2016 CIG Annual Report

Jul 13th - All Day

CIG's 2015-2016 Annual Report is now available. The report reviews CIG's accomplishments and activities of the past year.

The Computational Infrastructure for Geodynamics (CIG) is a Geoinformatics project funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) to support and promote development, dissemination, and use of high-quality software for modeling geodynamical and seismological processes.  Each year, CIG undertakes a strategic planning process, in which CIG’s staff, governing committees, and working groups assess CIG’s status, progress, and impact; develop goals for the coming year and beyond, and outline the strategy and work plans for allocating resources to achieve these goals.  During this last year of the current grant, our planning process resulted in a renewal proposal, which outlines the planned activities for the next five years. This document therefore focuses on reporting CIG’s activities and impacts.

 This year, CIG’s new activities included the first ever “all hands” meeting of the CIG community, a week-long event involving 8 tutorials and 2.5 days of plenary talks, panels, lightening talks, and poster sessions,. Approximately 100 scientists participated, including a large proportion of early career scientists and new members of the CIG community. We continued regular meetings for three software development projects, developed and offered tutorials for new codes, completed and published the international benchmarking project for the geodynamo group, and ran an 8 day hackathon resulting in new developments for the mantle convection code ASPECT.  We revised the software best practices document, developed a best practices document for software tutorials, and followed up on last year’s publication on future directions for long-term tectonics modeling with regular meetings and work towards a benchmark activity for this community.  CIG continued to advance software development in mantle convection, crustal dynamics, geodynamo, long-term tectonics, seismology, and evaluated future directions for these codes. Our webinar series focused on software best practices, validation and verification, and uncertainty quantification in scientific software. CIG supported community development and knowledge transfer through workshops, webinars, newsletters, tutorials, e-mail distribution lists, and joint workshops with other organizations. We continued working with the community to develop methods to provide attribution and citation of scientific software (Software Attribution for Geoscience Applications, SAGA).

We tracked various metrics aimed at measuring the impact of CIG’s activities, including participation in events, downloads of software (Figure 1), and (when available) presentations and publications that use CIG software. We developed a new, searchable database of CIG associated publications (available on the website).  We partnered with other organizations, including ACES, CIDER, EGU, ELSI (U. Tokyo), GEOMOD, IRIS, and SCEC. We co-hosted supported participation by US scientists to the biannual EGU workshop on mantle-lithosphere dynamics and provided administrative support to the ACES workshop on earthquake simulation, supporting participation by U.S. early career scientists in these meetings.

CIG is a partner in a 150 M core hour allocation on Mira for 2016, the 5th fastest computer in the world, operated by the Argonne Leadership Computing Facility (ALCF). The PI of this allocation is Jon Aurnou of UCLA, lead of the CIG Geodynamo Working Group, and the allocation is dedicated to running the planetary dynamos code Rayleigh, developed with CIG support by Nick Featherstone. This past year the group began simulation of non-rotating solar convection models and initial runs of convection for Jupiter in anticipation of Juno’s arrival, and to fully understand the performance of the software in preparation for the more complex Earth models. The 3 year plan of this group is to run models of Earth, Jupiter, and the Sun.

Our plans for the coming year include continued development of codes across the scientific domains represented by geodynamics, including release of new codes and new versions of established codes. CIG working groups plan to establish new, and continue working on, community benchmarks in geodynamo and mantle convection, define scientific goals and capabilities in long-term tectonics, and support donations of codes for normal modes and workflows for seismology, multiphysics, ice sheet modeling, and other topics as code-donation requests arise through the year through our established approval process.  We will run an online tutorial on PyLith, hold an in-person tutorial at the Geological Society of America meeting, contribute to tutorials at CIDER, and plan to continue community activities and development (especially for early-career scientists) through workshops, meetings, tutorials, hackathons and webinars. We continue to develop partnerships with national computing facilities, other partner organizations, and EarthCube. These include managing and renewing CIG’s allocation on XSEDE, collaborating with DOE’s INCITE program on dynamo models, and working with library and information scientists on the SAGA project to improve mechanisms for software citation.

Strategic Plan [pdf]

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