OLCF hosts summer training session

On June 21–22, interns and other participants at Oak Ridge National Laboratory had the chance to run challenge problems on the nation’s fastest supercomputer at a summer hands-on training session hosted by the Oak Ridge Leadership Computing Facility (OLCF), a US Department of Energy Office of Science user facility.

This year’s meeting was held entirely online because of the COVID-19 pandemic. More than 130 users—mostly interns and students but also others in the OLCF user community—joined the Zoom call, said Suzanne Parete-Koon, a high-performance computing (HPC) engineer who organized the event.

“Compared to previous years, this one did extremely well in terms of participation,” Parete-Koon said.

Parete-Koon and Tom Papatheodore, another HPC engineer, walked participants through an overview of Summit, the OLCF’s flagship 200-petaflop IBM AC922 system, and a series of presentations by OLCF staff on the tools and techniques that take full advantage of the supercomputer’s power.

Entrants were then free to work through challenges on the Ascent training system, a stand-alone 18-node system built along the same architecture and design as Summit. Ascent’s computational power equals about one cabinet of Summit’s.

“The exercises were all straightforward to follow and gave a good introduction to the tools used in HPC,” said Kyle Cole, an undergraduate student at Michigan State University.

Users submitted a total of 938 jobs to Ascent.

“The format we used for this training is based on one that several of us developed for student tutorials and other conferences, so it’s a pretty consistently successful formula,” Parete-Koon said.

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