September 9, 2019
America/Chicago timezone

Advisory Panel Charge

The Institute for Research and Innovation in Software for High Energy Physics (IRIS-HEP) has been established to meet the software and computing challenges of the HL-LHC, through R&D for the software for acquiring, managing, processing and analyzing HL-LHC data. IRIS-HEP will address key elements of the “Roadmap for HEP Software and Computing R&D for the 2020s” and is implementing the “Strategic Plan for a Scientific Software Innovation Institute (S2I2) for High Energy Physics” submitted to the NSF in December 2017. These two documents represent, respectively, the outcome of international and U.S. HEP community planning processes; these were driven in part by the NSF-funded S2I2-HEP Institute Conceptualization Project.

The NSF has defined 7 core functions for IRIS-HEP:

  1. Provide leadership and community support to establish and prioritize the key areas of new science and broader impacts.
  2. Have a well-defined internal management structure, as well as external governance and advisory structures.
  3. Maintain a software vision, informed in part input from subject-matter experts to answer specific key questions within the Institute’s activities or within the wider scope of the domain-specific software/computing.
  4. Carry out work on major R&D activities in the domain-specific software/computing, beginning with work on Analysis Systems; Data Organization, Management, and Access; and Innovative Algorithms.
  5. Carry out software “core” activities that include improving ways to communicate to students and researchers; identifying best practices in software engineering as well as possible incentives to adopt them; developing and providing training and professional development; and making data and tools that are modular, reusable, and available to the public.
  6. Provide services specific to its stakeholders or discipline(s), as described in the Institute Project Execution Plan.
  7. Demonstrate the applicability of the developed software to domains beyond the domain specific to the Software Institute.

The Software Institute will operate in 2 phases – the Design phase and the Execution phase. The goal of the Design phase is to support required Institute design and ramp-up activities and to demonstrate readiness for the execution phase. The Design phase is expected to last up to 2 years. In the Execution phase, the Institute is expected to be completely staffed and operational, and fulfilling the proposed mission. IRIS-HEP was funded on 1 September, 2018, and is thus halfway through the Design phase.

  We would like your feedback on how well the IRIS-HEP project is delivering on its core functions above, and specifically on the following questions:

  • Is the Institute enabling new science and broader impacts?
  • Is the Institute demonstrating success in addressing the issues it identified to motivate its formation?
  • Has the Institute responded to changes in the issues of concern from the community?
  • Is the Institute achieving a consensus among the software developers in the Institute's topic area?
  • Are the software products available in the Institute's topic area being integrated or made interoperable, including, but not limited to the products from NSF-supported teams working in its area?
  • Is the Institute achieving broad buy-in among the software user community in the Institute's topic area?
  • Has the Institute created and begun to implement a sustainability plan that is realistic and likely to be successful?
  • Is the Institute succeeding in terms of its success metrics?
  • Is the developed software applicable to domains beyond the domain specific to the Software Institute?

Please evaluate each of these questions in terms of the Institute as a whole, as well as its individual activities, taking into account of course the current stage of the project.