HPC Workforce Development of Undergraduates Outside the R1

Scott Feister and Elizabeth Blackwood

Volume 13, Issue 2 (December 2022), pp. 8–11


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  author={Scott Feister and Elizabeth Blackwood},
  title={HPC Workforce Development of Undergraduates Outside the R1},
  journal={The Journal of Computational Science Education},
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Many Research-1 (R1) universities create investments in High Performance Computing (HPC) centers to facilitate grant-funded computing projects, leading to student training and outreach on campus. However, creating an HPC workforce pipeline for undergraduates at non-research-intensive universities requires creative, zero-cost education and exposure to HPC. We describe our approach to providing HPC education and opportunities for students at California State University Channel Islands, a four-year university / Hispanic-Serving Institution (HSI) with a primarily first-generation-to-college student population. We describe how we educate our university population in HPC without a dedicated HPC training budget. We achieve this by (1) integrating HPC topics and projects into non-HPC coursework, (2) organizing a campus-wide data analysis and visualization student competition with corporate sponsorship, (3) fielding undergraduate teams in an external, equity-focused supercomputing competition, (4) welcoming undergraduates into faculty HPC research, and (5) integrating research data management principles and practices into coursework. The net effect of this multifaceted approach is that our graduates are equipped with core competencies in HPC and are excited about entering HPC careers.