CloudyCluster Helps Students Build Bright Futures in HPC

By Rob Farber

December 20, 2019

Looking for a future in HPC, some students literally taught themselves Python in a day while competing in the Cloud HPC Hackathon (also known as the Omnibond CloudyCluster competition) at Supercomputing 2019  in Denver, Colorado. This is, by itself, the very definition of motivation and shows the thirst students have for the technical knowledge they can use to gain internships and qualify for well-paying technology jobs. Energy, enthusiasm, and technical excellence, all enabled by Omnibond and the NSF-funded Science Gateways Community Institute (SGCI) [i] along with partners such as Intel HPC, TACC, Google Cloud, and AWS cloud is creating a host of skilled new HPC data scientists and programmers.

Figure 1: A diverse group of students showed their energy, enthusiasm and technical excellence in the Cloud HPC Hackathon at Supercomputing 2019 in Denver Colorado

Life-changing stories

Each of the students at the competition has a remarkable story behind them, many of which will warm your heart about how life changing these competitions can be. Equally important is how these stories highlight the importance of entry points such as science gateways into STEM (Science Technology Engineering Math) careers for all youth, plus how these entry points can level the employment playing field for disadvantaged youth.

A couple of examples are Josselyn Slavado, age 21, and Pablo Enrique, age 19, two competitors in the SC19 Cloud HPC Hackathon in Denver.

From a young age, Josselyn has worked in her family’s cleaning business. One evening she was cleaning the floors at a Sprint store. An employee mentioned there might be an opportunity for her in computer science via science gateways. Josselyn asked to participate even though she did not have any computer science background. Months went by and she did not hear anything so she sadly chalked that conversation (and opportunity) up as a non-starter – something that frequently happens in her part of town.

Contrary to expectations, a text eventually arrived on her phone that put her in contact with Dr. Linda Hayden (an NSF Presidential Awardee for Excellence in Science, Mathematics and Engineering Mentoring who is currently the Associate Director of Workforce Development at Elizabeth City State University). Things really started happening once Josselyn was accepted into the science gateways program that included a four week coding internship. Shortly thereafter she found herself on a flight to Denver accompanied by her boyfriend fellow competitor Pablo to compete in the Cloud HPC Competition at Supercomputing 2019. Attending the competition represented several firsts for both of them including working in Python, a language they had to learn the first day during the competition, along with the flight to Denver as neither Pablo nor Josselyn had been on an aircraft before. Josselyn saw the opportunity to compete as “a dream come true” noting that “School has finally started paying off.”

Both students had to overcome a plethora of obstacles to compete, obstacles that simply don’t exist for more advantaged youth.

Kudos to science gateways and those sponsors who support their efforts

It is not possible to emphasize the importance of these entry points to STEM and the world of HPC computing enough including SGCI and the SC19 Cloud Hackathon. Look to the various routes each of us have taken to enter a STEM career. Think of how tenuous were all our beginnings and the importance of those who supported and encouraged us along the way. With these thoughts in mind, we can make our own assessment and appreciate the importance of STEM entry points like the science gateways projects and the hackathons like the SC19 Cloud HPC Competition. The picture below shows graphically the tremendous impact those who sponsor and actively work to give students a real shot at a technology career regardless of their race, gender, and economic background.

Tom Krueger, Global Sales Enablement Director, with Intel, one of the sponsors of the hackathon, explained that the company was initially interested because “it supports our goals of showing how accessible HPC in the cloud can be and we were delighted when the registrations came in with such a diverse group of students – including so many female students – which supports Intel’s emphasis on diversity.”

Omnibond observes that 47 percent of the entrants who completed their projects were women.

Figure 2: Students acknowledging all who contributed to the competition

Employers take note! Job seekers look to your competition

Following are the five projects that were completed by the teams at the Supercomputing 2019 Cloud HPC Competition.

Employers should take note as these students could easily be working as interns or employees at your company. Seeking these students out for career opportunities will certainly be a well-rewarded effort. Job seekers also take note, students from the competition will be listing their successful work on the following projects when they apply for a job. Clearly these are bright, motivated, and highly-employable people.

  • DeepDishData Team: Array of Things – Data visualization of a networked urban sensor project – Sensors spread across Chicago Measuring: temperature, humidity, quantity of particulate matter, traffic, and more.
  • PhotoBombers Team: A parallel malware analysis gateway that provided disassembled data from submitted executable malware samples.
  • SMS2CCQ Team: A Twilio chatbot that allows user to submit and manage CloudyCluster HPC jobs and check status via text messages.
  • LambdaUI Team: A User interface to execute, manage and monitor jobs on CloudyCluster via both Jupyter Lab and HTML/javascript UI.
  • Sacred CHORDS Team: A python module that allows scientists to fetch and visualize pre-existing data housed in CHORDS using Jupyter Notebooks.

Rob Farber is a global technology consultant and author with an extensive background in HPC, AI, and teaching. Rob can be reached at [email protected]

[i]The SGCI was key in making this hackathon work along other hackathons and programs such as the Practice & Experience in Advanced Research Computing series.

Subscribe to HPCwire's Weekly Update!

Be the most informed person in the room! Stay ahead of the tech trends with industy updates delivered to you every week!

UT Dallas Grows HPC Storage Footprint for Animation and Game Development

October 28, 2020

Computer-generated animation and video game development are extraordinarily computationally intensive fields, with studios often requiring large server farms with hundreds of terabytes – or even petabytes – of storag Read more…

By Staff report

Frame by Frame, Supercomputing Reveals the Forms of the Coronavirus

October 27, 2020

From the start of the pandemic, supercomputing research has been targeting one particular protein of the coronavirus: the notorious “S” or “spike” protein, which allows the virus to pry its way into human cells a Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

AMD Reports Record Revenue and $35B Deal to Buy Xilinx

October 27, 2020

AMD this morning reported record quarterly revenue of $2.8 billion and a finalized deal to buy FPGA-maker Xilinx for $35 billion in an all-stock transaction. The acquisition helps AMD keep pace during a time of consolida Read more…

By John Russell

Nvidia-Arm Deal a Boon for RISC-V?

October 26, 2020

The $40 billion blockbuster acquisition deal that will bring chip maker Arm into the Nvidia corporate family could provide a boost for the competing RISC-V architecture. As regulators in the U.S., China and the Europe Read more…

By George Leopold

OpenHPC Progress Report – v2.0, More Recipes, Cloud and Arm Support, Says Schulz

October 26, 2020

Launched in late 2015 and transitioned to a Linux Foundation Project in 2016, OpenHPC has marched quietly but steadily forward. Its goal “to provide a reference collection of open-source HPC software components and bes Read more…

By John Russell

AWS Solution Channel

Rapid Chip Design in the Cloud

Time-to-market and engineering efficiency are the most critical and expensive metrics for a chip design company. With this in mind, the team at Annapurna Labs selected Altair AcceleratorRead more…

Intel® HPC + AI Pavilion

Berlin Institute of Health: Putting HPC to Work for the World

Researchers from the Center for Digital Health at the Berlin Institute of Health (BIH) are using science to understand the pathophysiology of COVID-19, which can help to inform the development of targeted treatments. Read more…

NASA Uses Supercomputing to Measure Carbon in the World’s Trees

October 22, 2020

Trees constitute one of the world’s most important carbon sinks, pulling enormous amounts of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and storing the carbon in their trunks and the surrounding soil. Measuring this carbon sto Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

AMD Reports Record Revenue and $35B Deal to Buy Xilinx

October 27, 2020

AMD this morning reported record quarterly revenue of $2.8 billion and a finalized deal to buy FPGA-maker Xilinx for $35 billion in an all-stock transaction. Th Read more…

By John Russell

OpenHPC Progress Report – v2.0, More Recipes, Cloud and Arm Support, Says Schulz

October 26, 2020

Launched in late 2015 and transitioned to a Linux Foundation Project in 2016, OpenHPC has marched quietly but steadily forward. Its goal “to provide a referen Read more…

By John Russell

Nvidia Dominates (Again) Latest MLPerf Inference Results

October 22, 2020

The two-year-old AI benchmarking group MLPerf.org released its second set of inferencing results yesterday and again, as in the most recent MLPerf training resu Read more…

By John Russell

HPE, AMD and EuroHPC Partner for Pre-Exascale LUMI Supercomputer

October 21, 2020

Not even a week after Nvidia announced that it would be providing hardware for the first four of the eight planned EuroHPC systems, HPE and AMD are announcing a Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

HPE to Build Australia’s Most Powerful Supercomputer for Pawsey

October 20, 2020

The Pawsey Supercomputing Centre in Perth, Western Australia, has had a busy year. Pawsey typically spends much of its time looking to the stars, working with a Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

DDN-Tintri Showcases Technology Integration with Two New Products

October 20, 2020

DDN, a long-time leader in HPC storage, announced two new products today and provided more detail around its strategy for integrating DDN HPC technologies with Read more…

By John Russell

Is the Nvidia A100 GPU Performance Worth a Hardware Upgrade?

October 16, 2020

Over the last decade, accelerators have seen an increasing rate of adoption in high-performance computing (HPC) platforms, and in the June 2020 Top500 list, eig Read more…

By Hartwig Anzt, Ahmad Abdelfattah and Jack Dongarra

Nvidia and EuroHPC Team for Four Supercomputers, Including Massive ‘Leonardo’ System

October 15, 2020

The EuroHPC Joint Undertaking (JU) serves as Europe’s concerted supercomputing play, currently comprising 32 member states and billions of euros in funding. I Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

Supercomputer-Powered Research Uncovers Signs of ‘Bradykinin Storm’ That May Explain COVID-19 Symptoms

July 28, 2020

Doctors and medical researchers have struggled to pinpoint – let alone explain – the deluge of symptoms induced by COVID-19 infections in patients, and what Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

Nvidia Said to Be Close on Arm Deal

August 3, 2020

GPU leader Nvidia Corp. is in talks to buy U.K. chip designer Arm from parent company Softbank, according to several reports over the weekend. If consummated Read more…

By George Leopold

Intel’s 7nm Slip Raises Questions About Ponte Vecchio GPU, Aurora Supercomputer

July 30, 2020

During its second-quarter earnings call, Intel announced a one-year delay of its 7nm process technology, which it says it will create an approximate six-month shift for its CPU product timing relative to prior expectations. The primary issue is a defect mode in the 7nm process that resulted in yield degradation... Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Google Hires Longtime Intel Exec Bill Magro to Lead HPC Strategy

September 18, 2020

In a sign of the times, another prominent HPCer has made a move to a hyperscaler. Longtime Intel executive Bill Magro joined Google as chief technologist for hi Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

HPE Keeps Cray Brand Promise, Reveals HPE Cray Supercomputing Line

August 4, 2020

The HPC community, ever-affectionate toward Cray and its eponymous founder, can breathe a (virtual) sigh of relief. The Cray brand will live on, encompassing th Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

10nm, 7nm, 5nm…. Should the Chip Nanometer Metric Be Replaced?

June 1, 2020

The biggest cool factor in server chips is the nanometer. AMD beating Intel to a CPU built on a 7nm process node* – with 5nm and 3nm on the way – has been i Read more…

By Doug Black

Aurora’s Troubles Move Frontier into Pole Exascale Position

October 1, 2020

Intel’s 7nm node delay has raised questions about the status of the Aurora supercomputer that was scheduled to be stood up at Argonne National Laboratory next year. Aurora was in the running to be the United States’ first exascale supercomputer although it was on a contemporaneous timeline with... Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Is the Nvidia A100 GPU Performance Worth a Hardware Upgrade?

October 16, 2020

Over the last decade, accelerators have seen an increasing rate of adoption in high-performance computing (HPC) platforms, and in the June 2020 Top500 list, eig Read more…

By Hartwig Anzt, Ahmad Abdelfattah and Jack Dongarra

Leading Solution Providers

Contributors

European Commission Declares €8 Billion Investment in Supercomputing

September 18, 2020

Just under two years ago, the European Commission formalized the EuroHPC Joint Undertaking (JU): a concerted HPC effort (comprising 32 participating states at c Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

Nvidia and EuroHPC Team for Four Supercomputers, Including Massive ‘Leonardo’ System

October 15, 2020

The EuroHPC Joint Undertaking (JU) serves as Europe’s concerted supercomputing play, currently comprising 32 member states and billions of euros in funding. I Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

Google Cloud Debuts 16-GPU Ampere A100 Instances

July 7, 2020

On the heels of the Nvidia’s Ampere A100 GPU launch in May, Google Cloud is announcing alpha availability of the A100 “Accelerator Optimized” VM A2 instance family on Google Compute Engine. The instances are powered by the HGX A100 16-GPU platform, which combines two HGX A100 8-GPU baseboards using... Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Microsoft Azure Adds A100 GPU Instances for ‘Supercomputer-Class AI’ in the Cloud

August 19, 2020

Microsoft Azure continues to infuse its cloud platform with HPC- and AI-directed technologies. Today the cloud services purveyor announced a new virtual machine Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Oracle Cloud Infrastructure Powers Fugaku’s Storage, Scores IO500 Win

August 28, 2020

In June, RIKEN shook the supercomputing world with its Arm-based, Fujitsu-built juggernaut: Fugaku. The system, which weighs in at 415.5 Linpack petaflops, topp Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

HPE, AMD and EuroHPC Partner for Pre-Exascale LUMI Supercomputer

October 21, 2020

Not even a week after Nvidia announced that it would be providing hardware for the first four of the eight planned EuroHPC systems, HPE and AMD are announcing a Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

DOD Orders Two AI-Focused Supercomputers from Liqid

August 24, 2020

The U.S. Department of Defense is making a big investment in data analytics and AI computing with the procurement of two HPC systems that will provide the High Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Oracle Cloud Deepens HPC Embrace with Launch of A100 Instances, Plans for Arm, More 

September 22, 2020

Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI) continued its steady ramp-up of HPC capabilities today with a flurry of announcements. Topping the list is general availabilit Read more…

By John Russell

  • arrow
  • Click Here for More Headlines
  • arrow
Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!
Share This