Sociotechnical Investigations of Scientific Software, Collaboration, & Infrastructure


Software is an integral element of scientific research — key to the production, processing, and analysis of data as well as the facilitation of collaborative work at a distance. In this seminar I will discuss my qualitative research studying collaborative scientific software and infrastructure production. Sharing selections from my longitudinal ethnographic research, I will discuss the efforts of a group of cosmologists studying the Epoch of Reionization who are developing novel data analysis software while working as part of two multinational radio telescope projects. I will explain how these cosmologists use visualizations to simultaneously analyze data and test the software they are producing. I will illustrate how in this cosmology group the ongoing process of developing and testing data analysis software is a significant portion of the work of actually accomplishing scientific analyses. These findings portray how collaborative scientific software development and knowledge discovery are creative and human-centered work that is also exacting and methodical. I will conclude the talk by discussing my current work at Lawrence Berkeley Lab engaging in user-centered design & ethnographic research to as part of two data science tool development projects 

Invited talk hosted by Frédéric Suter at IN2P3’s Computing Centre (or CC-IN2P3)
Lyon, France
Drew Paine
Computer Science Postdoctoral Researcher

My research interests include CSCW, scientific software studies, ethnography, and science and technology studies.