Current and Past Issues of ComputingEdge
Dear ComputingEdge reader:
Hone Your HPC Skills – Nowadays, scientists, professionals, and students in a wide variety of fields can benefit from learning about highperformance computing (HPC). HPC is helping advance many scientific disciplines, and industries like finance and manufacturing are using HPC for data modeling and analysis. Because of its importance, understanding HPC can be a career boost. In this ComputingEdge issue, two articles from Computing in Science & Engineering discuss training opportunities that help people develop and perfect their HPC knowledge and skills.
Who Does the Work?
You can’t do it all yourself. That’s a fundamental rule of technology. You need help; you need a workforce. You need people to finish the system, add new details, expand into new applications, and, perhaps most importantly of all, train your customers. To help you develop that workforce, ComputingEdge contributors have a few ideas about how to train workers for the needs of the 21st century.
We start with a pair of articles on training workers for high-performance computing (HPC). As long as we’ve had the concept of HPC, we have realized that we need to impart special skills to the people who work with these machines. (I should also note, in the 75th year of the IEEE Computer Society, that the 1946 committee that served as the founding institution for our Society was called “The National Academy of Science Committee on High-Speed Computing Devices,” which was chaired by none other than Dr. John von Neumann).
“Training Efforts in the Exascale Computing Project,” by Osni Marques and Ashley Barker, proposes some standard training courses. “The HPC Certification Forum: Toward a Globally Acknowledged HPC Certification,” by Julian Kunkel and his colleagues, discusses the options for creating standard credentials for those who work with high-performance machines. “An increasingly complicated HPC landscape makes the development and delivery of new training materials challenging,” explains Kunkel and his co-authors. In common with all forms of workforce training, they discovered that their strategies had to be more “diverse in terms of hardware, software, and user backgrounds.”
Another ComputingEdge article deals with the now universal problem of remote training. It is one thing to do remote training when you are working with the transmutable tools of software. It is quite another when you are teaching a hardware design course. In “Making, Together, Alone: Experiences from Teaching a Hardware-Oriented Course Remotely,” Susanne Boll and her colleagues explain that “to enable tinkering and prototyping, a fairly large amount of materials, usually available at the university, had to be provided for each individual student to be used at home.” The authors explain how they were able to deliver those supplies to their students.
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—David Alan Grier for ComputingEdge