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 info@techenablement.com.

[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!

Supercomputer Analysis Shows the Atmospheric Reach of the Tonga Eruption

January 21, 2022

On Saturday, an enormous eruption on the volcanic islands of Hunga Tonga and Hunga Haʻapai shook the Pacific Ocean. The explosion, which could be heard six thousand miles away in Alaska, caused tsunamis across the entir Read more…

NSB Issues US State of Science and Engineering 2022 Report

January 20, 2022

This week the National Science Board released its biannual U.S. State of Science and Engineering 2022 report, as required by the NSF Act. Broadly, the report presents a near-term view of S&E based mostly on 2019 data. To a large extent, this year’s edition echoes trends from the last few reports. The U.S. is still a world leader in R&D spending and S&E education... Read more…

Researchers Achieve 99 Percent Quantum Accuracy with Silicon-Embedded Qubits 

January 20, 2022

Researchers in Australia and the U.S. have made exciting headway in the quantum computing arms race. A multi-institutional team including the University of New South Wales and Sandia National Laboratory announced that th Read more…

Trio of Supercomputers Powers Estimate of Carbon in Earth’s Outer Core

January 20, 2022

Carbon is one of the essential building blocks of life on Earth, and it—along with hydrogen, nitrogen and oxygen—is one of the key elements researchers look for when they search for habitable planets and work to unde Read more…

Multiverse Targets ‘Quantum Computing for the Masses’

January 19, 2022

The race to deliver quantum computing solutions that shield users from the underlying complexity of quantum computing is heating up quickly. One example is Multiverse Computing, a European company, which today launched the second financial services product in its Singularity product group. The new offering, Fair Price, “delivers a higher accuracy in fair price calculations for financial... Read more…

AWS Solution Channel

shutterstock 718231072

Accelerating drug discovery with Amazon EC2 Spot Instances

This post was contributed by Cristian Măgherușan-Stanciu, Sr. Specialist Solution Architect, EC2 Spot, with contributions from Cristian Kniep, Sr. Developer Advocate for HPC and AWS Batch at AWS, Carlos Manzanedo Rueda, Principal Solutions Architect, EC2 Spot at AWS, Ludvig Nordstrom, Principal Solutions Architect at AWS, Vytautas Gapsys, project group leader at the Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry, and Carsten Kutzner, staff scientist at the Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry. Read more…

Students at SC21: Out in Front, Alongside and Behind the Scenes

January 19, 2022

The Supercomputing Conference (SC) is one of the biggest international conferences dedicated to high-performance computing, networking, storage and analysis. SC21 was a true ‘hybrid’ conference, with a total of 380 o Read more…

Supercomputer Analysis Shows the Atmospheric Reach of the Tonga Eruption

January 21, 2022

On Saturday, an enormous eruption on the volcanic islands of Hunga Tonga and Hunga Haʻapai shook the Pacific Ocean. The explosion, which could be heard six tho Read more…

NSB Issues US State of Science and Engineering 2022 Report

January 20, 2022

This week the National Science Board released its biannual U.S. State of Science and Engineering 2022 report, as required by the NSF Act. Broadly, the report presents a near-term view of S&E based mostly on 2019 data. To a large extent, this year’s edition echoes trends from the last few reports. The U.S. is still a world leader in R&D spending and S&E education... Read more…

Multiverse Targets ‘Quantum Computing for the Masses’

January 19, 2022

The race to deliver quantum computing solutions that shield users from the underlying complexity of quantum computing is heating up quickly. One example is Multiverse Computing, a European company, which today launched the second financial services product in its Singularity product group. The new offering, Fair Price, “delivers a higher accuracy in fair price calculations for financial... Read more…

Students at SC21: Out in Front, Alongside and Behind the Scenes

January 19, 2022

The Supercomputing Conference (SC) is one of the biggest international conferences dedicated to high-performance computing, networking, storage and analysis. SC Read more…

Q-Ctrl – Tackling Quantum Hardware’s Noise Problems with Software

January 13, 2022

Implementing effective error mitigation and correction is a critical next step in advancing quantum computing. While a lot of attention has been given to effort Read more…

Nvidia Defends Arm Acquisition Deal: a ‘Once-in-a-Generation Opportunity’

January 13, 2022

GPU-maker Nvidia is continuing to try to keep its proposed acquisition of British chip IP vendor Arm Ltd. alive, despite continuing concerns from several governments around the world. In its latest action, Nvidia filed a 29-page response to the U.K. government to point out a list of potential benefits of the proposed $40 billion deal. Read more…

Nvidia Buys HPC Cluster Management Company Bright Computing

January 10, 2022

Graphics chip powerhouse Nvidia today announced that it has acquired HPC cluster management company Bright Computing for an undisclosed sum. Unlike Nvidia’s bid to purchase semiconductor IP company Arm, which has been stymied by regulatory challenges, the Bright deal is a straightforward acquisition that aims to expand... Read more…

SC21 Panel on Programming Models – Tackling Data Movement, DSLs, More

January 6, 2022

How will programming future systems differ from current practice? This is an ever-present question in computing. Yet it has, perhaps, never been more pressing g Read more…

IonQ Is First Quantum Startup to Go Public; Will It be First to Deliver Profits?

November 3, 2021

On October 1 of this year, IonQ became the first pure-play quantum computing start-up to go public. At this writing, the stock (NYSE: IONQ) was around $15 and its market capitalization was roughly $2.89 billion. Co-founder and chief scientist Chris Monroe says it was fun to have a few of the company’s roughly 100 employees travel to New York to ring the opening bell of the New York Stock... Read more…

US Closes in on Exascale: Frontier Installation Is Underway

September 29, 2021

At the Advanced Scientific Computing Advisory Committee (ASCAC) meeting, held by Zoom this week (Sept. 29-30), it was revealed that the Frontier supercomputer is currently being installed at Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Oak Ridge, Tenn. The staff at the Oak Ridge Leadership... Read more…

AMD Launches Milan-X CPU with 3D V-Cache and Multichip Instinct MI200 GPU

November 8, 2021

At a virtual event this morning, AMD CEO Lisa Su unveiled the company’s latest and much-anticipated server products: the new Milan-X CPU, which leverages AMD’s new 3D V-Cache technology; and its new Instinct MI200 GPU, which provides up to 220 compute units across two Infinity Fabric-connected dies, delivering an astounding 47.9 peak double-precision teraflops. “We're in a high-performance computing megacycle, driven by the growing need to deploy additional compute performance... Read more…

Intel Reorgs HPC Group, Creates Two ‘Super Compute’ Groups

October 15, 2021

Following on changes made in June that moved Intel’s HPC unit out of the Data Platform Group and into the newly created Accelerated Computing Systems and Graphics (AXG) business unit, led by Raja Koduri, Intel is making further updates to the HPC group and announcing... Read more…

Nvidia Buys HPC Cluster Management Company Bright Computing

January 10, 2022

Graphics chip powerhouse Nvidia today announced that it has acquired HPC cluster management company Bright Computing for an undisclosed sum. Unlike Nvidia’s bid to purchase semiconductor IP company Arm, which has been stymied by regulatory challenges, the Bright deal is a straightforward acquisition that aims to expand... Read more…

D-Wave Embraces Gate-Based Quantum Computing; Charts Path Forward

October 21, 2021

Earlier this month D-Wave Systems, the quantum computing pioneer that has long championed quantum annealing-based quantum computing (and sometimes taken heat fo Read more…

Killer Instinct: AMD’s Multi-Chip MI200 GPU Readies for a Major Global Debut

October 21, 2021

AMD’s next-generation supercomputer GPU is on its way – and by all appearances, it’s about to make a name for itself. The AMD Radeon Instinct MI200 GPU (a successor to the MI100) will, over the next year, begin to power three massive systems on three continents: the United States’ exascale Frontier system; the European Union’s pre-exascale LUMI system; and Australia’s petascale Setonix system. Read more…

Three Chinese Exascale Systems Detailed at SC21: Two Operational and One Delayed

November 24, 2021

Details about two previously rumored Chinese exascale systems came to light during last week’s SC21 proceedings. Asked about these systems during the Top500 media briefing on Monday, Nov. 15, list author and co-founder Jack Dongarra indicated he was aware of some very impressive results, but withheld comment when asked directly if he had... Read more…

Leading Solution Providers

Contributors

Lessons from LLVM: An SC21 Fireside Chat with Chris Lattner

December 27, 2021

Today, the LLVM compiler infrastructure world is essentially inescapable in HPC. But back in the 2000 timeframe, LLVM (low level virtual machine) was just getting its start as a new way of thinking about how to overcome shortcomings in the Java Virtual Machine. At the time, Chris Lattner was a graduate student of... Read more…

2021 Gordon Bell Prize Goes to Exascale-Powered Quantum Supremacy Challenge

November 18, 2021

Today at the hybrid virtual/in-person SC21 conference, the organizers announced the winners of the 2021 ACM Gordon Bell Prize: a team of Chinese researchers leveraging the new exascale Sunway system to simulate quantum circuits. The Gordon Bell Prize, which comes with an award of $10,000 courtesy of HPC pioneer Gordon Bell, is awarded annually... Read more…

Julia Update: Adoption Keeps Climbing; Is It a Python Challenger?

January 13, 2021

The rapid adoption of Julia, the open source, high level programing language with roots at MIT, shows no sign of slowing according to data from Julialang.org. I Read more…

Nvidia Defends Arm Acquisition Deal: a ‘Once-in-a-Generation Opportunity’

January 13, 2022

GPU-maker Nvidia is continuing to try to keep its proposed acquisition of British chip IP vendor Arm Ltd. alive, despite continuing concerns from several governments around the world. In its latest action, Nvidia filed a 29-page response to the U.K. government to point out a list of potential benefits of the proposed $40 billion deal. Read more…

Top500: No Exascale, Fugaku Still Reigns, Polaris Debuts at #12

November 15, 2021

No exascale for you* -- at least, not within the High-Performance Linpack (HPL) territory of the latest Top500 list, issued today from the 33rd annual Supercomputing Conference (SC21), held in-person in St. Louis, Mo., and virtually, from Nov. 14–19. "We were hoping to have the first exascale system on this list but that didn’t happen," said Top500 co-author... Read more…

TACC Unveils Lonestar6 Supercomputer

November 1, 2021

The Texas Advanced Computing Center (TACC) is unveiling its latest supercomputer: Lonestar6, a three peak petaflops Dell system aimed at supporting researchers Read more…

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…

Intel Launches 10nm ‘Ice Lake’ Datacenter CPU with Up to 40 Cores

April 6, 2021

The wait is over. Today Intel officially launched its 10nm datacenter CPU, the third-generation Intel Xeon Scalable processor, codenamed Ice Lake. With up to 40 Read more…

  • arrow
  • Click Here for More Headlines
  • arrow
HPCwire