Blog and Discussion area for SIGHPC Education Members
The Events category contains blog articles related to a variety of events happening within the community and focusing on HPC Education, Training and Outreach. These events may be part of larger events e.g. Conferences, Workshops, Summer Schools etc.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.