HPC Students Program

HPC Students @ SDSC

A program for educating and training the next generation of HPC professionals and researchers

The HPC Students Program focuses on educating and training the next generation of High-Performance Computing undergraduates, graduates, professionals and researchers; motivating them to pursue HPC careers; and serving as a bridge between students and HPC-related research and researchers at SDSC. The program initially works with UCSD undergraduates, and will be expanded to include other groups as time and budget permits.


September 9, 2020: SDSC/UCSD SCC20 Team Selected to Compete at SCC20!

The SC20 Student Cluster Competition has shifted to a virtual competition. For this virtual SCC, or “VSCC,” 17 teams from around the world will compete in a novel setting using Microsoft Azure Cloud resources. For more information, see the SCC20 Blog: Global Lineup Will Compete at SC’s First Virtual Student Cluster Competition

See the SDSC SCC20 Team Info page to learn more about the team. 

New:  Join the HPC Students announcement mailing list.



 Key Goals:

  • To facilitate and increase interactions between the San Diego Supercomputer Center and UCSD students.
  • To educate and train students in all things HPC: parallel programming, running applications, learning hardware.
  • To connect students to the wider world of HPC through events, meetings, interactions with industry, attending meetings.
  • To participate in HPC related events at SDSC/UCSD, in San Diego, and at relevant meetings. 
  • To mentor students to help train the next generation of scientists

The program is committed to sponsoring and supporting student activities through funding and providing of resources. This includes:

  • Interaction and outreach to UCSD Clubs, including the newly formed UCSD Supercomputing Club.
  • Hosting student focused training workshops/bootcamps/hackathons/material. 
  • Support and advocacy for students applying to HPC related activities including applications for graduate school, grants, support to travel to meetings, etc.
  • Increased student participation at conferences & meetings, including local, national, and international.
  • Providing a path to getting credit for participation via the SDSC/UCSD Co-Curricular Credit Program.
  • Mentoring and sponsoring competitive teams, such as the annual Student Cluster Competitions.
  • Support of SDSC and NSF broader engagement goals.


HPC Training

SDSC supports training of its user community, including students, in all aspects of High-performance computing (HPC). The HPC Students Training activity is designed to promote workforce development in technologies needed to work in HPC. The HPC Students training is provided free to all UCSD students (both graduate and undergraduate), post-docs, and other researchers. Plans are under way to offer this training to faculty, staff, and collaborators on SDSC systems.

The scope of the training effort includes several skill development activities, including:

  • Study HPC architectures, software, and admin skills.
  • Learn the basics of parallel programming, including MPI using C, Fortran, and possibly other languages.
  • Running HPC applications in the areas of performance characterization of the cluster, bioinformatics, numerical methods, password security, and other applications.
  • Visualization and analysis of big data sets.

Note: HPC Training for 2020 is closed. The next HPC Training will begin in January, 2021. For more information, join the HPC Students announcement mailing list.


Student Club Services

SDSC is providing support to the UCSD Supercomputing Club in the form of staff mentors, use of public spaces, access to HPC resources, and funding for some activities. The program is committed to supporting other relevant student organizations on campus with significant resources in support of common goals. Some of the benefits SDSC provides include:

  • Meeting and lab space
  • Access to SDSC (and the NSF-sponsored XSEDE project) supercomputing resources and expertise
  • Mentoring for projects, activities, and club events
  • Connections to industry and technology companies.
  • Funding for some activities.

Other HPC Related Activities & Opportunities

The program supports, advocates for, and mentors students applying for HPC-related activities: grants, support to travel to meetings, etc. Our goal is to increase student participation at conferences & meetings, including local, national, and international.

SDSC Students@Supercomputing:

Applications are open (February 10, 2020 – June 26, 2020) for Student Volunteers (including Leads and SCinet), the Student Cluster Competition, and the new #HPCImmersion Program. Get your application started today to join us at #SC20 in Atlanta, GA for the SC Conference! https://sc20.supercomputing.org/program/studentssc/

SDSC supports student participation in many national and international conferences, and Supercomputing is one of our favorites! Last year SDSC and ARM sponsored 4 Student Volunteers. Keep an eye on this spot for potential student travel support.  


Student Internship Positions:

SDSC paid internship positions are listied on Handshake. More info on Handshake can be found on TritonLlink. 

3/1/2020:  High performance computing opportunities for students

The San Diego Supercomputer Center (SDSC) is looking for students who want to work on the nation’s most powerful supercomputers. SDSC’s Comet system, with a theoretical peak performance of over 2 petaflops (2 x 10^15 floating point math operations per second), is used by thousands of researchers across the country, providing computational resources that advance discovery across every domain of science and engineering. Later this year SDSC will deploy Expanse, which will more than double the performance of Comet and provide new capabilities, including integration with public cloud resources.

Specific opportunities depend on the skills and interests of the applications, but some examples include:

  • Provide front-line assistance to researchers in a broad range of disciplines including bioinformatics, computer science, astrophysics, chemistry, engineering, finance and the social science. Student consultants will work closely with SDSC applications and user support staff to address more difficult problems that may require substantial effort to solve.
  • Work with the HPC System team in areas of systems programming, administration, monitoring, and operations. Tasks can range from helping resolve routine problems with job submission, accounts, file systems and compilation to addressing more complex issues related to developing, tuning, debugging, profiling and running parallel software.
  • Analyze system and application performance data to better understand how the system performs and can be optimized under various workloads.
  • Develop user documentation, tutorials, Jupyter Notebooks, GitHub repos, and other outreach materials aimed at educating users and improving overall user experience and success in using the systems.

 Applicants are expected to have basic Linux skills, plus an interest in high performance computing (HPC) and a willingness to learn new technologies. SDSC staff will serve as mentors to help the students develop the skills and knowledge necessary to be successful in their work.  For more information, see https://www.sdsc.edu/services/hpc/hpc_systems.html and https://www.sdsc.edu/education_and_training/hpc_students.html

 Applicants should be committed to working 8-10 hours/week during the academic year, with exceptions made for the midterm and finals periods. Options exist for more extensive hours during breaks and summer.


Become a Sponsor of HPC Students

Contact Mary Thomas (mthomas at sdsc.edu),  or contribute to HPC Students and the Supercomputing Club here.

Join the HPC Students announcement mailing list.