Do More, Faster: Utilizing Advanced Computational Resources in Your Research Team

Tue 21 May 2019 by Dr. Dirk Colbry

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Here are my slides from the SciTS conference last month.

The SciTS conference is the annual international forum dedicated to SciTS, bringing together thought leaders from a broad range of disciplines and fields, including: communications, management, social and behavioral sciences, information technology, systems science, and translational research. It provides investigators, academic administrators, and funders wit h state-of-the-art knowledge, strategies, and connections. SciTS scholars, scientists engaged in team-based research, institutional leaders who promote collaborative research, policymakers, and federal agency representatives will be in attendance.

Abstract The use of technology in research is becoming ubiquitous as low cost programmable sensors and advanced computing (e.g., AI and big data) emerge in nearly every domain. Out of necessity, many scientists and domain experts have become Technology Users: individuals who need to employ advanced technology in their research, but who do not have broad expertise in topics such as engineering and programming. Modern laptop and desktop computers are extremely powerful, and most scientists can accomplish 90-95% of what they need with a computer in their office. However, much of today’s cutting edge science needs bigger, stronger and faster computers. High Performance Computing (HPC) systems (aka supercomputers) are designed to take science to the next level. Universities and national funding agencies (NSF, NIH, DOD, DOE, etc.) provide researchers access to large scale computing resources, often free of charge. The most common barrier to scientists who want to utilize these resources is knowledge: that these tools exist, and how to get started using them.

This talk introduced the world of large scale computing. We discussed how to gain access to both local and national resources, the common types of problems that can be solved using these resources, and training programs specifically designed to help new researchers leverage these technologies and use them effectively in their own research.

Link to the slides