Contributing To the International HPC Certification Forum

Mr Lev Lafayette1, Dr Julian Kunkel2, Ms Weronika  Filinger3, Dr Christian Meesters4, Ms Anja Gerbes5

1University Of Melbourne
2University of Reading, Reading, United Kingdom
3University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, United Kingdom
4Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz, Mainz, Germany
5Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am Main, Frankfurt am Main, Germany

As datasets grow in size and complexity faster than personal computational devices are able to perform more researchers seek HPC systems as a solution to their computational problems. However, many researchers lack the familiarity with the environment for HPC, and require training. As the formal education curriculum has not yet responded sufficiently to this pressure, leaving HPC centres to provide basic training.

One proposed solution to this issues has been the international HPC Certification Forum, established in 2018, and developed from the Performance Conscious HPC (PeCoH) project in 2017 with the Hamburg HPC Competence Center (HHCC), which had the explicit goal of creating the broad standards for an “HPC driving license”. Since its establishment, the Forum has developed a detailed skill-tree across multiple branches (e.g., HPC Knowledge, HPC Use, Performance Engineering etc) and levels of competencies (basic, intermediate, expert) where very specific skills have particular competencies. In addition, the Forum has developed a summative examination system and a PGP-signed certificate.

Whilst the Forum separates the examination and certification from curriculum development and content delivery, it also requires a feedback mechanism from HPC education providers. Review of learning objectives and specific competencies, development of branches in depth and breadth all contribute to building a community ecosystem for the development of the Forum and its success. The availability of “HPC CF Endorsed Training”, with certifiable content is a clear avenue for HPC centres to contribute to the Forum which will be elaborated in this presentation with examples from current work.


Biography:

Lev Lafayette is an HPC systems administrator and educator at the University of Melbourne, where has been for the past five years. Prior to that, he held a similar role at the University of Melbourne for eight years. He has also worked for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Timor-Leste) and the Parliament of Victoria, as been active in Linux community development for over fifteen years. He collects post-graduate degrees for fun and profit and is currently studying at the University of Otago (his sixth degree) and the University of London, London School of Economics (his seventh).

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