UIT Strategic Priority: Research Computing - University of Houston
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Research Computing

OVERVIEW

Research demand for High-performance Computing (HPC) is growing rapidly across more academic disciplines, requiring faster computing, ability to manage and transfer ever larger amounts of data quickly and securely and to a broader community, and shorter front-end time from needs request to computing to science acquisition to knowledge dissemination and technology transfer.

ALIGNMENT

  • With the University — National Competitiveness: The quality, capability and performance of HPC resources are critical factors in strengthening the status of UH as a nationally competitive public research university.
  • With the University — Local and National Recognition: Advanced computing resources help to secure local and national recognition for UH research achievements.
  • With the UH System — Community Advancement: HPC plays a key role in enabling rapid progress from research to technology transfer that directly contributes to Community Advancement.
  • With the State — Data Utility: The UIT HPC group’s efforts, together with those of Core facility for Advanced Computing and Data Science (CACDS), directly accomplish the Data Analytics component of TX-DIR’s  Data Utility strategic goal and can promote the Open Data component of the Data Utility goal.

Research Computing 

CURRENT STATE

  • The UIT-HPC group provides infrastructure support, system administration and backup for computing, as well as storage equipment, including the clusters at CACDS, and other equipment (mostly grant funded) housed in the Research Computing Center.
  • UIT is not generally involved in projects until hardware is acquired, and is not often consulted for input to grant proposals. UIT can add more to the value of HPC resources throughout the process.

PATH TO SUCCESS

  • Continue the UIT-HPC/CACDS partnership to propel UH research forward by reducing barriers to entry for new researchers interested in High Performance Computing, especially those in less represented areas like arts/humanities, social sciences and business.
  • Improve administrative processes to acquire and use research IT resources. Speed is essential not just in computing and handling data, but also in acquiring and implementing technology.

FY2020 INITIATIVES

  • Actively advise on emerging directions, such as massively scalable database architecture, cloud-based HPC and Science DMZ for secure, rapid sharing of large datasets over high-speed WAN.
  • Promote awareness and use of HPC by under-represented areas, offering guidance in business processes like funding, and not just the technology.
  • Give researchers opportunities to consult with UIT and CACDS experts throughout the research cycle, from planning through post-publication storage and data sharing.
  • Facilitate archiving of and rapid access to research data to overcome data islands and maximize scientific utilization and application after the primary project.