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 2017
The SIParCS class of 2017 included 14 interns. Pictured here are (back row): Hoang Nguyen, Zhenzhen Liu, Pranay Reddy Kommera, Yun Joon Soh, Manuel Valera, Ananta Thapaliya, Michelle Anderson, Marcin Jurek, and Adrien Bizimana; (front row) Supreeth Suresh, Nicolas Rodriguez Jeangros, Derrick Jackson, Anderson Banihirwe, and Cuong Manh (Kevin) Nguyen. 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 2017 class of the SIParCS program was an accomplished and diverse group, with two interns from Minority-Serving Institutions (MSIs), two female interns, and six interns from EPSCoR states. EPSCoR states are defined as those determined by the federal 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). Students undertook a wide variety of projects with their mentors: from a team of 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 used PySpark to do data analysis, OpenMD 4.0 SIMD directives to improve single-threaded performance of the NCAR Command Language, and machine learning to improve HPC scheduling. During the summer, SIParCS students participated in enrichment activities such as workshops on resume writing, creating and presenting a scientific talk, and diversity in the workplace. They also engaged in high performance computing (HPC) training classes and a field trip to the NCAR-Wyoming Supercomputing Center (NWSC) to see the new Cheyenne supercomputer. Further, interns had the opportunity to network with interns from other programs including the REMRSEC REU at the Colorado School of Mines. At the end of the summer program, the interns presented their research results at a symposium in NCAR’s main seminar room.

The FY2017 SIParCS program was made possible by NSF Core funding.