CS Interview #1: 18-Year-Old App Developer

Hello! It’s been a while since I last posted. I have been working on a series of interviews featuring students and young adults involved in interesting CS projects that will be published over the next couple of months. 

For this blog post, I interviewed an incoming Freshman at the University of California, Berkeley (Cal). Tyler is a self-taught programmer who plans on studying CS at Cal. Below are the most important points from our interview including information about his new project:

  1. Tyler first learned to program at a young age by downloading random freeware from different indie developers. He watched tutorials on YouTube, read source code and documentation, and watched talks by other developers to learn about programming culture and style.
  2. In order to both dive deeper into his passion for programming and prepare him for university, Tyler participated in Stanford’s STEM to SHTEM program. As part of this program, Tyler and a group of other students were tasked with investigating the compressibility of genomes of different DNA sequences. To do this, they had to take input files of raw sequencing data, construct a pipeline for processing each sequence, then streamline the results into a single format and generate graphs. Tyler said this experience was “incredibly valuable” as it taught him new-found skills in a fun and engaging way. 
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Menlo-Atherton High School’s First Ever Coding Career Conference

Hi again! For a quick reminder, my name is Amelia and I am a sophomore at Menlo-Atherton High School (M-A) in Atherton, California. Last year, I founded the Menlo-Atherton Coding Club for Teens – a school club designed to teach coding languages to both members and younger kids in the community. Currently, we host two sessions a week over Zoom as our club has expanded to over 45 active members! A senior at M-A teaches Go (a programming language designed by Google that is similar to C) for the first session, and I partnered with a college student to teach Python for the second session. A few months ago, we had the chance to represent the M-A Coding Club in person for Club Rush, where due to Covid-19 students drove through carpool to learn about the different clubs on campus. Below is an image of me along with two club members at Club Rush.

Our table and banner at Club Rush.

In April of 2021, I led M-A’s First Ever Coding Career Conference- a two day conference where over 40 students joined to hear about different career paths in the computer science area. I had this idea a few months ago as I personally am interested in learning about jobs in the technology sector, and thought about how other students must be interested too! The mini conference over Zoom was centered around the theme of the advantages and disadvantages of tech jobs at big companies versus small companies. 

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Introduction to FRC 2021 Season: M-A’s Robotics Team

Hi, my name is Amelia and I am a sophomore in high school based in Menlo Park, California. I am very involved in promoting computer science in my community through robotics and computer science clubs. I help lead the Menlo-Atherton High School’s Robotics Team that participates in the First Robotics Competition (FRC) every year.

A typical season consists of 16-hour weeks working tirelessly to brainstorm, prototype, build, and, my favorite part, program our robot. The image below highlights our robot from the 2020 season – Infinite Recharge. The objective was to design a robot that could work with an alliance to shoot foam balls into a variety of goals for points and balance a monkey bar, called the Shield Generator, for end game. I specifically worked on the hook mechanism; I designed a hook that could lift the robot up, and then move along the monkey bar in order to balance it. 

Our robot for the 2020 Infinite Recharge season
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Virtual Workshop: Toward a globally acknowledged and free HPC Certification

by Weronika Filinger

The HPC Certification Forum has been around for almost 2 years now so it’s only natural that the scope of its activities is beginning to shift from the necessary groundwork towards an actual certification. Although a lot still needs to be done in terms of refining the skill description, identifying the gaps in the defined skills, and creating a sufficiently big poll of examination questions, it is crucial now to get more support from the HPC education and training community. For the HPC Certification to work as envisioned, it needs to be recognised, and we believe that for that to happen it must be a community driven effort. 

Normally, the Forum meets face-to-face twice a year – at ISC and SC conferences. The ISC meeting had to be cancelled due to the on-going COVID-19 pandemic, and so the Forum decided to hold a virtual workshop in mid May. To make it possible for the international members from the regions of  America, Europe, and Australia and New Zealand to participate, two sessions were organised. The presentations, besides the introduction – providing the context, and the last talk – focusing on the certification process, included talks from both organisations that already collaborate with the Forum and those who would like to do so in the future. 

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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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