HPC @ HMC: Survey Results

In November 2011, CIS conducted a short survey on the use of High Performance Computing (HPC) resources at Harvey Mudd College. We received 16 responses: 14 HPC users and 2 non-HPC users. We truly appreciate their time to fill out the survey. In this article, we share some of the interesting results considering the answers from those 14 HPC users.

1. Departments using HPC in research and/or teaching


First, we wished to know which departments were using HPC systems for their academic activities. Although we only had 14 responses, the result was clear. All seven departments have been involved in using HPC resources! Go Mudders! :)

2. The nature of the HPC use


In this question, the majority of the responders answered that they have used HPC facilities for simulation, data acquisition and analysis, and modeling. The “Other” selection includes computer animation, mathematical computation, teaching HPC and HPC research.

3. The location of the HPC facility


This result may be a bit misleading because multiple selection was allowed. One of the responders have used off-campus HPC facility and the rest have their HPC facilities in department labs or computer rooms. Four of them also have additional high-end workstations under/on their desks. The “Other” selection indicated the use of a CIS server.

4. What have you used HPC for?  All of the 14 respondents answered that they’ve used HPC resources for research and four of them have also used the resources for teaching as well (one of the four respondents teaches about HPC in class). Notice that multiple selection was also allowed for this question.

5. How do the HPC facilities you use meet your needs? Current and Future


CIS is always interested in knowing whether computing resources meet your needs now and in the future. About half of the responders thought that they have acceptable HPC systems for current and future needs. Most of the responders who chose “acceptable” for both current and future have relatively new HPC systems (< 1 year). On the other hand, those who have HPC systems older than 3 years said that the resource might not meet their needs in the future. CIS may help find required HPC resources for those who responded this question with “unacceptable” (and “neutral”). For example, FutureGrid resources may fit to your needs as it was introduced in this news article. Please contact our Scientific Computing Specialist (or leave your comments) for any assistance in finding the right HPC resources for you.

Through this survey, we believe that we’ve gathered very useful information for our HMC community. The HPC survey is still open at http://www.formstack.com/forms/hmc-hpc_survey_f2011. When you have time, please fill out this short survey so that we know more about your needs in High Performance Computing and help you accordingly.