What types of research programs / support are provided to the research community?
Our overall intent is to provide support that can both respond to the range of needs that the user community presents and help to increase the sophistication of the community and enable new and larger-in-scope applications making use of SHARCNET's HPC facilities. The range of support can perhaps best be understood in terms of a pyramid:
At the apex of the pyramid, SHARCNET supports a small number of projects with dedicated programmer support. The intent is to enable projects that will have a lasting impact and may lead to a "step change" in the way research is done at SHARCNET. Inter-disciplinary and inter-institutional projects are particularly welcomed. For the latest information about the program, including application guidelines, please see the Programming Competition page in our web portal. For information about projects that have been supported please see: Dedicated Programming Support Projects.
The middle layers of support are provided through a number of initiatives.
- Programming support of more modest duration (several days to one month engagement, usually part time)
- Training on a variety of topics through workshops, seminars and online training materials
- Consultation. This may include user-initiated interactions on particular programs, algorithms, techniques, debugging, optimization etc., as well as unsolicited help to ensure effective use of SHARCNET systems
- Site Leaders play an important role in working with the community to help researchers connect with SHARCNET staff and to obtain appropriate help and support.
The base level of the pyramid handles the very large number of small requests that are essential to keeping the user community working effectively with the infrastructure on a day-to-day basis. Several of these can be answered by this FAQ; many of the issues are presented through the ticketing system. The support is largely problem oriented with each problem being time limited.