Provide internships and externships that support CISL research

The Summer Internships in Parallel Computational Science (SIParCS) program seeks to develop students with backgrounds in computational science, applied mathematics, computer science, or the computational geosciences. The 11-week internships provide opportunities for exceptional students to gain practical experience with a wide variety of parallel computational science problems by working with the HPC systems and applications related to NCAR’s Earth System science mission. CISL’s goal is to support 12 or more internships each summer to create a critical of mass of intern peers and to increase the program’s visibility outside NCAR.

SIParCS class of 2016
The SIParCS class of 2016 included 13 interns. Pictured here are, (back row) Tao Zhao, Vinay Ramakrishnaiah, Andre Nunes Guerrero, Negin Sobhani, Sisi Liu, Delilah Feng, Samm Elliott, Francois Hebert, Pulong Ma, Pranay Reddy Kommera, and Ramesh Baral, (front row) Marjani Peterson, Xiaoying Pu, and Nihanth Cherukuru . SIParCS is an 11-week summer program run by CISL that provides undergraduate and graduate students with an opportunity to work on research projects in the computational sciences that span computer science, applied mathematics, statistics, visualization, and software engineering.

The ultimate goal of SIParCS is to address shortages of trained scientists and engineers capable of using and maintaining these high-end systems to achieve the goals of 21st-century computational geoscience research. SIParCS supports NCAR’s and CISL’s core missions in education and directly contributes to CISL’s strategic imperative to integrate research and education. CISL is teaching the mathematical and computational science concepts and skills that students will need to make effective use of advanced cyberinfrastructure.

The 2016 class of the SIParCS program was an accomplished and diverse group, with two interns from Minority-Serving Institutions (MSIs), four female interns, and four interns from EPSCoR states. EPSCoR states are defined as those determined by the government to be underserved by federal research and education funding, and are thus eligible to receive funds to advance their research infrastructure through the Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR). Also varied were the types of projects students undertook with their mentors: they ranged from a team of one undergraduate and two graduate students designing and building an end-to-end, cloud-based workflow for collecting, storing, and displaying real-time weather data on a website using low-cost Raspberry-Pi processors, to interns using parallel computation to accelerate statistical analysis. Others worked on the implementation and design of parallel atmospheric PDE solvers on many-core CPUs and GPUs, extending the 2D MPI parallel implementation of DG-NH to GPUs, while others focused on enhancing the performance of climate models and climate data analysis workflows. Still others focused on writing an application to automate Fortran-C interoperability, and creating an augmented reality application to display data sets in an engaging manner. During the summer, SIParCS students had an opportunity for enrichment activities such as a resume-writing seminar, workshop on creating and presenting a scientific talk, workshop on diversity in the workplace, high performance computing (HPC) training classes, and a field trip to the NCAR-Wyoming Supercomputing Center (NWSC) to see the Yellowstone supercomputer. At the end of the summer program, the interns presented their research results at a symposium in NCAR’s main seminar room.

The FY2016 SIParCS program was made possible by NSF Core funding.