The ACTP Initiative – Beneficiaries
Between 2018 and 2019, the Program offered an intensive Advanced Computing Training Program (ACTP) in which individuals holding a Master or Doctoral degree and having a solid background in ICT could spend up to 4 months at UT Austin to develop their skills. This was possible thanks to FCT’s instrument known as “Research Exchanges”.
The main goal of ACTP – which highly benefitted from FCT’s mobility fellowship instrument to take researchers in Portugal to Austin – was to train these in high-performance computing technologies and services that could accelerate the tasks of digital modeling and simulation, big data processing and visualization applied to any scientific domain.
While broadly rooted in ICT, the program aimed at developing multidisciplinary prowess to enrich the existing High-Performance Computing (HPC) body of knowledge and increase the accessibility of current toolsets to domain-specific scientists. Admitted candidates would benefit from tailored work plans at TACC, i.e., plans to address their research goals and interests, while having access to TACC’s portfolio of training in advanced computation and related resources.
A total of 14 candidates had been selected in 2018 through two competitive calls fully designed and managed by the Program, with 13 of them expected to enroll in the training in the course of 2019. As 5 applicants ended up withdrawing from the training either for personal or professional reasons, the Program supported, in total, 9 placements at ACTP.
This one-of-a-kind pilot training scheme was indeed a unique opportunity for researchers in Portugal to gain access to a research center that designs and operates some of the world’s most powerful computing resources. Additionally, through TACC, participants could also extend their learning experience to other departments, centers or schools of The University of Texas at Austin.