Integrate CISL programs with educational opportunities

CISL serves the learning needs of its community by integrating research and education in the computational and Earth system sciences. This interdisciplinary focus enables CISL to complement and supplement related NCAR and UCAR programs and programs at universities and other centers.

Summer Internships in Parallel Computational Science

The 2018 Summer Internships in Parallel Computational Science (SIParCS) Program received a total of 251 applications from 134 individuals, who were allowed to apply to one or two positions. The program accepted 14 interns to participate in 11 unique projects for a 10.4% acceptance rate.

2018 SIParCS Program interns
2018 SIParCS Program interns

In the summer, CISL welcomed another exceptional group of SIParCS interns from across the United States. Students joined from Massachusetts, South Carolina, New York, Washington, Virginia, Montana, Oklahoma, and Colorado. The SIParCS class of 2018 included four female interns and five interns from EPSCoR states. This year’s technical projects included:

  • Improving the Traceability of Data Provenance and the Demonstration of Data Workflows using Linked Data Model

  • Using Machine-Learning to Simplify the Identification of Code Optimization

  • Evaluating the Performance of Large Scale Data Assimilation in Modern Geophysical Models

  • Visualization of Time Series and 3D Spatial Data using Python

  • WRF Scaling, Performance Assessment and Optimization

  • Creating a Jupyter Notebook Kernel for NCL

  • Fortran Standards Toolkit

  • Machine Learning Long Term Weather Forecast

  • Cybersecurity CIS Rollout

  • Supercomputer Infiniband Fabric Analysis

In addition to the technical projects, SIParCS this year included a program intern position. This unique position was created for a graduate student with an interest in supporting diverse students. The program intern was responsible for providing administrative support to the SIParCS Program office, which gave the student experience and insight into running an internship program, advising and mentoring students, and managing events.

SIParCS students also participated in a variety of professional and leadership development workshops such as resume writing, creating and presenting a scientific talk, and diversity in the workplace. One of the highlights of the summer was the all-intern leadership training sponsored by NCAR Education and Outreach, which used interactive and introspective activities to ignite the potential of our emerging leaders.

Interns also engaged in high-performance computing training classes and multiple field trips that took them to NCAR’s Research Aviation Facility to learn about collecting data in airborne research using the C-130 and to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to tour the Space Weather Prediction Station, Earth Systems Research Laboratory Global Monitoring Division, the National Weather Service Forecast Office, and Science on a Sphere. They also visited the NCAR-Wyoming Supercomputing Center to see the new Cheyenne supercomputer, which many of the students used during their internships. At the end of the summer program, the interns presented their research results at a symposium in NCAR’s Mesa Lab main seminar room and they participated in an all-UCAR student poster session.

Student Assistant Program

In FY2018, CISL introduced an innovative program to provide paid student employees the opportunity to learn about the HPC profession. Five students served six-week rotations during the academic year, working with CISL mentors while performing a range of essential work and learning technical job skills, including infrastructure enhancement, updating GIS maps, and responsible code management. The student assistants learned about both HPC and life in a national lab.

Students reported having an extremely positive experience. Their feedback included comments such as, “I'm really grateful for this opportunity that I had here. I loved working at NCAR and learned SO MUCH with CISL” and “It was an awesome experience that I would definitely recommend to others, and I would absolutely consider coming and working for NCAR in the future!” Based on the initial year’s success, CISL recruited and brought in five more students for the 2018-2019 school year.