Wednesday, 24 June 2009

The Grid and the social sciences

The sun is shining in Cologne and the 5th International Conference on e-Social Science has begun. Over 140 delegates have gathered in Cologne from all over Europe and much further afield – testified by sitting at a table with 5 Australians for lunch!

Today is workshop and tutorial day so there is plenty of activity going on. The tutorials and workshops range widely in scope so there is something for everyone.

David Fergusson from the NeSC training team is currently involved in running a tutorial with Alex Voss from NCeSS, Andy Turner and Nick Malleson from the University of Leeds. The demo is looking at the Repast toolkit to model social simulations such as public health and urban studies. This is a “hands on” session where delegates are actually submitting jobs to the grid – the first time for some of them!

Another “hands on” tutorial is looking at Biocep, a new platform for statistical computing and data analysis which is built on top of R. Biocep makes it easier for people to their statistical analysis routines.

The workshops were large in number and scope with 8 being available for delegates to choose from. Topics ranged from law, ethics and e-social science to looking at software to analyse blog content. I would encourage anyone who had any doubts about what the grid could do for social scientists to look at the wide range of papers being presented here today.

I'll be on the NGS / EGEE exhibition stand so if you want a chat about what grid can do for you then pop over!

Further information about the workshops can be found on the NCeSS conference page.

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