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Events on Monday, September 11th, 2023

Plasma Physics (Physics/ECE/NE 922) Seminar
“Making plasma science open”
Time: 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
Place: 1610 Engineering Hall
Speaker: Dr. Nick Murphy, Center for Astrophysics | Harvard & Smithsonian
Abstract: Plasma science does not currently have the culture or technical infrastructure for open sharing of software, data, and educational resources. In this seminar, I will cover how we can get there together and make open science a core value of our field. To show the benefits of open access data and open source software, I will compare the data and software environments between solar physics and fusion energy sciences. I will describe several of the cultural, technical, and organizational barriers to open plasma science. We need a foundation of psychological safety for both open science and diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility. I will discuss recent work by the PlasmaPy project to foster the creation of an open source software ecosystem for plasma research and education. After introducing the FAIR standards for data stewardship, I will show how open plasma science hinges upon metadata standardization. I will finish by making the case for a unified web portal for open access to plasma data sets.

Dr. Nick Murphy is an astrophysicist at the Center for Astrophysics (CfA) in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Nick attended the University of Michigan as an undergraduate and the University of Wisconsin in Madison for graduate school in astronomy. Nick began believing in open source software while still a student, even going so far as to include Fortran subroutines in an appendix of their thesis. Nick has been at the Center for Astrophysics for the last decade working largely on magnetic reconnection in solar eruptions. Nick was a co-organizer of the Inclusive Astronomy 2015 conference and co-founded the American Astronomical Society's Working Group on Accessibility and Disability, and is now a member of the APS DPP Diversity Equity and Inclusion Organizing Collective Committee. Over the last few years, Nick has been a core contributor to PlasmaPy, which is an open source software package for plasma research and education.
Host: Prof. Steffi Diem
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