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PEARC17: The Impacts of Outreach Efforts by Research Computing at the University of Colorado Boulder

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Learn more about training workshops and services that we offer in our Research Computing group at the University of Colorado Boulder.

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PEARC17: The Impacts of Outreach Efforts by Research Computing at the University of Colorado Boulder

  1. 1. Research Computing @ CU Boulder The Impacts of Outreach Efforts by Research Computing at the University of Colorado Boulder Shelley L. Knuth Sarah Papich, Peter Ruprecht, and Thomas Hauser Research Computing University of Colorado
  2. 2. Research Computing @ CU Boulder Project Motivation • Provides computing services beyond the desktop • Are training and outreach benefiting researchers? • Infrastructure only as good as how well users understand how to utilize it • Support researchers without HPC background • Were we doing a good job? 7/11/172
  3. 3. Research Computing @ CU Boulder Methodology • Three-pronged approach • Buy-in on existing services? • New services? • Ticket submissions • Research on other HPC sites • RMACC • Focus Groups • Evaluation of services • Surveys, attendance, anecdotal information • Study time period: January 2016-June 2017 7/11/173 “Itchy and Scratchy Focus Group”
  4. 4. Research Computing @ CU Boulder Evaluation Comments • Survey responses • Feedback limited • Great ideas to implement • Attendance • Filling out registration • Waitlists • Anecdotal information • Word of mouth • Respondent comments 7/11/174
  5. 5. Research Computing @ CU Boulder Services Evaluated/Created • New: • Basics of Supercomputing Bootcamp • Student Cohort • New User Seminar • Existing: • Meetups • Hour long semester seminar series • 11:30 am – 12:30 pm weekly 7/11/175
  6. 6. Research Computing @ CU Boulder “Basics of Supercomputing Bootcamp” • Two days, twice • January 2017, July 2016-17 • Teach beginner users effective HPC use • Computing architecture • Linux • Job submission • Software builds • Data transfer • Parallel Computing 7/11/176 https://www.rc.colorado.edu/meetings/basicsofsupercomputing2017
  7. 7. Research Computing @ CU Boulder Evaluation – Basics Bootcamp • Overall, well received • Most survey respondents said workshop led to account creation or increased usage • Also very effective in learning HPC skills • Recommend: • Small fee • Limit to under 30 • July 2017 • Upcoming • Less participants • Saturated market? 7/11/177
  8. 8. Research Computing @ CU Boulder Student Cohort • Additional consultation source • Group of advanced undergraduates • Respond to ticket inquiries • More one-on-one assistance • Limited resources • Benefit to the students also • Learning opportunity 7/11/178
  9. 9. Research Computing @ CU Boulder Evaluation - Cohort • Supported ten users between August 2016 and May 2017 • Three responded to survey • All three respondents praised the cohort’s helpfulness and effectiveness • Also, shown impact for the students • Increased HPC knowledge • Increased programming knowledge • Exposed to different domains • Working with people 7/11/179
  10. 10. Research Computing @ CU Boulder New User Seminar • Learn skills to utilize RC resources • Based on ticket questions and focus groups • Account creation • Allocation requests • Logging in • Storage • Job submission • Software installation • Two hours, once per month • Three since March 2017 7/11/1710
  11. 11. Research Computing @ CU Boulder Evaluation – New User Seminar • March, May, and June 2017 • Approximately thirty people attended • 97% of survey respondents rated the training as “good” or “very good” • Anecdotal comments on helpfulness of seminar • Ticket responses on topics covered in the seminar • 72% from February 2015-2017 • 66% from March 2017-June 15, 2017 7/11/1711
  12. 12. Research Computing @ CU Boulder Changes to Meetups • Attendance at weekly meetups dropped from 20+ people to 3-4 • 3% of members responded to survey • Web streaming capability • More advanced topics • Change in time (from lunch time to 4 pm) • Bi-weekly • Reminders sent one hour prior 7/11/1712
  13. 13. Research Computing @ CU Boulder Evaluation - Meetup • No attendance change in Fall 2016 • 20+ people in beginning of Spring 2017 • Coincided with introduction of Summit • Dropped to 3-4 people after topics changed • Suggested changes seemed to have no attendance impact • Lots of effort for RC employees • Decided to forego for Fall 2017 7/11/1713
  14. 14. Research Computing @ CU Boulder Lessons and Future Work • More feedback! • More focus groups • Survey early and often • Give time in trainings for surveys • Who is coming? • What is everyone else doing? • Online documentation overhaul • Short courses • Short how-to videos 7/11/1714
  15. 15. Research Computing @ CU Boulder Questions? Shelley.Knuth@colorado.edu Basics Workshop in July 2017: https://www.rc.colorado.edu/meetings/basicsofsupercom puting2017 Research Computing at CU-Boulder: https://www.rc.colorado.edu/ 7/11/1715

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