Research computing cluster
This project is to develop a Garage Physics research computing cluster using surplus nodes and storage. This represents an opportunity to learn system administration and a bit about IT infrastructure. Talk to Ian, Matt, and departmental admin Chad Seys <email@example.com> to assist.
The goal is to support physics undergraduate and graduate students along with Garage members who meander in from other departments, folks who might not be readily or comfortably find on the department server or research computers. The cluster would provide training in UNIX/LINIX OS shells and scripting languages, support training in program development like g++, and provide various open source softwares and CERN products. We would offer mini classes in such things. It would support small group compute projects like the muon tomography reconstruction project of Bia and Anna using GEANT and tomographic image codes and the EEG data analysis project. It could be home to a web server for Garage website development. It should support JAVA. I think offering a central filesystem for code and data with remote login will greatly benefit these projects. At the moment, students are using personal laptops and have difficulty collaborating.
We can house the system in one or other Garage side room to contain noise and presumably not be too concerned with cooling. I imagine a half dozen CPUs and a few terabytes of disk. We have a few PCs in Garage to support logins.
The PCs can provide training in products designed for PCs like Labview used in research labs and Mathematica and Matlab (available from UW) as well as CAD programs for 3d-printers and data acquisition and control for Pasco equipment and the Kinect system - things of that sort.
The cluster and PCs require administration and attention to and enforcement of UW computing policies regarding appropriate and lawful use and regarding security. A student with an interest in learning IT system management might handle much of the setup and be responsible with day to day administration with oversight and help from department IT staff.