SLOAN GRANT APPLICATION
Alfred P. Sloan Foundation 630 Fifth Avenue
New York, NY, 10111
Dear Dr. Greenberg and Dr. Vu,
The University of Vermont (UVM) proposes a new Open-Source Program Office (OSPO) that will work to build a replicable model for creating an OSPO in a land grant university from the ground up. This initiative will collaborate with the UVM Library to bring together community, Extension programs, research centers, and University departments to collaborate in open source software projects.
The VErmont ReSearch OSPO (VERSO) pilot will work over two years to:
1.) build a new open source community via high-impact open source software projects as its nexus;
2.) document the growth and development of the VERSO community as it emerges;
3.) work alongside the UVM OCEAN research team to investigate research questions related to open source ecosystems; and
4.) build an organizational infrastructure and systems at UVM allowing VERSO to store, share, and facilitate the creation of open source software.
Our goal is to carefully document the successes and struggles of VERSO so other universities can learn from our experience and adopt similar projects. We feel as though we are well-positioned to hit the ground running and begin building a com- munity around open-source software at UVM. Thus we request funding for the creation of an two central staff positions and a central digital repository to develop this initiative. The total estimated budget for this project over two years is $516,327. We see these pilot funds as an impactful initiative that will position our team to provide proof of concept and evidence necessary to sustain a UVM OSPO long-term.
The VERSO Leadership Team, University of Vermont
Proposal Title: VErmont ReSearch OSPO (VERSO)
Section 1: VERSO Program Overview
Software is a vital resource for the production of science and is a piece of intellectual property that can significantly impact society, as well as being an essential tool for academic research and university infrastructure. As a land grant university, the University of Vermont (UVM) has a mandated interest in creating academic output in ways that are accessible and open to the Vermont community. However, there are no formal systems to currently support the creation and dissemination of open-source software at UVM.
This proposal outlines the creation of an open-source Programs Office (OSPO) at UVM to serve as a model of a university OSPO at a community-focused, land grant institution. The proposed VErmont ReSearch OSPO (VERSO) will be primarily located in the UVM library and initially be focused on a set of open-source software projects that will be used to build relationships with key units across the university. VERSO will also work with existing and established research in the open-source Ecosystems and Networks (OCEAN) Lab. The proposed VERSO pilot will collaborate with OCEAN to create applied and academic documentation about the VERSO processes and open- source ecosystem to provide an open playbook for other universities and open-source ecosystems to share our experiences.
Universities are historically siloed institutions where departmental silos have stymied resource sharing, led to redundancy, and hindered transdisciplinary collaboration. This proposal aims to create a pilot program that introduces to UVM new, open-source software development with a cross-disciplinary focus. We hope this program can serve as a nexus for breaking down disciplinary boundaries and build infrastructure across the university to create new pathways for cross- disciplinary collaboration. Our goal is to carefully document the successes and struggles of VERSO so other universities can learn from our experience and adopt similar projects. The aims of this proposal are as follows:
Aim 1.) Build university systems and infrastructure to facilitate open-source development. To operate successfully, the VERSO will need to build functionality throughout the university structure for cross-unit cooperation. Such functionality includes crafting new processes, procedures, policies,
and agreements with university leadership and relevant departments. Creating a new system to share and coordinate use of resources will require significant strategic planning and development, plus responsibility for documenting the project and creating replicable resources for OSPOs at other universities. The VERSO Director (new hire) will manage this system building. Through the development of several open-source software initiatives, we will train, engage, and empower students and researchers to learn how to contribute to an open-source project. Open-source software initiatives will focus on several topics, including drone software, agriculture and food systems, interlibrary lending, health initiatives, and other transdisciplinary programs at UVM.
Aim 2.) VERSO will work with key community stakeholders as co-learners and co-developers in open-source software projects. UVM’s Office of Engagement works with agency, business, and non-profit partners throughout Vermont, with the goal of connecting them with faculty partners with complimentary interests. UVM Extension has a long-standing network of partners across all of Vermont and 11 satellite offices to augment the work done at UVM. Both Extension and the Office of Engagement fulfill UVM’s land grant mission to ensure the university’s research and creative endeavors serve the public good in Vermont by ensuring a two-way conversation with community partners. We ask for the needs of the community and invite them to work with researchers to find creative solutions to meet real needs. Increasingly these needs will require technological solutions and VERSO will address these needs by engaging the larger university by contributing to and utilizing open-source software produced through VERSO.
Aim 3.) We believe broad ecosystem data from open-source projects will promote positive (as opposed to normative) studies of open-source within science. For example, how do scientists create and use open-source software within their research? We will develop a sample of scientific projects and their users, establishing an appropriate baseline sample of non-science projects for comparison. A meaningful effort to sample scientific projects is admittedly difficult, because it is difficult to define exactly what constitutes “science.” We plan to begin with three types of projects with three signals. First, projects tagged ‘science’ in GitHub, of which nearly 2000 now exist. Second, projects created in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. (We know that both scientists and citizens in the OSS ecosystem produced useful science code, providing a clear signal.) Third, of course, projects internal to our own OSPO.
Section 2: Similar projects in the field
OSPO++ is a network and a community of collaborative open-source program offices in univer- sities, governments, and civic institutions. This community collectively builds resources to help create OSPOs, actively engaging in discussions on how to best manage and grow open-source pro- grams and how to garden sustainable communities that last. As part of the VERSO Program, all staff and leadership will participate in and share resources with this community in order to learn from community members’ experiences, while allowing other universities and non-traditional OSPOs to learn from our experiences.
Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) is currently participating in a Sloan funded pilot University OSPO. Open@RIT has adopted a student-driven model, focused on connecting under- graduates with faculty OSS projects and documenting the development of Open@RIT initiative as a playbook for other universities to follow.
Johns Hopkins University operates another OSPO pilot funded by Sloan. Johns Hopkins employs a subaward model, in which its OSPO awards small grants of $10,000 to 16 open-source software projects lead by faculty researchers.
How VERSO differs from other university OSPOs: We create another university OSPO playbook from UVM’s unique perspective and feedback into ongoing research on open-source soft- ware. We thus add to an ecosystem of documentation and diversifying perspectives on how OSPOs emerge in different academic environments, and how it benefits academia and science at large.
University systems and cultures vary widely. A playbook on how to create an OSPO at any given university will reflect perspectives unique to that university. UVM is a land grant university: Inherent in our university’s mission is a mandate to give back to the Vermont community. Projects that help the broader community and enhance the public good are baked into our culture and attract interest from beyond the academy. Creation is at the core of our ethos at UVM, mostly through community building and impact. Our OSPO will therefore focus on community building related to creating open-source software around an important software gap in public libraries and an active research group that investigates the health and equity of open-source ecosystems. VERSO will serve as a model of a land grant university with an OSPO deeply embedded in the library and a trans-disciplinary academic research center.
Alignment with Sloan
The VERSO program aligns well with Sloan’s commitments and will complement the results of Sloan grants in similar areas. We plan to collaborate with other Sloan-funded OSPOs, share our experiences, and learn from one another. We see possible alignment with and synergy between the following Sloan grantees:
Open-source in research is a stated focus area of the Sloan Foundation. We believe that the University of Vermont could contribute to this body of knowledge in research and applications. The VERSO project is not just about creating software, per se; it is about creating an intentionally kind and welcoming community. Creating open-source software requires complex interactions between people in a community, who often volunteer as a group. These projects thrive only in healthy communities, and VERSO intends to create our OSPO as we simultaneously create a healthy, diverse, and welcoming community. Our goal: a community in which contributors and maintainers develop meaningful, institutional and community buy-in while aligning their work with the needs of the existing academic research community at UVM.
Section 3: PI Background
Juniper Lovato: Education: P.h.D. student in Complex Systems and Data Science,2020–present, University of Vermont; M.A.L.A in Western Classics 2013, St. John’s College; B.A. Political Science, College of Santa Fe, 2009. Accomplishments: Lovato is the inaugural Vermont regional partner with Code.org and co-founder of the Vermont CSTA and the Vermont Computer Science Alliance. She serves on the board of the Network Science Society and the NE Chapter of the Complex Systems Society. She has created over 80 STEM education programs worldwide. She is the founder of the makerspace Make Santa Fe. Lovato serves as a member of the UVM Health Network Data Ethics Advisory Group. She is also a Committee Member, of the Inclusion and Diversity Committee, University of Vermont College of Engineering and Mathematical Sciences. Synergistic activity: Lovato is the program director of the OCEAN project (funding from Google open-source), which studies open-source ecosystems. She is also an active member in the OSPO++ community.
Bryn Geffert: Education: Ph.D. in Russian history, M.L.S. in library and information science,
B.A. in history and Russian language. Accomplishments & synergistic activity: Bryn has devoted much of his career to promoting and supporting open scholarship and the open exchange of in- formation and tools. He is the founder of the Amherst College Press, the first university press in the United States committed exclusively to publishing open access monographs. He also partnered with the University of Michigan Press and library directors from 40+ other libraries to establish the Lever Press, another open-access academic press. The UVM Libraries are about to establish an open-access journal for a major academic society. Bryn helped lead the passage of a resolution at Amherst College, in which faculty pledged to make all their journal articles available through an open-access repository.
Section 4: VERSO Program, Timeline, and Milestones
Aim 1: Building capacity and infrastructure
VERSO aims to build university systems and infrastructure to facilitate open-source development. To operate well, the VERSO will need to build functionality throughout the university structure. This functionality will include crafting new processes, procedures, policies, and agreements with university leadership and relevant departments. Creating a new system of resource sharing at the university will require significant strategic planning and development. The VERSO Director will manage this planning and development. The director will also assume responsibility for document- ing the project and creating replicable resources for OSPOs at other universities. (See appendix V for additional detail)
The first major step for VERSO to operate in a university-wide capacity: building relation- ships, communicating the VERSO vision, and building out process documents.
Step 1.) VERSO staff will begin the proposed program by building university-wide infrastructure. An OSPO in a university will need to create policies, procedures, and agreements with all UVM colleges, the UVM Provost’s office, research administration such as the Vice President for Research’s office, academic departments and institutes, the Institutional Review Board office, IT Administration, the College of Medicine, Extension offices, and remote work sites, and technology transfer.
Step 2.) The VERSO team will initially focus on engaging students, faculty, and the university community through open-source software resources and projects. VERSO’s first initiative will be to establish and maintain an enterprise GitHub account located in and managed by the UVM Library. VERSO staff will identify and migrate existing UVM software projects and engage the creators of these initial projects as VERSO mentors and advocates. The initial planning phase of VERSO will include the development of repository management protocol, metadata standards, and contributor norms.
By developing multiple open-source software initiatives, we will train, engage, and empower students and researchers to contribute to an open-source project. The open-source projects will focus on core problems related to Vermont, UVM, extension office, remote worksites, agriculture, and software for good. We will hold an annual request for proposals (RFP) and ask the UVM community to propose their ideas for open source software projects. VERSO leadership and the Verso advisory committee will evaluate the RFPs and select 3 projects per year that will serve as VERSO specific software projects. The VERSO specific software projects will be supported by VERSO staff and supported by a faculty mentor. We will build community around these open- source projects thus using these projects as a means to learn about, engage in, and contribute to open-source software. Examples of open source software projects that connect with UVM research and scholarship while fitting into a VERSO RFP are shown in Appendix I.
Step 3.) The VERSO team will then work to create an online environment that will welcome new contributors to open-source. The VERSO team will build a website that serves as an education portal for contributors at all levels of expertise which will walk viewers through the lifecycle of open- source software contribution and creation. The site will highlight existing open-source software work at UVM and celebrate the current open-source software at UVM. Finally, the site will serve as an entry point to the GitHub repository and detail how the UVM community can access these resources and what the norms and expectations are for the VERSO community.
Step 4.) The VERSO team will host an initial educational training session on open-source software and how to contribute to VERSO. We will hold weekly VERSO office hours in the UVM library and encourage students to form a community around these informal meetings through activities, UVM guest lectures, and training sessions.
Step 5.) The VERSO team will work to closely document the progress of the OSPO through weekly journaling and quarterly blog posts. The team will also conduct quarterly climate surveys to gauge the health of the contributor community and measure what activities in the VERSO program are working and what are not. The VERSO team will meet as a group each quarter after collecting these survey results to evaluate course corrections. At the end of the pilot period, the VERSO team will combine our informal journals, blog posts, and anonymized coarse-grained survey results and prepare a cohesive white paper about our experience. We hope this white paper can serve as a playbook for other universities looking to create a university OSPO.
The UVM Libraries will be the central hub for VERSO projects. The UVM Libraries have become the de factor, central, “neutral space” on campus. Faculty from all disciplines receive advice and assistance on all aspects of research, whether around literature searches, data analysis, statistical consulting, or archiving research products.
Assisting faculty with archiving and storing code represents a new role for the Libraries, but one consistent with the library’s long-term role in encouraging and curating open access material. The library now runs UVM’s institutional repository, ScholarWorks, into which librarians ingest literature and assign metadata on behalf of faculty. The library is therefore already known on campus as both a bend-over-backward servant to faculty and a fierce advocate for open access, open data, and open-source development.
Aim 2: Reaching a broader community
As a land grant institution, we take seriously UVM’s mission to serve the State of Vermont. As such, VERSO will work actively to identify Vermont organizations beyond campus who will benefit from VERSO’s assistance in identifying and/or creating open source software to serve their needs, and that of Vermont. We will craft the RFP process carefully, mainly to draw ideas from quarters that would not typically think to work with a university.
Such outreach will draw on three UVM strengths.
First, UVM Extension, whose charge is to ”integrate higher education, research and outreach to help Vermonters put knowledge to work in their families and homes, farms and businesses, towns and the natural environment.” UVM Extension’s tendrils extend throughout the state, and we will ask it to solicit ideas from those it serves for open source software development.
Second, UVM’s new Office of Engagement, designed “to serve as the university’s ’front door’ for private, public and non-profit entities and communities looking to access UVM’s many strengths and capabilities.” We will work with the Office of Engagement to shepherd open source ideas from
private and public entities through its front door.
Third, the professional networks established by UVM’s faculty. We will seek from faculty and their disciplinary colleagues both ideas for software development and referrals to software developers keen to partner with VERSO on new software development.
In short, the VERSO leadership team will caucus with officials in all three networks, urging them to publicize VERSO’s services within their communities and to suggest open source projects that VERSO could help envision, launch, or support. And by leveraging the well-established connections cultivated by UVM Extension, the Office of Engagement and UVM faculty, we aim to raise one hundred thousand dollars to support projects
(a) submitted through the formal RFP process and
(b) suggested by those within the three networks.
Aim 3: VERSO Research
VERSO covers the applied side of the theoretical research agenda of our OCEAN research group. First, VERSO would serve as a data collection tool. In practice, the scientific enterprise is now closely aligned with the needs and goals of open-source software development, but that connec- tion is poorly studied and insufficiently incentivized. Many scientists rely on code for simulations, data analysis, and even powering experiments, and increasingly that code is open-source. Without doubt, open-source is critical for transparent and reproducible computational scientific work. How- ever, much of academia’s incentives do not align with creating open scientific software, with the focus instead on publications and grants. We wish to better document this connection by carefully designing the norms, practices and data collection of VERSO. A researcher with a background in bibliometrics, philosophy of science, or digital humanities would help design this documentation process and compare VERSO to the broader ecosystem of science and open-source software.
This research project will help us understand the connection between open-source and open science beyond usual datasets to consider researchers’ incentives and intents. Doing so will let us tackle important research questions.
How do equitability gaps in academia translate to equitability gaps in scientific open-source?
How can we enable scientists to quickly make important software contributions?
How can we improve collaborations between scientist users and open-source developers? How are the products of open-source ecosystems used in scientific research and how can we ensure these products are reliable?
Second, VERSO will also be uniquely positioned to test the norms and practices developed through our OCEAN research. In a recent correspondence in Nature Computational Science, we advocate for better attribution of contributions to software development . In another correspondence in Nature, we also highlight some of the dangers of automated software in science . By studying opportunities for improvement in both software development and software itself, we are also proposing new norms and practices that can improve how scientists write and use the soft- ware. For example, the OCEAN team is currently completing a series of workshops to develop a new taxonomy for software contributions inspired by CRediT (contributor roles taxonomy for academic authorship). One goal of this taxonomy is to be flexible throughout the different domains that use open-source software (science, software development, web design, etc.) and integrable in software hosting platforms. VERSO would allow us to test and further workshop this taxon- omy with projects at different stages of development. Through this integration with research, our OSPO would always follow and contribute to the state-of-the-art norms and practices in software development.
Third, VERSO will contribute to research dissemination and the broader impacts of OCEAN in helping the open-source communities. The OCEAN team has already developed several tools to continuously study the open-source ecosystem. One of our tool crawls the so-called Penumbra of open-source: projects hosted outside of centralized platforms. One infers teams and their portfolio of projects, which are often the subject of interest, from fine-grained data about accounts (not necessarily users) and repositories. Another project identifies invisible work behind open- source projects (e.g., contributors not identified through accounts) . A partnership with VERSO would close a really powerful feedback loop, allowing broader dissemination of these tools to the open-source community and contributing to its own improvement.
Finally, the Vermont Complex Systems Center (the academic home of the OCEAN research group) will allow VERSO to transcend academia and contribute to how our research is shared and integrated with that of our industry partners. The Vermont Complex Systems Center has affiliated faculty in computer science, philosophy, food systems, biology, medicine, engineering, mathematics, and statistics. Through this diverse set of faculty members, the Center has developed several industry partners in key areas where technology and software developments have critical societal implications: health analytics with MassMutual, cybersecurity with Amazon, healthcare technologies with THINKMD, and software development with Google open-source. Therefore, VERSO would contribute to how science is shared publicly and help define standards for partnership between public open science and private industry
Who We Are
As Vermont’s premier research institution and land-grant university, University of Vermont’s (UVM) public responsibilities are clear: to advance the economic and social well-being of our nation and our state by discovering new knowledge, bringing innovations into the world that advance the quality of life for all, and educating critical thinkers for leadership roles. In Vermont Senator Justin Morrill’s words, our land-grant mission is to cultivate “thinkers and doers” by promoting the intellectual rigor and applied understanding that sustain communities, economies, and ecological well-being. UVM is a friendly, creative, and open institution nestled between the sprawling Green Mountains on one side and Lake Champlain on the other; our campus and environs offer a safe and quiet haven for deep work where our VERSO contributors can focus on creating meaningful contributions to open-source software.
The UVM Libraries are fiercely committed to open scholarship, open tools, and open data. The Libraries are actively supporting OA publishing initiatives, supporting faculty in managing open data, digitizing orphaned material and material in the public domain for universal access, and running an OA digital repository.
The Google open-source Programs Office, a division of Google that manages Google’s use and release of open-source software and promotes open-source programming, has provided the University of Vermont (UVM) Complex Systems Center a $1 million unrestricted gift to support open-source research. The gift establishes a collaboration between the Google open-source team and UVM to begin building a community-oriented body of research, focused on understanding how open-source platforms are used and what makes technology-rich environments thrive. The OCEAN Lab will share the cost of the VERSO OSPO researcher if awarded a Sloan grant and the OCEAN research team will serve as the academic mentor for the VERSO Ph.D. Researcher.
UVM is home to the Vermont Complex Systems Center (VCSC); the VCSC will help manage and steward the research-related work for the VERSO program. VCSC’s 22 core faculty are internationally recognized experts in the emerging field of complex systems and data science. The VCSC has strong existing relationships with several key industry partners, most notably Google open-source and MassMutual Life Insurance, which we will leverage to jumpstart the VERSO program.
Our ethos is a mixture of playfulness, unbounded curiosity, and academic leadership through multidisciplinary collaboration: a balance that allows us to deliver meaningful training in tools and leadership with an emphasis on creating welcoming spaces.
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
VERSO will ensure an equitable and inclusive work environment within the project team and in the team’s work across UVM. The team’s research to date has shown a commitment to im- proving transparency and equity in science, software development, and collaborative work [1, 2]. Outside their own research, the VERSO team members act as leaders on diversity, equity, and in- clusion issues at UVM. Lovato sits on the UVM CEMS Diversity Equity and Inclusion Committee. H´ebert-Dufresne sits on the leadership team of the QuEST NSF Research Traineeship program, an innovative and evidence-based model for transforming multidisciplinary STEM graduate education through cultural sensitivity training.
Contributor Surveys and Evaluation plan: The VERSO Leadership team will conduct a quar- terly survey of all contributors to VERSO projects via a UVM instance of the Qualtrics survey platform to evaluate the success of the program and the health of the VERSO contributor com- munity. We will also meet as a team each quarter to assess the results of the survey and assess changes that need to be made to the program.
Recruitment of students and Staff: VERSO will actively engage several partners to at- tract a diverse applicant pool. Partners include the UVM Office of Affirmative Action, the UVM SACNAS Chapter, the UVM Mosaic Center, The UVM CEMS Diversity Equity and Inclusion Committee (Lovato is a current committee member), and The UVM Division of DEIC. Student Specific Recruitment: We will visit and make connections to minority-serving organizations such as SACNAS National chapter, Society of Asian Scientists and Engineers, Women of Color Research Network, Out in Science, Women in Network Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics, and the American Indian Science and Engineering Society. In addition, we will recruit through field-specific conferences and societies such as The Conference on Complex Systems, International Conference on Computational Social Science, NetSci, Latin American Conference on Complex Net- works, Sunbelt, Northeast Regional Conference on Complex Systems, our own Complex Networks Winter Workshop, the Complex Systems Society, OPSO++, and the Network Science Society (where Lovato and H´ebert-Dufresne are board members). Recruitment of the VERSO Ph.D. stu- dent researcher will involve an international search and strictly follow UVM guidelines and best practices.
Staff Specific Recruitment: VERSO leadership will engage existing partners and professional networks to recruit staff. Initial recruitment will occur through the OSPO++ network, OSPO newsletters, Google open-source’s community network, Vermont college students and alumni, local job boards, social media announcements, and our existing professional networks. Recruitment of the VERSO staff will involve a national search and strictly follow UVM guidelines and best practices.
Student Mentoring: VERSO primary graduate research training will involve academic course- work and regular contact with students’ academic supervisor and the VERSO research team. VERSO emerging scholars will meet with the PIs at the start of each semester, report progress, and give feedback. All VERSO scholars go through a training process with the following lessons:
- applying for an appropriate research grant;
- submitting a manuscript for publication in a scientific journal or for presentation at a conference;
- visualizing data and effectively communicating research results; and 4. fostering cultural competency while overcoming implicit and explicit bias. Additionally, scholars will have access to courses on Effective Presentation Skills via the UVM Center for Teaching & Learning. Finally, scholars will have opportunities to present research at conferences through UVM Travel Awards.
Contributor recruitment plan
The development plan for VERSO is summarized in Table 1. VERSO will initially leverage the core team of the Vermont Complex Systems Center–22 faculty across 10 departments and 4 colleges of the University of Vermont. Within that team, 8 faculty members run large computational research groups and will act as mentors for VERSO specific contributors working on RFP projects; students, collaborators, and external faculty will contribute to our general contributors. Initially, educational training will be conducted by the VERSO community manager, who will advocate for the OSPO through our different partners and external faculty network. Educational training will grow over two quarters, in parallel with work on the VERSO RFP projects (we will have 3 RFP projects per year). By quarter 3, we plan to reach a steady growth of mentors and contributors at all levels. VERSO community manager and VERSO program director will be responsible for recruiting contributors to the RFP projects as well as contributors to the GitHub repo. We will begin by recruiting through faculty who are already involved in open source projects and encourage them to integrate the VERSO repository into their classroom experience and through GitHub canvassing groups who already have open source projects. The members of these groups will populate our first advocates. We will also contact all deans, department heads, and chairs at UVM and encourage them to utilize this resource and include a VERSO info sheet in their communication to faculty. The VERSO staff will hold initial info sessions with leadership, faculty, and staff in each college to show them how to use VERSO resources. The following quarters VERSO staff will take particular care to reach out to faculty directly, student clubs/groups, and staff to use VERSO resources. We expect through this targeted recruitment that we will see moderate continuous growth throughout the pilot.
VERSO RFP Projects
Est. VERSO RFP Project Contributors
Est. General Contributors to Github Repo
Educational Training Sessions
Est. Faculty Mentors
Table 1: VERSO Milestones by Quarter. Target number of new contributors (not including those in the initial GitHub canvasing campaign)
We summarize our milestones by quarter in Table 2. The basic systems and infrastructure, such as setting up our repository and data storage archive, will be implemented in the first quarter. Establishing partnerships and VERSO specific projects will be developed in the second quarter.
By quarter 4, we expect all projects to have been implemented. At this point, we will revisit our strategic plan and disseminate our results through scientific publications and public blog posts as appropriate.
Aim 1: Systems & Infrastructure
Policies/Agreements at UVM
VACC Data Storage Archive
Aim 2: Community Development
VERSO Community Dev
VERSO OS Projects
Aim 3: Research
1-2 3 3 3
3 3 4
Table 2: VERSO Milestones by Quarter. Phase Key: 0: Planning; 1: Development; 2: Implementation; 3: Results Publication; 4: Public Dissemination/replication documentation
Roles and management
In this section, we outline the VERSO team and its members’ roles and responsibilities.
To track metrics, VERSO leadership will meet monthly. An overview of the VERSO organiza- tion chart can be seen in Figure 1. VERSO will include an advisory committee to ensure we receive feedback on the project’s success through our Annual Milestones: Identify areas for improvement or recognition, mid-course corrections based on formative assessment, monthly oversight of budgets, and staff success. The Advisory Committee reports to Sloan and UVM through annual meetings.
Operations and Management Team:
Lovato and Geffert will supervise the VERSO Operations and Management roles and oversee the strategic vision.
Juniper Lovato: VERSO PI, is the Director of Partnerships and External Programs for the Vermont Complex Systems Center at the University of Vermont.
Bryn Geffert: VERSO Co-PI, is the Dean of Libraries at the University of Vermont. Both will be responsible for oversight, strategic vision, and mentorship of the VERSO operations and management team.
VERSO Program Director (PD): The VERSO PD will be responsible for all operations
Figure 1: VERSO Organizational Chart
of the VERSO program. This position will be primarily located in the Complex Systems Center and will be supervised by Geffert and Lovato. This position will oversee the execution of all of the organization of project activities. The VERSO PD will manage reporting, gathering metrics, communications, and documentation. This position will be the liaison to UVM leadership and will be responsible for forming with other units and processes as needed.
VERSO Community Manager: The VERSO Community Manager is a proposed full-time position that will be responsible for all operations of the VERSO community software projects, educational training sessions, and maintaining the software repository at the University Library. This position will be primarily located in the UVM library and will be supervised by the VERSO PD. The VERSO Community Manager will need to understand the open-source software creation lifecycle and repository management. We expect this position to serve as a welcoming and kind liaison for contributors at all skill levels.
Advisory Team: The advisory team. will serve as a programmatic steering committee that provides feedback on VERSO research, industry partnerships, sustainability, and education initia- tives. The committee will meet quarterly to provide input and recommendations on current and future VERSO initiatives.
Jason Powell: is the Copyright and Contracts Specialist at University of Vermont Innovations (Tech Transfer Office). UVM Innovations will oversee software licensure for open-source projects at the University of Vermont and any resulting tech transfer intellectual property.
Corine Farewell: is the Director of UVM Innovations. UVM Innovations will oversee software licensure for open-source projects at the University of Vermont and any resulting tech transfer intellectual property.
Meredith Niles: is an associate professor in the Department of Nutrition and Food Sciences at the University of Vermont and a member of the Vermont Complex Systems Center. Niles will serve as a member of the VERSO advisory team. Niles’ expertise in open science will be an important advisor to the VERSO project. She will also serve to provide mentorship and guidance to the VERSO program researchers and staff.
Amanda Casari: De- veloper Relations Engineering Manager at Google. Casari will serve as a member of the VERSO advisory team. Casari’s expertise will be important as an industry mentor and OPSO resource; she will also serve as a researcher on OCEAN projects.
Kirk Dombrowski: is the University of Vermont Vice President for Research in the Office for the Vice President for Research (OVPR). The OVPR will assist with VERSO sustainability planning post-pilot.
Lisa Townson: is the Point of Contact at the UVM Foundation. The UVM Foundation will assist with future VERSO philanthropic foundation and corporate support.
VERSO Research Team:
James Bagrow: VERSO Academic Co-Research Director, is an Associate Professor of Mathematics and Statistics at the University of Vermont.
Laurent H´ebert-Dufresne: VERSO Academic Co-Research Director, is an Associate Professor of Computer Science at the Univer- sity of Vermont. Both Academic Co-Research Directors are core faculty members of the Vermont Complex Systems Center and Co-PI on the OCEAN program. They will serve as faculty mentors to the VERSO Ph.D. researcher and to the VERSO community.
VERSO Ph.D. Researcher: The VERSO Ph.D. researcher will be enrolled in the Complex Systems and Data Science Ph.D. program and will be mentored by academic advisors by OCEAN PIs Bagrow and H´ebert-Dufresne. The VERSO researcher will be a part of the established OCEAN project and work alongside other OCEAN Ph.D. students, postdocs, and researchers. They will also join a cohort of Ph.D. students in the Complex Systems and Data Science Ph.D. Program (roughly 50 students). The VERSO researcher will be located in a shared office in the Vermont
Complex Systems Center with other OCEAN and Complex Systems and Data Science graduate researchers.
Status of work to date:
The VERSO project will largely be a new initiative. To date, the VERSO Leadership and advisory teams have met several times to outline the project’s initial vision and discuss the feasibility with UVM leadership. Lovato, Powell, Casari, and Geffert have participated in OSPO++ community meetings for the past year to learn from other university OPSO initiatives about their experiences. The OSPO++ community has served as a great resource for envisioning an OSPO in non-traditional venues such as a university. The OCEAN Research Project has been underway since 2019 and is now a well-established research lab producing research outputs on open-source ecosystems.
Grant’s broader impacts
VERSO RFP support
VERSO RFP support
Table 3: Potential Extramural Funding
The VERSO aims to sustain programmatic activity through a diverse set of internal and external support. Below we provide an actionable extramural funding plan.
The VERSO team will work to pursue extramural funding through grants, corporate partner- ships, and gifts. Identification of funding opportunities will be supported by the UVM Office of the Vice President for Research, The UVM Foundation, UVM Sponsored Project Administration, UVM Research Development.
The VERSO program will strengthen and extend existing corporate partnerships, including OCEAN Google Pilot $1M gift in 2020 for two years (renewable) and MassMutual Data Science
gift $5M in 2019 for five years (renewable). VERSO also plans to engage the UVM Complex Systems and Data Science alumni network and alumni from our Master’s and Ph.D. programs representing a diverse set of successful leadership in tech and industry fields. Milestones: program will be sustained from external funds by Y5.
Section 5: Outputs
- Publications: academic publications, blog posts, white papers on processes, process guides
- Software: software special projects, repository of open-source software created at UVM
- Training of students: educational community building programs on contributing to open- source projects, Phd student advising and coursework
- Websites: VERSO informational website which includes educational materials on how to contribute to open-source, communication about the VERSO program, and a list of resources
- Institutional structure: new storage systems for software repository, licensure structure for open-source through the tech transfer office, new policies, procedures and agreements across the university on open-source collaboration
Section 6: Budget Justification
We request $566,253 in funding over two years to support the necessary infrastructure and research outlined in our proposal. The allocation of funds is below:
VERSO Program Director Salary & Fringe
VERSO Community Manager Salary & Fringe
VERSO/OCEAN PhD Researcher
GitHub Enterprise Account
UVM Indirect at 20%
Table 4: Budget Table Amounts Requested in $k
We request $386,878 funds for staff who manage and provide administrative and technical support for the project: 12 CAL months of salary and fridge each year for VERSO Program Director and Community Manager. UVM requires a budgeted possible 3% increase in year 2.
OCEAN contributing funds will cover all costs related to the VERSO graduate fellow including costs of the stipend, benefits for the one graduate student working on the project for each year. This would cover a stipend of $30,000 over 12 CAL months fringe benefits at 7.4%, and tuition at 18 credit hours per year per student at $683/credit will be covered by this contributions. Students of color and those from marginalized audiences often face financial challenges that would now allow them to pursue graduate studies without financial aid in the form of full tuition and a graduate student stipend to cover living expenses. Our commitment to recruiting and retaining a high quality and diverse pool of graduate students requires our ability to offer a competitive and comprehensive financial aid package.
Software Services: ($85,000)
We request $42,500 each year to pay for an unlimited Github enterprise account at the educator discount which includes unlimited licenses. See quote from Github in Appendix VII.
Indirect Costs: ($46,616)
The University of Vermont’s negotiated indirect cost rate for on campus foundation funded research is 20% MTDC. MTDC for this proposal is $46,616
Matching Contributions: ($84,400 offset + $100,000 match)
- The OCEAN Research Lab will be contributing $84,400 to the VERSO program to help support a PhD student researcher. Funds will come from a $1,000,000 unrestricted gift given to OCEAN research lab by Google OpenSource in 2019.
Section 7: University of Vermont Resources
UVM Offices: VERSO staff will be located in office space split between the Library and the VCSC. These offices will provide space for all core faculty, postdoctoral associates, graduate stu- dents, and summer interns. The VCSC is housed in the Innovation Hall of our STEM Complex, interdisciplinary hub for advanced research and scholarship as we address the world’s most chal- lenging issues. Innovation Hall is located in very close proximity (less than 5 minute walk) to David
- Howe Memorial Library.
UVM Major Equipment: Internet Connectivity: The University of Vermont is an Inter- net2 site and maintains redundant 10Gb connections through commodity internet service providers, but has fiber contracts in place to support increased bandwidth as connectivity needs increase. The campus maintains wireless network coverage in all residential halls and academic buildings. Video Conferencing: UVM has a site license for Microsoft Teams and offers support for its use. En- terprise Technology Services (ETS): The University of Vermont provides technical support and service for IT related infrastructure through the Enterprise Technology Services group. These services are available to all members of the university. The Vermont Advanced Computing Core: The Vermont Advanced Computing Core facilitates discovery by providing rapid access to large-scale advanced computing infrastructure while offering responsive technical support to re- searchers. As of March 2021, the VACC provides three clusters: BlackDiamond, Bluemoon, and DeepGreen (see Appendix IV for more details).
Section 8: Status of other Sloan Grants
Section Not Applicable
- Amanda Casari, Katie McLaughlin, Milo Z Trujillo, Jean-Gabriel Young, James P Bagrow, and Laurent H´ebert-Dufresne. Open source ecosystems need equitable credit across contributions.
Nature Computational Science, 1(1):2–2, 2021.
- Jean-Gabriel Young, Amanda Casari, Katie McLaughlin, Milo Z Trujillo, Laurent H´ebert- Dufresne, and James P Bagrow. Which contributions count? analysis of attribution in open source. arXiv preprint arXiv:2103.11007, 2021.
- Timnit Gebru, Jamie Morgenstern, Briana Vecchione, Jennifer Wortman Vaughan, Hanna Wallach, Hal Daum´e III, and Kate Crawford. Datasheets for datasets. arXiv preprint
- Mary Vardigan, Pascal Heus, and Wendy Thomas. Data documentation initiative: Toward a standard for the social sciences. International Journal of Digital Curation, 3(1), 2008.
- Jamie Bedson, Mohamed F Jalloh, Danielle Pedi, Saiku Bah, Katharine Owen, Allan Oniba, Musa Sangarie, James S Fofanah, Mohammed B Jalloh, Paul Sengeh, et al. Community engagement in outbreak response: lessons from the 2014–2016 ebola outbreak in sierra leone.
BMJ Global Health, 5(8):e002145, 2020.
- Nithya Sambasivan, Shivani Kapania, Hannah Highfill, Diana Akrong, Praveen Paritosh, and Lora M Aroyo. “everyone wants to do the model work, not the data work”: Data cascades in high-stakes ai. In proceedings of the 2021 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing
Systems, pages 1–15, 2021.
- Jean-Gabriel Young, Fernanda S Valdovinos, and MEJ Newman. Reconstruction of plant– pollinator networks from observational data. Nature Communications, 12(1):1–12, 2021.
- Jean-Gabriel Young, Giovanni Petri, and Tiago P Peixoto. Hypergraph reconstruction from network data. Communications Physics, 4(1):1–11, 2021.
- Guillaume St-Onge, Iacopo Iacopini, Vito Latora, Alain Barrat, Giovanni Petri, Antoine Al- lard, and Laurent H´ebert-Dufresne. Influential groups for seeding and sustaining hypergraph contagions. arXiv preprint arXiv:2105.07092, 2021.
- Guillaume St-Onge, Vincent Thibeault, Antoine Allard, Louis J Dub´e, and Laurent H´ebert- Dufresne. Social confinement and mesoscopic localization of epidemics on networks. Physical
review letters, 126(9):098301, 2021.
- Serge Abiteboul and Julia Stoyanovich. Transparency, fairness, data protection, neutrality: Data management challenges in the face of new regulation. Journal of Data and Information
Quality (JDIQ), 11(3):1–9, 2019.
- Michael Klug and James P Bagrow. Understanding the group dynamics and success of teams.
Royal Society Open Science, 3(4):160007, 2016.
- Neoklis Polyzotis, Sudip Roy, Steven Euijong Whang, and Martin Zinkevich. Data lifecycle challenges in production machine learning: a survey. ACM SIGMOD Record, 47(2):17–28, 2018.
- Sebastian S Feger, Pawelw W Wozniak, Lars Lischke, and Albrecht Schmidt. ’yes, i comply!’
motivations and practices around research data management and reuse across scientific fields.
Proceedings of the ACM on Human-Computer Interaction, 4(CSCW2):1–26, 2020.
- Mark D Wilkinson, Michel Dumontier, IJsbrand Jan Aalbersberg, Gabrielle Appleton, Myles Axton, Arie Baak, Niklas Blomberg, Jan-Willem Boiten, Luiz Bonino da Silva Santos, Philip E Bourne, et al. The fair guiding principles for scientific data management and stewardship.
Scientific data, 3(1):1–9, 2016.
- J. Meluso, S. Johnson, and J. Bagrow. Flexible environments for hybrid collaboration: Re- designing virtual work through the four orders of design, in press.
- Global Indigenous Data Alliance (GIDA). The care principles for indigenous data governance, 2021.
- David J Hand. Dark data. Princeton University Press, 2020.
- Yong-Yeol Ahn, James P Bagrow, and Sune Lehmann. Link communities reveal multiscale complexity in networks. nature, 466(7307):761–764, 2010.
- James P Bagrow, Xipei Liu, and Lewis Mitchell. Information flow reveals prediction limits in online social activity. Nature human behaviour, 3(2):122–128, 2019.
- James P Bagrow. Tl; dr: how well do machines summarize our work? Nature, 590(7844):36–36, 2021.
- David R Hansen and Kyle K Courtney. A white paper on controlled digital lending of library books. 2018.
- Ariel Katz. Copyright, exhaustion, and the role of libraries in the ecosystem of knowledge.
ISJLP, 13:81, 2016.
- Argyri Panezi. A public service role for digital libraries: The unequal battle against (online) misinformation through copyright law reform and the emergency electronic access to library material. 2021.
- Laurent H´ebert-Dufresne, Benjamin M. Althouse, Laura Skrip, and Jamie Bedson. Social mobilization action consortium: Community engagement data from the 2014-2016 sierra leone ebola outbreak, Jun 2019.
- Laurent H´ebert-Dufresne, Joshua A Grochow, and Antoine Allard. Multi-scale structure and topological anomaly detection via a new network statistic: The onion decomposition. Scientific
reports, 6(1):1–9, 2016.
- Milo Z Trujillo, Laurent H´ebert-Dufresne, and James P Bagrow. The penumbra of open source: projects outside of centralized platforms are longer maintained, more academic and more collaborative. arXiv preprint arXiv:2106.15611, 2021.
- Benjamin M Althouse, Samuel V Scarpino, Lauren Ancel Meyers, John W Ayers, Marisa Bargsten, Joan Baumbach, John S Brownstein, Lauren Castro, Hannah Clapham, Derek AT Cummings, et al. Enhancing disease surveillance with novel data streams: challenges and opportunities. EPJ Data Science, 4(1):1–8, 2015.
- Adrian Sheppard, Lila Bailey, Ariel Katz, Andrea Mills, and Graeme Slaght. Controlled digital lending (cdl): A panel to discuss legal and practical considerations involved in the implementation of cdl by public and post-secondary libraries in canada. 2018.
- Christopher W Callahan and Heather M Darby. A mobile hops harvester: User-based, open source design and shared infrastructure in an emerging agricultural sector. In 2014 Montreal,
Quebec Canada July 13–July 16, 2014, page 1. American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, 2014.
Appendix I: Examples of UVM open source projects
- Example 1: git meta-clone — Researchers studying teams of software developers often turn to the digital traces left behind by those teams, particularly from the version control systems (primarily git) used to write code. To study teams en masse requires digging into very large numbers of version control repositories, which becomes time consuming and resource-intensive when downloading (“cloning”) these repositories over the internet. Many repositories occupy tens or hundreds of gigabytes of disk space, which becomes prohibitive when one is interested in studying hundreds of thousands or even millions of such repositories. Multiple projects within the UVM-Google OCEAN collaboration have faced this problem.
To address this, we propose building an automated “meta-clone” software tool. While the repositories being cloned contain an enormous amount of raw data, often researchers focused on the team’s digital traces only need the metadata available within the repository. Such metadata include histories of who modified what file and when. Many research questions can be addressed with only this information and do not need the files themselves. Therefore, we can significantly streamline the cloning process by retrieving only the metadata, the so-called meta-clone. In the past, several OCEAN-sponsored students have cobbled together code to partially accomplish this. The VERSO RFP would allow a project to focus on building a reliable and reusable meta-clone tool, and sharing it with other researchers as an open source project to power their own investigations of team digital traces.
- Example 2: Citizen science in the skies — Remote sensing and in-field sensor towers are a primary avenue for data collection in agriculture and land management, and are deployed throughout the Vermont farming community and Lake Champlain region. But these are costly, limited resources, and collected data remains sparse. Recently, drones (quadcopters) have become affordable enough that many individuals purchase them as toys. Yet drones are also an exciting potential platform for data collection, especially as video cameras, air quality sensors and other chemical monitors become cheaper, lighter and smaller. In concert, cheap drones and cheap sensors can power a new use of citizen science, allowing regular folks to monitor air pollution, waste runoff, and land usage in their local communities. Of course, significant challenges need to be addressed: What are the best flight pattern algorithms for
(autonomous) data collection? How reliable are commercial sensors? How easy is it to modify software onboard drones? Can a web platform be built coordinating citizen scientist drone operators and serving as a clearinghouse to collect, analyze, and disseminate their data? Many of these questions are being addressed, including by researchers in UVM’s Rubenstein school, and VERSO’s RFP can facilitate open source projects contributing to the software—and potentially even hardware—of a drone-based citizen science service.
- Example 3: Dynamics on higher-order networks — The spread of ideas, cultural evolution and complex coordination problems can often be understood as dynamical systems on higher-order networks of groups and teams. Standard libraries exist for dynamics on complex networks, such as the Epidemic on Networks library, but none that interface well with networks with structure defined beyond sets of pairwise interactions. UVM researchers are leading the growing community studying so-called higher-order networks, from inference of these networks form noisy data [7, 8] to modeling dynamics on the resulting network structures [9, 10]. Through OCEAN and with partners at University of Colorado Boulder, we propose a new flexible library to integrate these new tools and interface with other standard network science tools such as the networkx library. We believe this project will enable further theoretical study to better understand the interplay between the structure of communities, teams, and populations with their creativity and the diffusion of their ideas and innovations.
- Example 4: Meredith Niles and her research team are currently working to develop a calculator
that helps small to intermediate farms in Vermont understand climate change, and available adaptation methods. The aim is to use Cost-Benefit Analysis to see which ones may best benefit a farm. Beyond this, they have been developing a platform to make the research more attainable to users. This includes resources, visualizations and information about the project. They have utilized React.js, React-Bootstrap, D3.js, and several small React Component Libraries to develop the platform.
Appendix II: Conflicts of interest
- Financial Conflicts of Interest: None
- Management/Advisory Affiliations:
-Advisory Group Member 2021-present: UVM Health Network Data Ethics Advisory Group, University of Vermont Health Network Data Management Office, Burlington VT
-Committee Member, 2020-present: Inclusion and Diversity Committee, University of Ver- mont College of Engineering and Mathematical Sciences, Burlington VT
-Advisory Committee, 2020-Present: Computational Biodiversity Science and Services (BIOS2) training program, Universite de Sherbrooke (Quebec)]
-Board Member/Conference Committee, Network Science Society, 2019 – Present
-Executive Committee Member, US-NE) Chapter of the Complex Systems Society, 2019 – Present
-Board Member/Founder, MAKE Santa Fe, 2015 – Present
- Paid Consulting: None
- Patents: None
- Financial Conflicts of Interest: None
- Management/Advisory Affiliations:
-Lever Press, 2007-present
-University of Vermont Council of Deans, 2019-present
-Janus Forum Advisory Committee, 2020-present
- Paid Consulting: None
- Patents: None
Appendix III: Information Products
- Where will you aim to publish articles? : We aim to publish articles in leading peer-review journals and conferences. Whenever feasible, we will publish under open access to enhance broad availability of our works.
- Will you circulate or make available pre-publication versions of your articles (e.g., preprints or working papers), and if so where and under what license(s)? : Preprints will be uploaded to the arXiv, socaRXiv and other appropriate preprint servers. Preprints will also be hosted
on author web pages as appropriate.
- Will a copy of the article be archived in an institutional repository Are you subject to an institutional mandate? : We will also ask all project participants to post preprints in UVM’s institutional repository, ”ScholarWorks.”
- Where will project data be stored or archived at the conclusion of the project? All data will be stored in the University of Vermont Advanced Computing Core.
- What format will data be archived in?: The research team has developed a DMP following the latest research on data management [6, 11, 13, 14], DataONE, IRB practices, and the Directory of Metadata Standards (DMS). All files will be stored in accordance with DataONE recommended file formats. In order to ensure long-term preservation is it necessary to store data in file formats that are open-source and readable in the future.
- What metadata will be uploaded to explain/describe the archived data? It is important to create documentation/metadata on these data file types and formats so that they are eas- ily indexable, searchable, and do not pose the risk of becoming dark data . Metadata and Documentation: Github metadata and contributor contribution metadata will be stored alongside all projects and stored in the UVM Library following OCEAN research on credit models in open-source research [1, 2]. VERSO will follow the latest best practices on data documentation. As an initial guide, the VERSO team will adopt the Directory of Metadata Standards (DMS). When applicable, VERSO will require additional metadata above the DMS standards for original research data to track the lifecycle of the dataset, (e.g., methods for data collection, sampling, survey development/implementation, alteration, aggregation, com- piling, sharing, analysis, variables, units of measurement, assumptions, ethical considerations, contact information for team throughout lifecycle). Datasheets [3, 4] will be stored along- side all datasets in the VACC with links to each item in a “readme” text file. VERSO will adopt measures to uphold the research team’s success, ethics, privacy, transparency, and data accountability.
- VERSO research team data norms: The VERSO data stewards will be mindful of the need for
researchers funded by this proposal to publish their results in open access journals, and will limit access to data until the publication of the initial findings unless a specific request is made (e.g., preprints such as arXiv.org). As a general rule, we will encourage VERSO researchers
to publish preprints and then utilize open access publication options in order for the public to have free and open access when possible. Investigators of this project who are performing empirical research will be required to take a CITI IRB certification and take responsibility for the management of VERSO data, including the removal of any direct identifiers (in accor- dance with best practices in the investigator’s field) in the data before transferring them to the VACC. All investigators will be required to adhere to IRB, HIPAA, FCRA standards, and uphold ICPSR’s Approach to Confidentiality. The CARE Principles  will be taken into consideration by investigators throughout this process. We find several important components of consideration in the FAIR Principles  but do not find them sufficient to preserve the privacy of individual data subjects. Licenses: VERSO will use licenses that allow for reuse as long as attribution is given. Appropriate licenses will be attributed to each dataset according to their applicability: licenses will be attributed in accordance to the DCC Guide on how to license research data and the EUDAT’s data and software licensing wizard and in consulta- tion with the UVM Tech Transfer Office. To accommodate different modes of data sharing and release, datasets will indicate their quality assurance/quality control level in metadata. Data and software that is proprietary or patentable will be licensed accordingly through the UVM Tech Transfer office and UVM General Counsel. Policies for re-use, re-distribution, derivatives, archiving: Data products resulting from this project will be primarily shared via the publication of research in peer-reviewed journals. Access to these data will follow the standards set by the publishing company, in compliance with this DMP. Access to unpub- lished data, re-use, and re-distribution of published data will be allowed in accordance with accepted standards and the policies outlined above. All data/software generated by VERSO will be kept on hardware managed by the VACC and stored in accordance with UVM IT and IRB policies and procedures. As with all UVM computing systems, remote access to the VACC is carefully managed: only secure shell connections are allowed, and only to a carefully monitored gateway node. Storage for the VACC will be configured such that raw data cannot be accessed from outside of the clusters. Strong controls are used to ensure that only appropriate individuals or groups with proper permissions have access. Associated costs are integrated into the VERSO budget and storage costs will be covered during the period of this proposal through the existing OCEAN VACC account. Roles and Responsibilities: The
DMP will be evaluated by the VERSO leadership team annually to assess its success and adapted accordingly to comply with our commitment to upholding the latest data ethics and privacy standards.
- Are there any legal issues that will complicate sharing and access to the archived data?: UVM would own the copyrights, which would usually be released under creative commons or open- source licenses (i.e. GPL or MIT licenses.)
- Where will project software and code be stored or archived after the project?: The software will be stored in the UVM Github Enterprise account and backed up in the UVM VACC and maintained by the UVM Library and the Vermont Complex Systems Center.
- Will software be maintained after the grant funding ends? If so, by whom?: Software will be maintained by VERSO staff through extramural funds, if funds are not secured, then maintainers will be organized on a volunteer basis.
- What metadata will be associated with the archived software/code? The appendix should be specific about how the computational environment in which software or code was originally executed will be described/archived. Associated with all code will be requirements files, docker containers, or other ecosystem-specific metadata information (virtual environment .yml files, etc.) as best fits the specific codebase, computational environment, and current best practices for that ecosystem or style of code development.
- What intellectual property license will software and code be archived under?: Artistic Work, Photography, Video Footage Software and Code would likely generally be made available under an MIT or GPL license, perhaps modified by a commons clause. Artistic works would generally be released under creative commons licenses.
- Who will own the copyright? Under what license(s) will works be made available to the public?: UVM would own the copyrights, which would usually be released under creative commons or open-source licenses (i.e. GPL or MIT licenses.)
- Will raw/unedited versions of the work be archived, and if so where?: All software will be managed through Github by maintainers and version histories will be recorded. Depending on the software project, branching may occur.
- What will own the copyright of the raw/unedited version? Websites & Web Content (including presentations, slide shows, curricula, study guides, etc.): These items will be released under
creative commons or open-source licenses (i.e. GPL or MIT licenses.).
- Where will project-related websites be hosted?: All VERSO web content will be hosted on the University of Vermont’s Silk Server
- How long will project websites be maintained after the completion of the project? With what funds? Project websites will be maintained for as long as possible but no less than 5 years after the the completion of the project and supported through extramural funds of Complex Systems Center funds.
- Who will be responsible for maintaining project-related websites?: This responsibility will be jointly maintained by the UVM Library and the Vermont Complex Systems Center by Lovato and Geffert.
- Who will own the intellectual property (IP) of any web content? Under what license will they be made available to others? UVM would own the IP, which would usually be released under creative commons or open-source licenses (i.e. GPL or MIT licenses.)
Appendix IV – Vermont Advances Computing Core Specifications
The Vermont Advanced Computing Core: The Vermont Advanced Computing Core is a University of Vermont (UVM) core facility created in 2006 that facilitates discovery by providing rapid access to large-scale advanced computing infrastructure while offering responsive technical support to researchers. As of March 2021, the VACC provides three clusters: BlackDiamond, Bluemoon, and DeepGreen.
- BlackDiamond: BlackDiamond is a high-performance computing cluster made possible by a gift from semiconductor manufacturer AMD. This cluster is built using AMD’s 2nd Gen AMD EPYC processor, which pushes the boundaries for x86 performance, efficiency, security features, and overall system throughput.
- Hardware: 6 GPU nodes, each with: 1 AMD EPYC 7642 48-core processor, 8 AMD Radeon Instinct MI50 Accelerators (32GB), 512GB DDR4-3200MHz RAM, NVME via RDMA storage
- Software: Operating System: RedHat Enterprise Linux 7 (64-bit) with the GNU compilers (gcc, f77), Resources Manager: Slurm v20, Package Manager: Spack v0.11
- Bluemoon: Bluemoon is a 300-node, 4004-core, high-performance computing cluster mod-
eled after national supercomputing centers. This cluster supports large-scale computation, low-latency networking for MPI workloads, large memory systems, and high-performance parallel filesystems.
- 32 dual-processor, 12-core (Intel E5-2650 v4) Dell PowerEdge R430 nodes, with 64 GB each, 10Gbit/s Ethernet-connected
- 8 dual-processor, 12-core (Intel E5-2650 v4) Dell PowerEdge R430 nodes, with 256 GB each, 10Gbit/s Ethernet-connected
- 9 dual-processor, 20 core (Intel 6230), PowerEdge R440, with 10GB , 10Gbit/s Ethernet- connected
- 3 dual-processor, 10-core (Intel E5-2650 v3) Dell PowerEdge R630 nodes, with 256 GB each, Ethernet-connected
- 130 dual-processor, 6-core (Intel X5650) IBM dx360m3 nodes, with 24GB each, Ethernet- connected
- Infiniband: 8 dual-processor, 160-core (Intel E5-2650 v3) Dell PowerEdge R630 nodes, with 64 GB each, Infiniband 4XFDR (56Gbit/s)-connected
- Infiniband: 32 dual-processor, 640-core (Intel E5-2650 v3) Dell PowerEdge R630 nodes, with 64 GB each, Infiniband 4XFDR (56Gbit/s)-connected
- Infiniband: 22 dual-processor, 252-core (Intel E5-2630) IBM dx360m4 nodes, with 32GB each, Infiniband 4XFDR (56Gbit/s)-connected
- 2 dual-processor, 12-core (Intel E5-2650 v4) Dell R730, with 1TB
- 1 dual-processor, 8-core (Intel E7-8837) IBM x3690 x5, with 512GB
- 2 dual-processor, 12-core (Intel E5-2650 v4) Dell R730 GPU nodes, each with 2 NVidia Tesla P100 GPUs. (Each GPU has 3584 CUDA cores and 16GB RAM)
- 2 I/O nodes (Dell R430s, 10G ethernet connected) along with 2 I/O nodes (IBM x3655s, 10G ethernet connected) connected to:
- 1 IBM DS4800 providing 260 terabytes of raw storage to GPFS (roughly 197TB usable)
- 1 IBM DS4700 providing 104 terabytes of raw storage (roughly 76TB usable)
- 1 IBM DCS3850 providing 240 terabytes of raw storage to GPFS (roughly 164TB usable)
- 1 Dell MD3460 providing 357.5 terabytes of raw storage to GPFS (roughly 260.5TB usable), and 43 terabytes of solid-state disk to GPFS (for fast random-access data and metadata, roughly 27.5 TB usable)
- 1 IBM V3700 providing 10 terabytes of solid-state disk to GPFS (for fast random- access data and metadata)
- 2 Flash-storage GPFS Metadata nodes (IBM x3655s, 10G Ethernet connected)
- Operating System: RedHat Enterprise Linux 7 (64-bit) with GNU compilers (gcc, f77)
- Resources Manager: Slurm v20
- Package Manager: Spack v0.11
DeepGreen: DeepGreen is a massively parallel cluster deployed in Summer 2019 with 80 GPUs capable of over 8 petaflops of mixed-precision calculations based on the NVIDIA Tesla V100 architecture. Its hybrid design can expedite high-throughput artificial intelligence and machine learning workflows, and its extreme parallelism will forge new and transformative research pipelines.
- 10 GPU nodes (Penguin Relion XE4118GTS) each with:
- 2 Intel(R) Xeon(R) Gold 6130 CPU @ 2.10GHz (2x 16 cores, 22M cache)
- 768GB RAM (256GB for GPFS pagepool)
- 8 NVIDIA Tesla V100s with 32GB RAM
- 4 2-lane HDR (100Gb/s, so 400Gb/s/node) Infiniband links to QM8700 switch
- 2 NVMe nodes, each with 64TB NVMe devices (8x8TB), replicated to provide 64TB /gpfs3 filesystem
- Mellanox QM8700 switch running at HDR speeds
- Operating System: RedHat Enterprise Linux 7 (64-bit) with the GNU compilers (gcc, f77)
- Resources Manager: Slurm v19
- Package Manager: Spack v0.11
Appendix V: Draft Job Descriptions
VERSO Program Director
VERSO Program Director (PD): The VERSO PD will be responsible for all operations of the a new and exiting open-source Program Office at the University of Vermont. This position will be primarily located in the Complex Systems Center and will be supervised by Bryn Geffert and Juniper Lovato. This position will oversee the execution of all of the organization of project activities. The VERSO PD will manage reporting, gathering metrics, communications, and docu- mentation. This position will be the liaison to UVM leadership and will be responsible for forming agreements and processes as needed.
This 2-year grant funded position comes with a competitive salary and a generous benefits package. Renewal for additional years will be possible contingent on availability of funds. The expected start date is flexible and could be at any time in Spring 2022.
- Strategic vision and execution of the VERSO program
- Assessment and evaluation of the program
- Budgetary and grant oversight and reporting of the VERSO program
- Communication with VERSO leadership team and advisory team
- Supervision of the VERSO Community Manager
- Build agreements with University leadership to create new policies and procedures needed to create and share open-source software resources across the university.
- Work with the tech transfer office to build open-source licensing support systems
- Documentation of the project’s growth and development of the OSPO playbook
- Attend weekly OSPO++ meetings
- coordinate with OCEAN research to build synergy
- Work with the VERSO community manager to write quarterly blogs journaling the develop- ment of the VERSO community
- A Master’s degree in a relevant field or equivalent professional experience
- 5 or more years experience in upper management, preferably at the director level
- Experience with fundraising and grant writing
- Experience in partnership development
- Experience in operations management and financial planning
- Experience with strategic planning and program development
- General familiarity with open-source software and a university structure preferred but not required
- Ability to work in a cross-disciplinary/cross-departmental team and independently and de- velop university wide infrastructure from the ground-up.
- Exceptional written and oral communication skills
The University of Vermont is an Equal Opportunity / Affirmative Action Employer. All qual- ified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, protected veteran status, or any category legally protected by federal or state law.
Applicants are welcome from any region and there are no associated citizenship requirements. Initial Application Requirements: Resume, Online Application Form, which includes, Cover
Letter, List of References
VERSO Community Manager
VERSO Community Manager: The VERSO Community Manager is a full-time position 2-year grant funded position that will be responsible for all operations of creating an exiting new community around open-source software development. The VERSO community manager will be responsible for managing and overseeing VERSO community software projects, educational training sessions, and maintaining the Github software repository at the University Library. This position will be primarily located in the UVM library and will be supervised by the VERSO program director. We expect this position to serve as a welcoming and kind liaison for open-source software contributors at all skill levels.
This 2-year grant funded position comes with a competitive salary and a generous benefits package. Renewal for additional years will be possible contingent on availability of funds. The expected start date is flexible and could be at any time in Spring 2022.
- Create student resources on open-source on the VERSO website
- Recruit project ideas, mentors, and contributors for VERSO open-source projects
- Identify community partners for open-source for good projects
- Identify community partners for open-source summer internships
- Organize and develop educational training sessions related to VERSO open-source projects
- Attend weekly OSPO++ meetings
- Celebrate accomplishments of the VERSO community on the VERSO website and social media
- Work with the VERSO program director to write quarterly blogs journaling the development of the VERSO community
- Coordinate with OCEAN research to build synergy
- A Bachelor’s degree in a relevant field or equivalent professional experience
- 3 or more years experience in management
- Exemplary project management skills
- Experience in outreach and community development
- Familiarity with open-source software ecosystem
- The VERSO Community Manager will need to understand the open-source software creation lifecycle and Github repository management.
- Experience with database and/or software management
- Ability to work in a cross-disciplinary team and independently and develop a community from the ground-up.
- Basic web editing experience (e.g. html, WordPress, Drupal, RapidWeaver),
- Exceptional written and oral communication skills
The University of Vermont is an Equal Opportunity / Affirmative Action Employer. All qual-
ified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, protected veteran status, or any category legally protected by federal or state law.
Applicants are welcome from any region and there are no associated citizenship requirements. Initial Application Requirements: Resume, Online Application Form, which includes, Cover
Letter, List of References
Appendix VI: Draft anti-harassment policy
Draft anti-harassment policy: This policy is adapted from the example written and promoted by the Ada Initiative co-founders. We are dedicated to providing a harassment-free program experience for everyone, regardless of gender, sexual orientation, disability, race, or religion. We do not tolerate harassment of anyone (e.g. contributors, staff, students, faculty or participants etc.) in any form. Sexual language and imagery is not appropriate for any VERSO venue, including presentations. VERSO participants violating these rules may be sanctioned or expelled from the project at the discretion of the organizers. Harassment includes: offensive verbal comments related to gender, sexual orientation, disability, race, religion; sexual images in public spaces; deliberate intimidation, stalking, following, harassing photography or recording; sustained disruption of talks or other events; inappropriate physical contact; or unwelcome sexual attention. Participants asked to stop any harassing behavior are expected to comply immediately. We expect participants to follow these rules at all times. If a participant engages in harassing behavior, the VERSO organizers may take any action they deem appropriate, including warning the offender or expulsion from the project. If you are being harassed, or notice that someone else is being harassed, or have any other concerns, please contact a VERSO leadership [email which will point to management] immediately. We value your contributions.
Appendix VII: Attachments
List of attached letters of support
- Linda Schadler, Dean of the College of Engineering and Mathematical Sciences support
- Corine Farewell, Director of the UVM Tech Transfer Office support
- Richard Littauer, OSPO++ support
- James Bagrow and Laurent H´ebert-Dufresne , OCEAN PIs matching funds commitment
List of attached curricula vitae
- James Bagrow
- Corine Farewell
- Bryn Geffert
- Laurent H´ebert-Dufresne
- Juniper Lovato
- Meredith Niles
- Jason Powell
List of attached Quotes
- Github Enterprise Unlimited Quote
- Github Enterprise Quote at $15K