Get Ready for Research Computing Fall Bootcamp!

research computing fall bootcamp
September 16, 2019

Brush up on your research computing skills with IST's Fall Bootcamp, September 23 to October 4!

Does your research rely on computing, or are you curious about research data management and other library-assisted research topics? Then join IST and the Libraries from September 23 to October 4 for their Research Computing Fall Bootcamp! 

This two-week-long event is designed for faculty members, students, postdoctoral fellows, and other researchers across campus. Registrants can partake in workshops on a variety of research computing topics, such as Python, HPC clusters, data management planning, and more!

Registration is free and open to all. Anyone who wishes to learn more about research computing is welcome to attend. 

Browse workshops below: 

Research Solutions Networking
Date:
Monday, September 23
Time: 1:30 - 3pm
Location: ECHA, 3rd Floor, South Atrium (use the south elevator and enter the double doors off the 3rd floor elevator lobby)
Facilitator: John Simpson
Register now!

Research computing on campus is supported by a number of different people and organizations, making it the case that deploying new or suitably complicated projects can be difficult to coordinate. This session targets both research support providers and those in need of support, putting them in the same place for informal networking. Come out for quick conversations to discover common challenges and discover the people and ideas that can help you get your research done.
 
HPC: Shell
Date: Monday, September 23
Time: 9am-12pm
Location: ECHA 2-420
Facilitator: John Simpson
AT CAPACITY - join the waitlist!

This is the first workshop in a three-part series designed to move researchers from no previous experience using high performance computing (HPC) clusters towards a position of confidence and competence. The HPC clusters available for research use to U of A researchers all use various flavours of Linux, so some experience in a command line environment is needed to begin to use them. This workshop provides that background in a friendly, jargon-minimized, hands-on environment.
 
If you are using Windows and do not already have a Shell installed (Linux and MacOS come with them built in), the option we recommend is to install the Git Shell from https://git-scm.com/download/win but you are welcome to use any option that will give you the ability to open a secure shell (SSH) to a remote system and also emulate a shell on in your desktop environment.

HPC: Essentials
Date: Wednesday, September 25
Time: 9am - 12pm
Location: ECHA L1-420
Facilitator: Kamil Marcinkowski
AT CAPACITY - join the waitlist!

This is the second workshop in a three-part series designed to move researchers from no previous experience using high performance computing (HPC) clusters towards a position of confidence and competence. This workshop focuses on the mechanics of submitting programs (aka “jobs”) to the clusters so that they can be scheduled and run. Led by Kamil Marcinkowski, scheduling team lead for Compute Canada, this workshop will contain extra emphasis on interacting with the scheduler to ensure that your work is getting done rather than sitting in the queue. This workshop provides that background in a friendly, jargon-minimized, hands-on environment.
 
If you are using Windows and do not already have a Shell installed (Linux and MacOS come with them built in), the option we recommend is to install the Git Shell from https://git-scm.com/download/win but you are welcome to use any option that will give you the ability to open a secure shell (SSH) to a remote system and also emulate a shell on in your desktop environment.
 
HPC: Beyond
Date: Wednesday, September 25
Time: 1-4pm
Location: ECHA L1-420
Facilitator: Chris Want
AT CAPACITY - join the waitlist!

This is the third workshop in a three-part series designed to move researchers from no previous experience using high performance computing (HPC) clusters towards a position of confidence and competence. This final workshop builds on the previous two by covering content that will influence how programs are written and compiled in the first place to make sure that you are getting the most work done for the time you have on the system. This workshop provides that background in a friendly, jargon-minimized, hands-on environment.
 
If you are using Windows and do not already have a Shell installed (Linux and MacOS come with them built in), the option we recommend is to install the Git Shell from https://git-scm.com/download/win but you are welcome to use any option that will give you the ability to open a secure shell (SSH) to a remote system and also emulate a shell on in your desktop environment.

Scheduling
Date: Friday, September 27
Time: 9am - 4pm
Location: ECHA 2-420 (morning) & ECHA 2-430 (afternoon)
Facilitator: Kamil Marchinkowski
Register now!

This session is designed for participants familiar with Linux, Shell Scripting and running simple jobs on a cluster (attending the earlier sessions HPC: Shell and HPC: Essentials will suffice). 

We will cover the following topics:

  • how the scheduler works on Compute Canada systems and how it picks (allocates) which jobs run next;
  • why your jobs do not run, either at all or quickly, and what can be done about it;
  • how to use resources more efficiently to maximize throughput; and
  • how to troubleshoot and deal with crashes.

We will also touch on some specialized topics, such as running a large number of jobs, running interactive jobs, long-running jobs, large memory use, and Graphics Processing Units (GPUs).

As we will be doing hands-on work, participants are strongly encouraged to bring a laptop to submit jobs and examine the cluster. We recommend having a Compute Canada account in order to inspect a decently sized working cluster, but this is not a requirement. 

If you are using Windows and do not already have a Shell installed (Linux and MacOS come with them built in), the option we recommend is to install the Git Shell from https://git-scm.com/download/win but you are welcome to use any option that will give you the ability to open a secure shell (SSH) to a remote system and also emulate a shell on in your desktop environment.
 
Compute Canada’s Resource Allocation Competition (RAC) Simplified
Date:
Friday, September 27
Time: 10 - 11:30am
Location: GSB 315
Facilitator: John Simpson
Register now!

Find out what you need to get started preparing your application and highlight the specific aspects to pay attention to for success with Compute Canada’s annual Resource Allocation Competition (RAC). Hosted by John Simpson, Chair of Compute Canada’s Science Leadership Council, this will be a no-nonsense overview of the RAC application cycle with particular attention paid to the review and allocation processes so that you can prepare the strongest application possible. The final 30 minutes will be reserved for questions and discussion between attendees and the various Compute Canada experts in the room.
 
Introduction to R for Social Sciences
Date:
Tuesday, October 1
Time: 9am - 4pm
Location: ECHA 2-140
Facilitator: John Simpson
AT CAPACITY - join the waitlist!

This workshop uses a tabular interview dataset from the SAFI Teaching Database and teaches data analysis and visualization using R. There are no prerequisites, and the materials assume no prior knowledge about the tools. We use a single dataset throughout the workshop to model the data management and analysis workflow that a researcher would use. The workshop is drawn directly from Data Carpentry’s R for Social Sciences curriculum which participants are welcome to either view in advance or independently from the workshop.
 
Introduction to Python, Pandas, and Plotting (day 1)
Date:
Monday, September 30
Time: 9:30am - 4pm
Location: ECHA 2-140
Facilitator: Chris Want
AT CAPACITY - join the waitlist!

This is a two-day introductory session on using the Python programming language, with a particular focus on data analysis using the Pandas library and plotting. No previous programming experience assumed. Bring your own laptop with Python 3 installed. If you do not have a version of Python and are not sure where to start, then consider following the instructions for you operating system that are found at https://swcarpentry.github.io/python-novice-gapminder/setup/

Please note that day two of the course will be held Wednesday, October 2 in ECHA L1-420.
 
Introduction to Python, Pandas, and Plotting (day 2)
Date:
Wednesday, October 2
Time: 9:30am - 4pm
Location: ECHA L1-420
Facilitator: Chris Want

This is the continuation of the Introductory Python workshop. If you have registered for day one, then you are automatically registered for day two. Please note the room change!
 
Intermediate Python: Parallelism
Date:
Friday, October 4
Time: 9am - 12pm
Location: ECHA L1-420
Facilitator: Chris Want
AT CAPACITY - join the waitlist!

This half-day session will focus on writing parallel programs with Python (via the DASK library). Students should know some Python (preferably through the introductory Python session held earlier in the week). 
 
Bring your own laptop with Python 3 installed. If you do not have a version of Python and are not sure where to start, then consider following the instructions for you operating system that are found at https://swcarpentry.github.io/python-novice-gapminder/setup/
 
Intermediate Python: Plotting
Date:
Friday, October 4
Time: 1pm - 4pm
Location: ECHA L1-420
Facilitator: Chris Want
AT CAPACITY - join the waitlist! 

This half-day session will look at creating interactive visualizations beyond the standard MatPlotLib using Plotly. Students should know some Python (preferably through the introductory Python session held earlier in the week). 
 
Bring your own laptop with Python 3 installed. If you do not have a version of Python and are not sure where to start, then consider following the instructions for you operating system that are found at https://swcarpentry.github.io/python-novice-gapminder/setup/
 
Why Use Google Drive? Keep Your Work Life Sane and the University Safe.
Date:
Friday, October 4
Time: 9-9:50am
Location: Cameron 2-20 (Digital Scholarship Centre)
Facilitator: Nuno Luzio
AT CAPACITY - join the waitlist!

Google Drive is a secure and modern digital workspace that offers reliable long-term storage for all your files, built right in to your UAlberta account. This session will provide an overview of Google Drive, highlighting key benefits, examining the differences between My Drive vs. Shared Drive, and sharing some best practices and guidelines.
 
Twitter Scraping for Researchers
Date:
Friday, October 4
Time: 10-11:20am
Location: Cameron 2-20 (Digital Scholarship Centre)
Facilitator: John Simpson
AT CAPACITY - join the waitlist!

This workshop will provide you with a Jupyter notebook with all the core components needed to collect tweets from Twitter. During the workshop you will be walked through the notebook and learn the various ways that developers can access Twitter and the restrictions that exist. The workbook covers database access but we may not be able to cover this fully in the allotted time. 
 
To get the most out of this workshop, you should already have an account with Twitter that you have administrative control over and you should have developer access for this account turned on (see https://developer.twitter.com/ and note that it can take 2-3 days for developer access to be granted). If you do not have developer access, you will still be able to participate in the workshop but your experience may be more limited.
 
A.I. with Maixduino
Date:
Friday, October 4
Time: 11:30-11:50am
Location: Cameron 2-20 (Digital Scholarship Centre)
Facilitator: Erming Pei
AT CAPACITY - join the waitlist!

This will be an introductory session to demonstrate how to do AI with Maixduino, a variation of the well-known Arduino board, which is a cheap but powerful SBC (single board computer) for AI aficionados to develop AI-based applications.
 
During this session, you will be introduced to the main features of Maixduino, including the hardware and the development environment, followed by a demo of a few AI applications with MaixPy (micropython), tiny-Yolo, and Tensorflow, such as colour detection and face recognition.
This talk is also a precursor of a hands-on workshop using Maixduino, which is planned for future training sessions.
 
Data Management Plans & Using the Portage DMP Assistant
Date:
Friday, October 4
Time: 12-12:50pm
Location: Cameron 2-20 (Digital Scholarship Centre)
Facilitator: James Doiron
Register now!

James Doiron, UofA Libraries Research Data Management Services Coordinator, will offer an applied session focused upon data management planning. Topics covered will include the importance and benefits of DMPs, how they can support your research, as well as an in-depth look at their content. Additionally, a hands-on demonstration of the freely available Portage Data Management Planning (DMP) Assistant platform will be offered. 
 
Participants are welcome to bring their own laptops should they wish to create a DMP Assistant account and learn to navigate and use this gold standard data management planning tool.
 
An Introduction to Dataverse: Supporting Research Data Deposit, Access, and Preservation
Date:
Friday, October 4
Time: 1-1:50pm
Location: Cameron 2-20 (Digital Scholarship Centre)
Facilitator: James Doiron
Register now!

James Doiron, the UofA Libraries Research Data Management Services Coordinator, will offer an applied session focused on Dataverse. Topics covered will include the importance and benefits of depositing your research data, impending related policies, as well as a hands-on demonstration of the UofA Libraries’ freely available Dataverse platform. Participants are welcome to bring their own laptops should they wish to create an account and learn to navigate and use Dataverse.
 
Failure for Project Managers
Date:
Friday, October 4
Time: 2-2:50pm
Location: Cameron 2-20 (Digital Scholarship Centre)
Facilitator: Lydia Zvyagintseva
Register now!

Failure is the “F” word: the dreaded taboo that every developer, project manager, and organizational leader fears. Our natural inclination is to avoid it, flee from it, or bury it away. But it also has intrinsic value and is an essential step on the path to professional and organizational development. And since it’s inevitable, we ought to learn how to face failure, how to talk about it as project leaders, and how to grow from it. This session will include case studies, round-table discussions, and, for those interested in sharing, opportunities to briefly share examples of failures we’ve dealt in our own work. This session is a safe space for us to explore failure, to talk about our own experiences with failure, and to encourage enlightened risk taking.
 
Let's Talk about Maps
Date: Friday, October 4
Time: 3-3:50pm
Location: Cameron 2-20 (Digital Scholarship Centre)
Facilitator: Kate Cawthorn
AT CAPACITY - join the waitlist!

An introduction to maps and mapping applications. Topics will include how maps can be used effectively, mapping concepts and conventions, and an overview of Q-GIS. 
 
 
Research Computing Fall Bootcamp is held in collaboration with University of Alberta Libraries and Information Services & Technology (IST).