positions within these projects have got many applicants. These are now about to be hired and will start shortly after summer.
  • The community activities in the Marie Sklodowska Currie COFUND project - Training in Computational Science will be organized by dScience. This project will hire 32 PhD-candidates across six departments at the Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences at the University of Oslo. The first 16 positions that were announced in November 2020 have received a huge number of applicants from all over the world. These are now about to be hired and will start shortly after summer.
  • Furthermore, almost 400 PhD and postdoctoral candidates from large parts of the University of Oslo have expressed their interest in the meeting place being established by dScience, se community services below.
  • In addition to the investment in machine learning dScience has, together with SIRIUS initiated work on developing a major research activity on digital twins.

dScience Community Services

One of dScience's most important tasks is to create and run meeting places, and to further support research collaborations across disciplines, units and sectors in Norway and internationally. Here are some highlights from our community work so far:

  • The premises of dScience are under development and will be ready for use during May 2021. The premises are constructed to support formal and informal meeting places between researchers, students and guests. We look forward to this and we prepare a soft opening before summer.
  • The official opening of dScience will take place on October 27, 2021 during Data Science Day at the University of Oslo in collaboration with Big Insight and SIRIUS.
  • The dScience Community Forum has been appointed and have started their important work. With a secretariat from the dScience administration this forum shall initiative and launch activities across disciplines and research groups at the University of Oslo and together with partners.
  • dScience has been, is and will be active in the development of Oslo Science City.
  • dScience was duly mentioned in Stortingsmelding 22 (2020-2021) - Data som ressurs, datadrevet økonomi og innovasjon (in Norwegian).
  • We have also been invited to present activities and plans at various webinars, e.g. the NORA-webinar series and Digital Life Norway.
  • dScience participates in the preparation and offering of the new micro education program “From data to insight” organized by the Department of mathematics in collaboration with Department of informatics. The first courses will be offered during fall 2021.

Digital Resources Activities

Digital resources are data, storage capacity, computing capacity, network capacity and necessary software to perform calculations and manage data.

dScience offers digital resources to researchers and project partners in industry and public sector. These offerings are in close collaboration with the University Centre for Information Technology (USIT), and the Division for Research Computing. The offerings will be based on the general USIT research computing support, the national eInfrastructure of Norway and international offerings available through PRACE and EuroHPC.

During fall 2021 we will hopefully be able to hire two full time data scientists. They will join the USIT team and will be working on advanced research support, data management, data analytics and giving courses within the dScience context.

The following list is important digital resources in the making at USIT that are especially targeted for the dScience community:

  • A FAIR (Findable, Accessable, Interoperable, Reuseable) data platform is under development. This is a set of tools that will enable researchers to fulfill the demands of making data FAIR. USIT plans to open this platform late 2021.
  • A new supercomputer (Fox) is now being installed at USIT. This machine will be complementary to national and international supercomputers and can be used for both code testing and current scientific calculations.
  • Educloud is a virtual machine-based collaborative, self-serviced environment, and is connected to Fox. This environment is for any user, from anywhere, and will offer Linux, Windows, unlimited storage and a range of other services. Educloud will be operative during summer 2021.
  • dScience is also, together with academic and industrial partners, planning Data Factory initiatives. These are environments (platforms) for depositing, curating, sharing, finding and giving access to high quality data for research and innovation purposes.

These services will fill the most important gaps in the current offerings on digital resources at UiO. Most resources will as any other cloud service be available for consumption, also for UiO partners.

In order to inform and ensure good collaboration between the dScience Digital Resources Activities and the research community within computational and data science at UiO, we will invite you to regular meetings with presentations of available digital resources, including human competence for advanced user-support and courses. The first seminar (webinar) on Digital Resources at dScience will take place June 2 at 2 PM.

Read about dScience in the new white paper from the Ministry of Local Government and Modernisation: St.meld. 22 (2020-2021) Data som ressurs — Datadrevet økonomi og innovasjon (in Norwegian).