Meeting Minutes - March 01, 2018 - BIC working group

This meeting was hosted by @jbp and @tstrau, about how to support the needs of BIC researchers: talks, training, online documentation, data storage and processing (HPC), analytic software, and other meta issues that are not inherently scientific (those being addressed by other forums). This was the first such forum since the new BIC director @doyonjul started in his the position. We plan to hold this meeting every 1-2 months.

To make progress on the issues described below please continue the conversation here on the forum until the working group meets again. To reply to a specific comment, highlight it, then click the quote button that appears.

Starting a new series of technical talks & tutorials

  • We are proposing to start a series of talks and tutorials focused on general computing skills.
  • Target frequency is monthly, or every 2 weeks.
  • Example topics:
    • Amazon S3 primer
    • BIDS
    • Unix 101, foundations
    • Github primer
    • “Product” talks: cbrain.
    • The future of MINC


  • @sdas9: The MCIN’s weekly tech talk could be opened up to anyone to attend.
  • Alain Dagher: Every other BIC Feindel talk (weekly) could be designated as a tech talk.
    Probably will need to have have a tutorials committee, to assure quality of content.
  • @zcaram2: recommend taping lectures, to extend the value of these trainings.
  • @zcaram2: There used to be an informal lunchtime series called DAWG. Would this format be preferable?

Action item

  • Make an announcement soliciting proposals for tech talks and tutorials. These will be connected to Feindel talks series. Who is responsible: Aki, Bratislav, Ted, JB.
  • Available slots in the Feindel series are: April 30, May 30, June 4, 11, 18, 25.

Consolidating technical documentation

The previous topic prompted Alain D. to ask: how will the knowledge of these tech talks be stored longer term? In a wiki? Other tools? This has been a problem for a long time.

  • Louis: documentation and tutorials at BIC are “totally lacking”. Didn’t the Brain Canada grant provide money to hire a documentation person? Wellcome Trust and SPM are good examples of institutions with good documentation.
  • JB: change the culture of tool creators, to compel them to document their tools.
  • Vlad: other McGill groups are already doing sessions on general tech topics. We should share those listings with the BIC community. Where are those talks being advertised, at other McGill departments?
  • Patrick: need to recognize the different needs of technical users and scientific (lo-tech) users.
  • Samir: A new hire is needed to handle the scale of this task.
  • There were a lot of other comments - please reply below to elaborate.

Doodle for next meeting(s) of the Working group

On the following dates, the grand pre is available.

  • Thursday, March 29, 12-1pm
  • Wednesday April 18, 12-1pm
  • Wednesday April 25, 12-1pm

0 voters

(*According to the calendar, Grand pre is under renovations for the first half of April)

Topics tabled until next time

  • @mcousi13: Brainstorm, and related workshops

  • @tstrau: Data analysis and visualization tools

    • Plotly
    • Jupyter hub
    • Dash workshop with Plotly
  • Open data

    • OMEGA
    • HBN open data: functional connectomes.
  • BIC website upgrades and refresh