NCSA Assistant Director Dan Katz named BSSw Fellow

02.22.18 -

Daniel S. Katz, Assistant Director for Scientific Software and Applications at the National Center for Supercomputing Application (NCSA) has been named as one of the four inaugural fellows of the Better Scientific Software (BSSw) project, a program that promotes better scientific software. Katz, who was recognized for this achievement during the Exascale Computing Project's 2nd Annual Meeting earlier this month in Knoxville, Tennessee, received $10,000 to explore the sustainability of scientific software.

BSSw, a Department of Energy-funded community of researchers, practitioners, and stakeholders from national laboratories, academic institutions, and industry alike, is dedicated to creating and disseminating information that leads to improved scientific software. In turn, this improved software will advance computational science and engineering in general, with a particular focus on high-performance (parallel) computing.

Katz's fellowship work will focus on making scientific software more sustainable by encouraging the use of software citations in three disciplines: high energy physics, astronomy, and Earth science. This work is a outgrowth and implementation of the FORCE11 Software Citation principles.

"As a scientific software developer for 30 years and as a founder of Working towards Sustainable Software for Science: Practice and Experiences (WSSSPE), my goal under this fellowship is to make scientific software more sustainable by providing credit to its developers via software citation," Katz said, "similar to how scientists gain credit for their research via paper citations."

With the award, Katz plans to work with targeted conferences and disciplines in the software industry to implement sustainable software practices appropriately.

"One challenge for a potential new practice like software citation is finding points of leverage on which to focus implementation activities. The BSSw fellowship will give me the opportunity to work with specific communities as such leverage points," Katz said. "Specifically, I plan to work with astronomers, physicists, and geoscientists through conferences such as AAS, ACAT, CHEP, and AGU, with the repositories and services that are used in these fields such as ArXiv, ADS, ASCL, EarthArXiv, and ESSoar, and with other organizations in these domains that are also concerned with recognizing the role of software and its developers and maintainers in these fields, such as AAS, STScI, AGU, ESIP, and Zenodo."