Thursday, August 29, 2013

Engineering New Faculty Orientation: Research Computing

Today Ken Powell, Andy Caird, and Amadi Nwankpa spoke to the new College of Engineering faculty about research computing.  The slides and handout are represented below.

Who's who on campus

IT Groups


  • has operational responsibilities for College of Engineering IT services and facilities.
  • has five main groups: high-performance computing (HPC), web, applications, student computing environment, instructional technology


Your departmental computing support

Research Computing Support

Michigan Institute for Computational Discovery and Engineering

Office of Advanced Research Computing (ARC)

  • coordinates campus-level research computing infrastructure and events
  • helps connect faculty in various colleges doing related work

What's What—HPC resources


  • Recommended HPC resource for most CoE faculty
  • Homogeneous collection of hardware owned by ARC and operated by CAEN HPC with purchasing/business/HR support by ITS.
  • Run on an allocation model—faculty purchase by core-month allocation
  • About 10,000 InfiniBand-connected cores, all owned by ARC. Used by about 120 research groups and several courses.

Flux Operating Environment

Where to turn for help

  • Purchasing a desktop or laptop for you or a student/post-doc in your group:
    • your departmental IT group
  • Finding out whether a certain software package has already been licensed to the department, college or university:
  • Licensing a piece of software:
    • your department IT person, or Amadi Nwankpa (, the CAEN faculty liaison and software guru
    • this is increasingly important to get correct
  • Purchasing storage:
  • Assessing your HPC needs (cluster computing, storage):
  • Getting your doctoral students enrolled in the Scientific Computing PhD or scientific computing certificate program:
  • General questions about using HPC in your research:
    • Andrew Caird and Ken Powell

More Information