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SHARCNET is recruiting for a High Performance Computing Software Specialist. As part of the technical team reporting to the Technical Manager, HPC Software Specialists are responsible for ensuring proper installation of specific software packages and components required by users for effective use of the equipment, such as compilers, debuggers, numeric libraries, profiling and visualization software etc.; ensure efficient operation of these packages including testing their operation and their inter-operation with other software elements; provide upgrades to this software and, as necessary, maintain multiple versions; responsible for evaluating and testing of new tools and packages as required to use the infrastructure effectively; responsible for ensuring appropriate use by the research community of SHARCNET resources with duties including providing training and instruction, advice on proper tools, programming methodology and optimization, and for identifying user needs; development of machine-optimized algorithms; responsible for ensuring that systems are properly utilized to enable and advance key, large-scale projects; monitoring of system use.

The team of specialists is distributed across several of the SHARCNET institutions, but work as a distributed team supporting the research community. Collectively they have expertise across a number of domains, including computational fluid dynamics, monte carlo simulations, data analytics, molecular dynamics. SHARCNET is seeking to hire another computational specialist with strong background in one of the following areas: bioinformatics, computational biology, data analytics for massive data sets, machine learning/artificial intelligence or computational chemistry.

The individual will be hired at one of the following SHARCNET institutions: Brock University, University of Guelph, Lakehead University, McMaster University, Trent University, University of Waterloo, University of Western Ontario, and University of Windsor. Individuals from other SHARCNET institutions, other institutions or organizations in Canada or internationally are welcome to apply but will be expected to relocate to take up the position at one of these institutions.

Candidates for this position must have a Masters in an appropriate discipline (bioinformatics, computational biology, data analytics for massive data sets, machine learning/artificial intelligence or computational chemistry) or related area; a PhD is preferred. The candidate must have experience with software development and discipline-specific packages, particularly open source software; must possess demonstrated experience programming in Fortran, C or C++; excellent verbal and written communication skills; experience writing documentation; demonstrated application programming experience under the Linux operating system in a supercomputing environment; and demonstrated experience with cluster/MPI programming and/or parallelization techniques. Experience in a university research environment is an asset.

Note that this is a full-time, contract position with three years of guaranteed funding available, with the potential for renewal and/or conversion to regular full-time.

Qualified applicants may apply in confidence by submitting a resume on or before August 19, 2019 to careers@sharcnet.ca.



SHARCNET is issuing a call for proposals for Dedicated Programming Support Round XIV. For this round, applications are encouraged that satisfy the programme objectives and priority will be given to proposals that meet one or more of the following conditions:

  • Propose an innovative project that will leverage the capabilities of the national systems, such as “Graham” and the cloud.
  • Propose a programme of work that deals with the efficient processing of large, heterogeneous datasets (“big data”) using a variety of data mining, machine learning or other analytics software.

Applications are submitted via SHARCNET’s webportal and are due by June 2, 2019 at 11:59 pm EST. Consultation with a SHARCNET HPTC prior to submission is required.

Due to the current workload of SHARCNET programming staff, only a limited number of proposals are expected to be awarded in this round. For additional information, please refer to the application guidelines. Questions should be addressed to research-support@sharcnet.ca.



SHARCNET is pleased to announce the results of its Round XIII Dedicated Programming Support competition. The primary objectives of this program are to enable key research projects with the potential for exceptional and lasting impact that require significant programming support to proceed, and facilitate optimal exploitation of SHARCNET’s or Compute Canada’s computing infrastructure for internationally leading research.

In this Round, programmer allocations have been awarded to:

  • Peter Bernath, Chemistry, University of Waterloo

SHARCNET plans to run another competition in the Spring of 2019. Please visit our DP website for more information.



Terms like artificial intelligence and machine learning bring to mind machines that can think, yet scientists are still puzzled as to how the human brain makes judgements or triggers the simple act of blinking.

One neuroscientist from the University of Waterloo has made significant progress in deciphering how those basic brain functions might occur. Dr. Chris Eliasmith is the director of the Centre for Theoretical Neuroscience where the globally renowned SPAUN brain model was developed. It is the world’s largest functional brain model that simulates 6.5 million neurons and is used to understand how the human brain works and how neurons communicate with one another. The large-scale brain model’s capabilities are quite outstanding with a digital eye for visual input, a simulated arm used to draw its responses and the ability to pass basic elements of an IQ test. More info



SHARCNET is issuing a call for proposals for Dedicated Programming Support Round XIII. For this round, applications are encouraged that satisfy the programme objectives and priority will be given to proposals that meet one or more of the following conditions:

  • Propose an innovative project that will leverage the capabilities of the GP3 system, “Graham”, especially GPUs and FPGAs.
  • Propose a programme of work that deals with the efficient processing of large, heterogeneous datasets (“big data”) using a variety of data mining, machine learning or other analytics software.

Applications are submitted via SHARCNET’s webportal and are due by December 9, 2018 at 11:59 pm EST. Consultation with a SHARCNET HPTC prior to submission is required. Note that users must have a SHARCNET webportal account in order to access the online form.

Due to the current workload of SHARCNET programming staff, only a limited number of proposals are expected to be awarded in this round. For additional information, please refer to the application guidelines. Questions should be addressed to research-support@sharcnet.ca.



Orca has been converted to the same software environment as Graham, and now requires your Compute Canada username and password. Software access and job submission works the same way as it does on Graham.

You can connect to the new Orca via orca.computecanada.ca

The legacy SHARCNET software stack is still available and can be used by issuing the following two commands:
module purge --force
export MODULEPATH=/opt/sharcnet/modules

Please report any software issues you find by email to help@sharcnet.ca

On the new Orca you will have the same /home and /project data as you have on Graham. Because user ID numbers are different between SHARCNET and Compute Canada we must convert file ownerships before making /scratch available. All files will eventually be transferred for you and no scratch expiry will happen this month.

Your old /home and /work are still available on the old Orca via orca.sharcnet.ca, dtn.sharcnet.ca and other SHARCNET clusters.



Starting Tuesday, August 21, 2018 at 7 a.m. ET, the power feed to SHARCNET’s main data centre is being upgraded. This will mostly impact Graham but it could also affect storage and general operations of other SHARCNET clusters. We will be posting status messages on our website.

After the outage, on Aug 29th, we will be bringing the orca cluster back into operations with a new software stack. The cluster will be renamed to orca.computecanada.ca and it will have the same scheduler, software availability and storage as Graham. It will maintain unique /scratch storage but /home and /project will be the same storage as Graham. We will maintain a very small orca.sharcnet.ca for a few weeks for any users that need to move files.

Please email help@sharcnet.ca if you have any questions.



SHARCNET is pleased to announce the results of its Round XII Dedicated Programming Support competition. The primary objectives of this program are to enable key research projects with the potential for exceptional and lasting impact that require significant programming support to proceed, and facilitate optimal exploitation of SHARCNET’s or Compute Canada’s computing infrastructure for internationally leading research.

In this Round, programmer allocations have been made to the following researchers:

  • Hugh Couchman, Physics and Astronomy, McMaster University
  • Ranil Sonnadara, Surgery, McMaster University

SHARCNET plans to run another competition in the Fall of 2018. Please visit our DP website for more information. Congratulations to our Round XII awardees!