Technical and non-technical barriers to effective collaboration often hamper progress, especially when highly productive groups with diverse expertise and computational backgrounds work on common problems. Overcoming these barriers and learning from collective experience is critical for ensuring successful outcomes.


This two-part workshop will be conducted in an idea/innovation labs format with meeting facilitators. The goal is to bring together thought-leaders and practitioners in data-driven open science projects with participants from areas emphasizing Astronomy, Earth Sciences, Computational and Information Sciences, Mathematics, and Cyberinfrastructure.

We’ve dubbed the two workshops “Lemon” and “Lemonade” labs. During the Lemon Lab, we will openly discuss challenges in inter- and transdisciplinary collaborations and brainstorm ideas on improve productivity and outcomes. At the subsequent Lemonade Lab (Fall 2019), participants will prototype ideas and solutions identified during the Lemon Lab workshop in a codefest/hackathon-style event — turning “lemons” into thirst-quenching “lemonade.”

More details of the workshops are available in the NSF proposal here.

Who, When & Where:

May 13-16, 2019, held at Biosphere 2 (north of Tucson, AZ). Participants are requested to arrive on May 12 and may depart on May 16 morning. To ensure the best outcome, we are inviting a maximum of 25-30 participants for the Lemon Lab.

Perks of the Lemon/ade Labs:

  • Travel expenses will be covered by reimbursements from the award.
  • Learn best practices from subject matter experts for sharing data, code, models and obtain access to large-scale computing systems (CPU/GPU) at no cost for your TRIPODS project.
  • Learn how different disciplines are making effective use of “Big Data” tools like Apache Spark, Storm, Kafka etc. and ML platforms TensorFlow, MLflow etc.
  • Learn techniques for sharing reproducible analyses with collaborators.
  • Learn how to establish a Commons for sharing products from your research projects, teams and TRIPODS center.
  • Contribute to writing a best practices document inspired by popular “10 simple rules” PLoS Collection, i.e., “10 Simple Rules for Productive Data Science Collaborations”.
  • Enjoy the tranquil, historic environment of Biosphere2 as the events’ backdrop, with a behind-the-scenes tour by one of its scientists.
  • Be part of a welcoming community of collaborators with experience in developing data science based tools, technologies and community-adopted resources.

If you have any thoughts or ideas on how to improve this event or know someone who’d enjoy contributing and learning from this collective effort, please share your suggestions through faryad@email.arizona.edu.


Nirav Merchant (Univ. of Arizona)
Mona Papes (Univ. of Tennessee, Knoxville)
Stephen Kobourov (Univ. of Arizona)
Faryad Sahneh (Univ. of Arizona)
Ramona Walls (Univ. of Arizona)
Tyson Swetnam (Univ. of Arizona)
Chi-kwan Chan (Univ. of Arizona)
David LeBauer (Univ. of Arizona)

NSF NIMBioS U. of Arizona