Advanced Computing Training Program


Interdisciplinary research,
education and capacity building


4 months in the Texas Advanced Computing Center (TACC) at the University of Texas at Austin

Deadline: 24 July 2018

 


Overview Areas of integration
Who can apply Financial Support
Structure and Activities Application and Selection Process
TACC resources Download Application Form


*Specific dates should be confirmed in this link.

OVERVIEW

The UT Austin Portugal Program offers an intensive Advanced Computing Training Program in which individuals holding a Master’s or Doctoral degree and have a solid background in ICT, can spend 4 months in the Texas Advanced Computing Center (TACC) at the University of Texas at Austin, to apply and develop their skills, leveraging one of the world's most comprehensive and powerful computing facilities for the digital modeling and simulation, data management, processing and visualization.

 


The main goal of the program is to train scientists to fully exploit high-performance computing technologies and services to accelerate the tasks of digital modeling and simulation, big data processing and visualization applied to any scientific domains. 
While broadly rooted on ICT, the program aims at developing multidisciplinary prowess to enrich the existing High-Performance Computing (HPC) body of knowledge and, simultaneously, increase the accessibility of current toolsets to domain-specific scientists.


 

WHO CAN APPLY TO THIS TRAINING PROGRAM?

The Advanced Computing Training Program is targeted to (eligibility):

  • Portuguese citizens or foreign citizens with permanent residence in Portugal;
  • Individuals with a solid background in ICT either on: i) managing, running or optimizing high performance/high throughput computing systems; or ii) developing or applying high performance/high throughput techniques to domain specific problems.
  • Applicants that hold a Master’s or Doctoral degree, prior to the start of the training program (according to the selected academic semester).

The Program requires full-time participation. Preferably, applicants should not be enrolled in a Ph. D. program by the time the training program begins.

Applicants should be affiliated with a Portuguese research institution, university or company.

 

STRUCTURE AND ACTIVITIES OF THE TRAINING PROGRAM

The training program will be aligned with the UT academic schedule for Fall, Spring, or Summer semesters (available online at www.utexas.edu). Candidates should choose which semester they are applying to in the application form (see Application and Selection Process below).

Orientation
The program will begin with a brief orientation session about TACC and procedures, including tutorial sessions with members of the Advanced Systems Group, or the appropriate group within the center. A staff mentor will be assigned to each participant.

Training Classes
During the program, participants will have access to formal instruction in training classes that are offered regularly by TACC.

Rotations
The remaining time will be structured as hands-on experience, in several rotations of approximately 3 weeks each.

In each rotation, the participant will be paired with a member of the staff and be assigned some normal “production” functions that would fall on that staff member (for example, one rotation might be the day-to-day operation of a supercomputer, one on maintaining the container subsystem on an AI platform, and one on storage and archive systems, etc.).

A number of possible rotations will be offered and matched to the participant's skills and interests. In each rotation, the participant will be “part of the team” and treated as a member of staff, though working closely with the staff mentor throughout the process.

At the completion of the term, the participant should be well-versed in the practical aspects of running a scientific computing ecosystem, as well as exposure to a range of other topics through the training courses.

 

HOW WILL THE ADMITTED CANDIDATES BENEFIT FROM THE TACC RESOURCES?

During their stay, participants will have access to the full complement of TACC resources, staff, and facilities, including training classes, participation in operations of production systems with the production team, participation in user support and ticketing, new system deployment and design. In addition to the “traditional” HPC platforms, participants will also gain experience with emerging classes of scientific computing platforms, including systems run by OpenStack, interactive computing through JuPyter, integration of container systems such as Singularity, Docker, and RunC, and other technologies that make up the research computing ecosystems. Depending on the skills and interests of the candidate, rotations working in the visualization team, life sciences support team, and HPC application support team are also possible.

 

WHICH ARE THE AREAS PARTICIPANTS CAN BE INTEGRATED?

Advanced Computing Systems
ACS group is TACC’s System Administration Group; they are responsible for the hardware and software stack deployment to HPC computing platforms, which includes managing the various filesystems and monitoring cluster and application execution behavior.

High-Performance Computing
HPC group is TACC’s parallel programming and optimization research group. Besides conducting research in HPC, they are also responsible for optimizing open source software packages on TACC’s computing platforms and collaborating with our users in research projects to help bring their application into the ecosystem and ensure performance and scalability.

Life Sciences
The Life Sciences Computing Group at TACC provides the life science research community with computational tools and expertise needed to address modern biological research questions. The TACC team is focused on ensuring that TACC maintains the hardware, software and domain expertise to support a wide variety of bioscience research.

Advance Computing Interfaces
Advanced Computing Interfaces (ACI) includes the Web and Mobile Applications (WMA) team and the Cloud and Interactive computing (CIC) team. The goal of this department is to create interfaces (WMA) and services (CIC) that allow communities to access data, software, computing, instruments and more via web and cloud technologies. ACI's goal is to offer science-as-a-service capabilities from the web layer down to the cloud infrastructure, expanding its reach to various communities and scientific domains.

Data Intensive Computing
Data Intensive Computing supports and works with researchers using the systems, frameworks, and repositories used in the collection, analysis, and sharing of data-driven research across a broad array of domains and levels of statistical and machine learning analysis.

Visualization
The Vis team advances visual analysis capability along three fronts: conducting research to advance the state of the art in human-data interaction and large-scale visual analysis; consulting with users to guide them to best practices and solutions, and to develop new capabilities where needed; and maintaining the visualization resources at the center, including our local vislabs and the visualization platforms on TACC's advanced cyber-infrastructure.

 

WHAT KIND OF FINANCIAL SUPPORT WILL THE ADMITTED CANDIDATES RECEIVE?

The candidates admitted to the Advanced Computing Training Program will receive a mobility scholarship to cover living expenses during their stay. The financial support will be available for the duration of the training program, up to 4 months.

A contract will have to be signed by the candidate admitted to the Advanced Computing Training Program. At the end of the stay, a one-page report describing the activity developed during the training period must be submitted to the UT Austin Portugal Program.

All reservations and payments to cover travel expenses (airplane ticket, train ticket, taxi, etc.), and expenditures for accommodation, meals, and transportation will be made directly by the recipient of the mobility scholarship. There is no need for the presentation of receipts. All the expenses above the amount of the mobility scholarship will be supported by the visitor.

 

APPLICATION AND SELECTION PROCESS

How to apply to this training program?
In order to apply to the Advanced Computing Training Program, the candidates should send:

  1. Curriculum Vitae (Short C.V.);
  2. Leave of Absence (written authorization from the home department/institution, stating the planned period of visit and that the training program is directly and closely related to the current work being carried out by the candidate);
  3. Recommendation(s) letter(s);
  4. Application form, completed in full, containing: the candidate personal information, areas of interest, the preferred academic semester, and a motivation letter (goals to achieve, and anticipated impact). (Download Application Form)

Before submitting your application you should carefully read this Privacy Policy. If you do not agree with its terms, please do not provide your personal information.

All documents should be sent by email to leadership@utaustinportugal.org.

Evaluation criteria, selection and notification process
Eligible applications will be evaluated on their curriculum and personal motivation. Academic experts will assess the submitted applications and will be analyzed and authorized by the Area Directors. The number of funded applications will depend upon their scope and quality, as well as on the availability of funds. The selection process is expected to take one month at most, and the applicants will be notified of the results by email.

Visiting Researcher Status at UT Austin
All participants in the program will be granted “visiting researcher” status at the University of Texas at Austin. This carries with it some of the rights (and responsibilities) of being a UT/TACC employee.
Visiting Researchers receive a University ID that allows access to the university libraries, computer and recreational facilities, and the bus system. All visiting researchers are required to hold a short-term or standard J-1 scholar visa, regardless of their length of stay. Visitors traveling under the Visa Waiver Program are no longer eligible for visiting researcher status.
The process for applying for Visiting Researcher status is complex and includes not only UT Austin procedures but also applying for a J-1 visa from the US Department of State. Be sure to allow plenty of time to complete the process.

Contact us
If you need any clarification, please send an email with your doubts to info@utaustinportugal.org

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About Texas Advanced Computing Center (TACC)
The Texas Advanced Computing Center (TACC) designs and operates some of the world's most powerful computing resources. The center's mission is to enable discoveries that advance science and society through the application of advanced computing technologies. Everyone at TACC strives to be an innovator and explore the boundaries of how we can make the different aspects of information technology used in an important and productive way that impacts science and society. TACC fosters a culture of innovation, passion, and fun.