HPC Students Program

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.


1/22/21 SDSC HPC User Training begins. See details.



SDSC/UCSD SCC20 Team Success at SC20. See SDSC SCC20 Team Info to learn more about the team. 

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 User Training

SDSC supports training of its user community, including students, in all aspects of High-performance computing (HPC). The HPC User 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.


 HPC Students 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.


HPC Students Projects & Activities:

HPC Students is designed to educate students from high school to grad school about HPC, to motivate them to pursue HPC careers, and to serve as bridge between students and HPC-related development, research and researchers. Check out our student project pages for a list current activities. 


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.

SDSC Students@Supercomputing:


Application Deadline: Friday, April 23, 2021
Application Notification: Tuesday, April 27, 2021
Acceptance Deadline: Friday, April 30, 2021
Proposal Due: Monday, May 3, 2021

The San Diego Supercomputer Center (SDSC) and UC San Diego is putting together a team to compete in the Student Cluster Competition (SCC), held at the annual Supercomputing conference SC21 in St. Louis, Missouri.  SCC was developed in 2007 to immerse undergraduate and high school students in high performance computing.  The SCC teams consist of 6 students who will design and build a small cluster with support from mentors and hardware and software vendor partners.  They will learn designated scientific applications and apply optimization techniques for their chosen architectures. SCC teams compete against teams from around the world, in a non-stop 48-hour challenge to complete a real-world scientific workload, while keeping the cluster up and running, and demonstrating to the judges their HPC skills and knowledge.  All team members are invited to attend the conference. Last years SCC20 team placed 4th/19 teams in the overall competition. Check out this news article on the team!

SCC21 Team Application Form:  https://na.eventscloud.com/ereg/newreg.php?eventid=613507&

SCC21 Student Volunteers:  

Student volunteers perform a wide range of tasks for the SC Conference such as providing support for presenters, working the Information Booths, and staffing conference activities. Student volunteers work 15–20 hours during the conference, allowing plenty of time to engage in important educational and career-advancing activities such as tutorials, technical talks, panels, poster sessions, and workshops.  See the SC21 Student Volunteer webpages for details.


Student Internship Positions:

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

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.

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.