SciNet’s Summer School: a decade-old tradition

re-posted from the SciNet blog

Most would associate summertime with a relaxing and leisurely season of the year. However, HPC centres like SciNet, as in many others around the world, perceive this differently and are actually quite busy during this period.

Among the many activities SciNet carries out during the summer “break” are workshops and short courses. These activities are scheduled in the summer to fit between the term-long courses that SciNet offers to graduate students at the University of Toronto.

In particular, one of SciNet’s oldest training activities is a one-week intensive school on high-performance and technical computing. This annual summer school is our flagship training event, and is aimed at graduate students, undergraduate students, postdocs, researchers and occasionally even faculty members, who are engaged in compute intensive research. SciNet’s first such summer school was given in 2009, at which time it was called a “Parallel Scientific Computing” workshop. This first version of the school was heavily focused on parallel programming and applications in astrophysics.

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Team ‘It’s Spelt Bolognese’: UCT to SCC

By Leanne January, student at the University of Cape Town

I was introduced to the Student Cluster Competition by Jehan, one of the members of the previous UCT team who had won the competition last year (2018). Fresh off their win, Jehan came to my Computer Science lecture in the first week of term to tell us more about the Cluster Competition and encourage us to find a team. We had until April, when the competition sign up opened, to find a team – two of which would be chosen by the SCC to represent UCT. Jehan would act as the mentor for both teams, and he promised lots of workshops before the first round to familiarise all of us with the content we would need to do well. 

At this point, I had just switched faculties and didn’t know any of my Computer Science peers very well. Although I was interested in the competition, the prospect of finding a team was rather daunting. Luckily for me, one of the requirements of the competition is that every team needs at least one female member – and in a male dominated class there aren’t really a lot of females to choose from. It was not long before I was asked to join a team to which I excitedly agreed. 

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HPC Certification Program – the HPC environment survey

Jean-Thomas Acquaviva, DDN Storage

Supercomputers are helping us to solve the world greatest challenges but who is helping us to harness the computational power of supercomputers?

The HPC Certification Forum is a community effort that aims to provide an international certification program for the skills needed by practitioners  to harness supercomputers. The HPC Certification Forum aims to clearly categorise, define, and examine competencies, which will be beneficial to all stake-holders involved in training and education.  To make this effort relevant to the whole HPC community,  a number of on-line surveys and polls will be created in order to capture and estimate the importance of various tools, technologies and skills that are expected from HPC practitioners. 

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The Supercomputing and Robotics with NVIDIA Xavier Workshop in Marrakech Dec 2018

By Frank Domoney

Professor Mousannif and I ran a six-day workshop covering the essential skills to build a highly automated factory. Digital Twinning of Future Smart Factories will require enormous amounts of computing capacity (see this article for more details) that successfully integrates Supercomputing and the Robotics stream of the European definition of Artificial Intelligence.

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