Announcing the V1.1 Release of the RCD Capabilities Model

Internet2, CaRCC, and EDUCAUSE are pleased to announce that there is a new version of the Research Computing and Data Capabilities Model (RCD CM) just in time for you to complete your Institutional assessment and contribute to the 2021 RCD CM Community Dataset!

What’s new in the v1.1 release?

In response to community feedback, we have simplified a few things to make it easier to access and complete your institutional assessment:

  • A simpler Access Request form requires less information to complete. We’re now using the 2018 Carnegie Classification data to get your institution type (R1, R2, etc.), minority serving status, etc. 
  • A number of users felt the Local Weight/Relevance column was confusing, so we removed it, and incorporated a simpler variant on this elsewhere.
  • Many users felt that the Multi-Institutional Collaboration answers weighed too heavily in the computed coverage. We updated the calculations to reduce the impact of this question, and to give a boost (extra credit!!) to institutions that were sustaining or leading collaborations for a given topic.

The bulk of the Model and the questions remain essentially the same as in v1.0, so if you’ve attended one of our workshops or webinars, it will still look very familiar, and you can happily discuss your experience with everyone who completed an assessment in 2020!

Why should we contribute our RCD CM Assessment to the 2021 Community Dataset?

We’re so glad you asked! Contributing institutions help build the Community Dataset, and enrich the resulting picture we have of our community. You will also get an individualized Benchmarking report that compares your assessment to the community, and segments of the community (R1s, R2s, Public or Private institutions, etc.). Finally, you get access to the anonymized, aggregated dataset, if you really like digging into data. 

Sounds good – how do we get our copy and complete the assessment?

First, go to the new Access Request Form and fill it out. That will create an individualized copy of the v1.1 RCD CM Assessment tool for your institution. Then, read the Introduction and Guide to Use, and gather your team to complete the assessment. You can get help from the RCD CM working group by emailing, or subscribe to the discussion list (click here to join) to hear how other institutions are completing their assessment, and using it as part of strategic planning. You can also get help by joining our RCD CM Office Hours.

Here’s a timeline suggested by folks who worked on assessments last year:

In May: Get your copy and review the Guide. Think about who should be on the team that will complete the assessment (including, e.g., partners in central IT and/or the library). Your team can be just a few people (at smaller and emerging programs) or you could build a team with specialists for each facing.

In June: Your teams should meet to discuss the assessment, fill out most of it. Identify specific questions that may need additional input, and who can help with them.

In July: Review your assessment, discuss with your advisory board, and mark priorities for attention. We’re also holding a Workshop at PEARC21 on Strategic Planning using the Model. Watch the website for details!

In August: Submit your assessment to the 2021 Community Dataset (details to follow this summer).

In Fall/Winter 2021: Receive your Individualized Benchmarking report, the Contributors’ detailed Community Dataset report, and the full dataset if you’d like to dig deeper. 

What if we’ve already started with the original version of the Assessment?

Not a problem! It is largely the same, so just get a copy of the new one (as described above), and fill it out. With a little care you can even copy your answers over from the old spreadsheet (we’ll post instructions soon on the website). Feel free to contact us if you want help with this to ensure your data is transferred correctly.

2021 RCD Capabilities Model Office Hours

Have questions about how to get started with the Research Computing and Data Capabilities Model? Or are you already working with it and just want to discuss the process, or a particular aspect of the assessment tool? Join working group members and your colleagues in the community at one of our upcoming Office Hours to get help, ask your questions, and share your experiences!

Office Hours for 2021 are scheduled on the 4th Tuesday of each month for 1 hour, at 11 a.m. PT / 12 noon MT / 1 p.m. CT / 2 p.m. ET. Those dates are:

  • April 27
  • May 25
  • June 22
  • July 27
  • August 24
  • September 28
  • October 26
  • November 23

For details on how to join, email the RCD CM working group at, or subscribe to the discussion list.

People Network Calls, April 2021

Greetings, everyone. Welcome to Spring and April… No Joke!

Please mark your calendars for these upcoming People Network remote Zoom meetings. For handy calendar entries please try the CaRCC Events calendar.

Data-Facing Track (first Tuesdays)

Digital Scholarship Platforms and Workflows – HathiTrust Research Center and Model of Models
Eleanor Koehl (HathiTrust) and Erin McCabe (University of Cincinnati)
Tuesday, April 6, 1p ET/ 12p CT/ 11a MT/ 10a PT/ 8a HT

HathiTrust is the largest non-profit digital library in the world, and roughly 2/3 of the collection is not available for human reading. This presentation will discuss how the HathiTrust Research Center leverages compute resources at Indiana University to make text data from the HathiTrust Digital Library available for text data mining. HTRC services attempt to meet the needs of scholars with a range of skill levels, who use a variety of research methods.

UC’s Digital Scholarship Center (DSC) has developed its own platform for text mining and visualization of large-scale unstructured language datasets. This presentation will provide a demonstration of the platform in addition to reviewing topic modeling concepts that form its primary visualizations. Additionally, we will look at 1-2 analytical approaches to the platform’s output, as well as cover some of the DSC’s work / challenges with data curation, parallel modeling, and working with researchers across disciplines. 

Researcher-Facing Track (second Thursdays)

On Measuring the Impact of Training
Presentations by Kari Jordan (Carpentries), and Julie Wilson Rojewski and Astri Briliyanti, CyberAmbassadors
Thurs, April 8th, 1p ET/ 12p CT/ 11a MT/ 10a PT/ 8a HT

On previous Researcher-Facing calls, we’ve had the opportunity to discuss topics relating to measuring impact and improving training. And as discussed in the Leading Practices of Facilitation, “training & education” is one of the major pillars of our efforts. Many of us provide training opportunities and struggle to define and measure “impact” or “success” — is it short terms gains (quality scores for the class & instructors, reduced support burden, and acclimating users), long term considerations (effectiveness of training programs, building relationships, promoting awareness and participation), and does it depend on the kind of training (professional skills, technical topics)?  Or are we confounding these, complicating both the objectives and outcomes?

April’s call will showcase two “case studies” of measuring training impact, where each presenter will talk about their programs, define “impact”, and explain their approach to measuring this. Please also join us by contributing to our pre-talk survey: What challenges do you currently face in measuring training impact? And what successful strategies have you tried?

Emerging Centers Track (third Wednesdays)

New Resources Available to the National Research Community: Jetstream 2, Bridges 2, and Anvil
Wednesday, April 21st, 12pm ET/ 11am CT/ 10am MT/ 9am PT/ 7am HT

Representatives from Indiana University, Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center, and Purdue University will discuss the new systems at each of these sites and their capabilities offered to the national research community. All of these resources will be available to researchers nationwide via the XSEDE project allocations system.

Systems-Facing Track (third Thursdays)

Experiences and Advice for Large and Small Data Centers – Cooling
Thursday April 15th, 1p ET/ 12p CT/ 11a MT/ 10a PT/ 8a HT  

Our panel will discuss experiences managing cooling (heat) in data centers – from large scale systems to clusters in closets. The brief presentations will include experiences designing and managing cooling for their infrastructure. Our panelists will take questions from participants and discuss options. Any questions about power/security will be collated for a future session.

General Track Call Information

Interested participants need not subscribe to a particular track to participate in calls. However, additional details for track members, including notes documents and any pre-call activities, will be distributed ahead of the call via the email lists and other communication channels within each track.

All calls will take place within the same Zoom room distributed via email. Please join the People Network (link just above) or contact for details.

The CaRCC People Network aims “to foster, build and grow an inclusive community (termed the “People Network”) for campus CI, research computing and data professionals.” If you have received this information NOT via CaRCC’s People Network email list and you would like to join the People Network – Researcher-Facing, Data-Facing, Systems-Facing, Emerging-Centers, and other tracks – please fill in our Join the People Network form.

Join us for March People Network Calls

Mark your calendars for these upcoming People Network virtual meetings. (For handy calendar entries, try the CaRCC Events Calendar.)

Plenary session hosted by the Data-Facing Track (first Tuesdays)

Tuesday, March 2, 1p ET/ 12p CT/ 11a MT/ 10a PT

PLENARY: Using Data to Benchmark your Research Computing and Data Program: The RCD Capabilities Model and Community Dataset

Presenters: Claire Mizumoto, UC San Diego & Patrick Schmitz, Semper Cognito Consulting

Join us during the regular data-facing slot for the first (and hopefully not last) People Network plenary session! Claire Mizumoto and Patrick Schmitz from the Capabilities Model working group will present the results from the first community dataset. These assessments were completed using the 1.0 version of the Research Computing and Data Capabilities Model (RCD CM), over a period of several months in the Spring and Summer of 2020. This Community Dataset provides insight into the current state of support for RCD across the community and in a number of key sub-communities.

Across science, engineering, social sciences, and the humanities, every university depends upon research computing and data (RCD) professionals and infrastructure. The rapid evolution and diversification of RCD infrastructure, services, and support poses significant challenges to academic institutions as they try to effectively assess and plan for the growing needs of researchers. Many institutions would also like to assess their capabilities in comparison to peers. The lack of a shared vocabulary to describe the various aspects of RCD support hinders coordinated efforts to advance support of and for researchers. These challenges are especially acute for smaller and emerging RCD support organizations, which often lack experience supporting RCD and have limited resources to develop an analysis framework for strategic planning. To address these gaps, a collaborative team developed a Research Computing and Data Capabilities Model that allows an organization to self-evaluate across a range of RCD services. The Model provides structured input to guide strategic planning, leveraging a defined and shared community vocabulary and enabling benchmarking relative to peer institutions.

Researcher-Facing Track (second Thursdays)

Thursday, March 11, 1pm ET (12pm CT/11am MT/10am PT)

All About Orienting Researchers to Research Computing + Data Resources

Continue reading “Join us for March People Network Calls”

2020 RCD CM Community Dataset report available

Scatter Plot showing the capabilities coverage for all 41 institutions

The report describes the first Research Computing and Data Capabilities Model Community Dataset, aggregating the assessments of 41 Higher Education Institutions. These assessments were completed using the 1.0 version of the Research Computing and Data Capabilities Model (RCD CM), over a period of several months in the Spring and Summer of 2020. This Community Dataset provides insight into the current state of support for RCD across the community and in a number of key sub-communities. Download it now! (

The Research Computing and Data Capabilities Model allows institutions to assess their support for computationally- and data-intensive research, to identify potential areas for improvement, and to understand how the broader community views Research Computing and Data support. The Model was developed by a diverse group of institutions with a range of support models, in a collaboration among Internet2, CaRCC, and EDUCAUSE. This Assessment Tool is designed for use by a range of roles at each institution, from front-line support through campus leadership, and is intended to be inclusive across small and large, and public and private institutions. 

We encourage you to check out the 1.0 release, and begin to use it at your institution. Start with the Capabilities Model Introduction and Guide to Use, which includes background as well as tips for using the model, and a link to the access request form that will create a personalized copy of the Assessment Tool for your institution.  You can also watch the recording of the EDUCAUSE webinar. Keep an eye on the RCD CM working group page for more information and updates.

Welcome to February 2021!

Please see below for People Network calls this month, and make sure to join in! (For handy calendar entries, see the CaRCC Events Calendar.) 

Data-Facing Track (first Tuesdays)

Tuesday, February 2, 1p ET/ 12p CT/ 11a MT/ 10a PT

Casual Tuesday Community Roundtable

We want to take this month to hear a bit about what everyone is up to. This session will be a general sharing and free-form brainstorming session. We’d love to hear 3-5 minutes about projects that people are working on currently or new developments. If you’re stuck on something, feel free to bring that forward and get advice from the brain trust. We can also make breakout rooms for deeper discussions that arise.

Researcher-Facing Track (second Thursdays)

Thursday, February 11, 1pm ET (12pm CT/11am MT/10am PT)

Supporting Researchers with Containers

Continue reading “Welcome to February 2021!”

People Network Calls in the New Year

We hope you have a wonderful holiday season and are able to join People Network calls in January! (For handy calendar entries, see the CaRCC Events Calendar.) 

Data-Facing Track (first Tuesdays)

Tuesday, January 5, 1p ET/ 12p CT/ 11a MT/ 10a PT

Python for Big Data

Presenter: Bala Desinghu, Rutgers University

Python is a popular programming language for developing software and data science applications. Its popularity stems from many factors such as simplicity, readability, portability, etc. As such, Python is slow compared to C or Fortran and it does not manage memory well. These limitations in speed and memory management may not be significant when analyzing small data sets, but it becomes a bottleneck when analyzing big data sets. Techniques based on vectorization, parallelization, just in time compilation, and distributed task executions have been widely adopted by the Python community to address these challenges associated with big data. This presentation will address a few techniques suitable for large scale data analysis and answer the following questions: What to do when the data set size exceeds the available physical memory? How to speed up the data analysis? How to distribute the workloads when doing machine learning for big data sets?

Researcher-Facing Track (second Thursdays)

Thursday, January 14, 1p ET/ 12p CT/ 11a MT/ 10a PT

All about CaRCC (… beyond the R-F Track)

Tom Cheatham, University of Utah
Lauren Michael, University of Wisconsin
Dana Brunson, Internet2
Patrick Schmitz, Semper Cogito Consulting

Continue reading “People Network Calls in the New Year”

Join the December People Network Calls, including a Party!

We’ll have just three community calls in December (to avoid conflicts with winter vacation plans), including a cross-network party! (For handy calendar entries, see the CaRCC Events Calendar.) 

CaRCC End-Of-Year Party

Thursday, December 10, 1-2:30pm ET / 12-1:30pm CT / 11am-12:30pm MT / 10-11:30am PT

We’ll use the usual Zoom room, and Zoom’s new support for self-select breakout rooms, with rooms designated for following topics: Main Room: Greetings, Hors D’oeuvres, and Games; SC After-Party; People Network Brainstorm (share your ideas!); All About CaRCC Working and Interest Groups.

Make sure you’ve updated your Zoom client since September 21 (to version 5.3.0 or higher).

Data-Facing Track (first Tuesdays)

Tuesday, December 1, 1p ET/ 12p CT/ 11a MT/ 10a PT

Creating a standard Vocabulary: the Unified Medical Language System (UMLS)

David Anderson from the National Library of Medicine will present on the Unified Medical Language System (UMLS). The UMLS is a set of files and software that brings together many health and biomedical vocabularies and standards to enable interoperability between computer systems. David will provide a basic overview of the UMLS including its history and use cases.

Emerging Centers Track (third Wednesdays)

Wednesday, December 16, 12p ET/ 11a CT/ 10a MT/ 9a PT

NSF Program Directors – Campus Cyberinfrastructure (CC*) NSF 21-528

You will not want to miss this call! The NSF CC* program is a perfect program for emerging centers to begin developing their research partnerships and center resources.

Kevin L. Thompson, NSF CISE/OAC and Deepankar (Deep) Medhi, NSF CISE/CNS, will share information about the recently released CC* Program solicitation and answer any questions you may have.  Jen Schopf, Director of EPOC, will then answer some commonly asked questions that EPOC has heard from previous submitters to the CC* program.  She will briefly explain how the EPOC program experts can assist you in the development of your proposal.   

We encourage previous recipients of the award to share any lessons learned or tips and tricks for developing a successful proposal.

Continue reading “Join the December People Network Calls, including a Party!”

People Network Calls in November; End-of-Year Party in December

Mark your calendars for these upcoming People Network virtual meetings. (For handy calendar entries, try the CaRCC Events Calendar.)

CaRCC End-Of-Year Party (Save the date!)

Thursday, December 10, 1-2:30pm ET / 12-1:30pm CT / 11am-12:30pm MT / 10-11:30am PT

We’ll use Zoom’s new support for self-select breakout rooms, with rooms designated for several topics, including opportunities to learn about and get involved with CaRCC Working Groups and People Network engagement, and a room for an SC20 ‘after-party’ discussion. Make sure you’ve recently updated your Zoom client (to version 5.3.0 or higher) to take full advantage.

Data-Facing Track (first Tuesdays)

Tuesday, November 3, 1p ET/ 12p CT/ 11a MT/ 10a PT

Teaching Data Skills Remotely: Check-in

This month is a check-in discussion about teaching research data skills remotely 6+ months into the effort.  What have you learned about teaching R, Python, SQL, and other data programming languages and skills online?  What resources (technical and people) are required to be successful?  What have you changed from your initial efforts?  How have your experiences influenced your thinking about workshops and training for the future?  What training do you provide other than live workshops?  Any experiments in remote formats?  We’ll have a panel of folks willing to briefly share their experiences, but there will also be an open discussion time to share ideas and resources and ask questions.

Researcher-Facing Track (second Thursdays)

Thursday, November 12, 1p ET/ 12p CT/ 11a MT/ 10a PT

Continue reading “People Network Calls in November; End-of-Year Party in December”