FIU and XSEDE to host computational workshops

Maria Britos/ Contributing Writer

Researchers, scientists and even faculty and students at the University will have the opportunity to learn and accelerate their research with the Extreme Science and Engineering Discovery Environment. Funded by the National Science Foundation, XSEDE is a virtual system of High Performance Computing that scientists and researchers use to share and have access to data, computing resources and expertise.

One of XSEDE’s goals is to promote the use of High Performance Computer, or supercomputing, by offering regional workshops and outreach programs. The University, alongside the Sunshine State Education and Research Computing Alliance, has partnered with XSEDE to co-host a series of computational workshops on campus.

XSEDE’s target audience includes faculty and students in science, engineering or computer science disciplines that are interested in using computing power to analysis of large amounts of data or have a need to to use large amounts of computer assisted processing to solve complex problem.

“I have never been to any of the workshops but I am really interested in it,” said Miguel Macias, freshman computer science major. “I know that part of being a scientist is dedicated to sharing ideas so learning about this will definitely benefit us.”

Mike Kirgan, associate director of University Technology Services, said learning about and having access to High Performance Computing both at the campus level, through the Division of Information Technology’s Instructional and Research Computing Center and through offerings from XSEDE, helps keep the University’s faculty and students competitive at the national level in the areas of research and academic study.

“With this type of technology being more commonly required in so many disciplines, it is becoming increasingly important that we provide access to computational computing here at FIU,” said Kirgan. “So our student’s first experience with them are not when they get their first job.”

The workshop is open to students of all majors. However, Kirgan said science, engineering and mathematics majors will most benefit from it since they will be using this type of resource during their careers.

“XSEDE is one of the biggest providers of this type of technology on a national level, so by having it here at FIU, it gives us a chance to see some of the most advanced computational technologies out there and it will certainly help us in research and academics methods,” said Kirgan.

The workshop will be held on April 4 and April 5 at the College of Business Complex, free to faculty and students. The topics that will be offered during the workshop will be customized based on participants’ requests when they register through the email that was sent out by the Division of Information Technology. Some examples, according to Kirgan, already requested include parallel computing, modeling and simulation.