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 2019 Summer Internships in Parallel Computational Science (SIParCS) Program received a total of 273 applications from 197 individuals, who were allowed to apply to one or two positions. The program accepted 14 interns to participate in 13 unique projects for a 7.1% acceptance rate.

2019 SIParCS interns
2019 SIParCS Program interns

This exceptional group of SIParCS interns came from Arizona, Colorado, Indiana, Iowa, Louisiana, Massachusetts, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Texas, and Wyoming. The SIParCS class of 2019 included three female interns, three interns from EPSCoR states, four international students, four interns who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender; one student who identifies as both African-American and Native Hawaiian, Alaskan, or other Indigenous Peoples; one military veteran; and one non-traditional-age student making a career change.

This year’s technical projects included:

  • Applying Machine Learning to Maximize Information Extraction from Imperfect Climate Models

  • Building a Historical Data Image Archive to Support Climate Research and Retrospective Research of Hand-Written Documents

  • Cloud-based Deployment & Analytics for the Community Earth System Model 2 (CESM2) Climate Model

  • Deploying File System Performance Metrics Through Extreme Science and Engineering Discovery Environment (XSEDE) Metrics on Demand (XDMoD)

  • Implementing an Observation Support System for Data Assimilation Research Testbed (DART)

  • In-Situ Visualization for Model for Prediction Across Scale (MPAS)

  • Interactive Science News in Augmented Reality

  • Jupyter Notebooks for High Performance Computing

  • Machine Learning-Based Method for Wind Resource Assessment

  • Porting CESM-MOM6 Ocean Model onto Multiple Architectures

  • Testing Modernization of Scientific Software

  • Using Cloud-Friendly Data Format in Earth System Models

In addition to the technical projects, SIParCS hired a CISL Outreach, Diversity, and Education (CODE) intern. This unique position was created for a graduate student with an interest in supporting diverse students. The CODE 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. They also visited the NCAR-Wyoming Supercomputing Center to see the 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 Rotation Program

In FY2019, CISL continued its innovative Student Assistant Rotation Program (SARP) to provide paid student employees the opportunity to learn about the HPC profession. Five students each served five rotations during the academic year, spending approximately six weeks per rotation. They worked 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 work culture within a national lab.

Students reported having an extremely positive experience and mentors overall were satisfied with the students’ work. Three students were hired after the program as part-time casual student assistants because of their work ethic and skills. Based on the success of the second year of SARP, CISL recruited and brought in five more students for the 2019-20 school year.