High Performance Computing Analyst – Post Doctoral Fellow (IBM/SOSCIP)

November 16, 2017 in for_researchers, for_users, HPC Jobs, HPC Jobs Ontario, news

SOSCIP is currently looping for a new BlueGene/Q support post-doc.

Job Description
In partnership with 15 leading Ontario academic institutions, federal and provincial governments, IBM is supporting collaborative research projects that leverage high performance computing to drive commercial outcomes for social and economic development in Ontario. We have announced over 40 exciting research projects aligned to Health, Energy, Cities, Water, Mining, Cybersecurity, Digital Media, Advanced Manufacturing and Agile Computing. We are now hiring to support these projects.

Specialist – IBM Blue Gene/Q supercomputer based at University of Toronto.

This role is for a cross-team specialist who will support IBM Blue Gene/Q, the largest supercomputer in Canada. The selected candidate will be part of a team based at University of Toronto and provide parallel programming support to research teams. The research teams include faculty, postdoctoral fellows, graduate students and other industry partners. This role is pivotal to advising, building and optimizing applications to leverage massively parallel platforms and drive innovation to impact the lives of Canadians.

Job Responsibilities:

• Assist research teams in making effective use of massively parallel platforms including one of the largest supercomputers in Canada and a new research platform for exascale computing
• Develop, port, optimize and analyze scientific numerical codes using thousands of CPU cores on the Blue Gene Q using Fortran, Python, C, C++, etc
• Parallel-programming assistance on smaller-scale x86 and Power clusters, possibly including GPU’s
• Install, upgrade and lead day-to-day operations for scientific infrastructure including mathematical software packages, libraries, compilers, visualization software, schedulers etc
• promote, advise and teach mini-courses on scientific computing and parallel programming

Click here for more information

Road to Niagara 2: GPC Reduction

October 26, 2017 in news, Road_to_Niagara

This is the second of a series of posts on the transition to SciNet’s new supercomputer called “Niagara”, which will replace the General Purpose Cluster (GPC) and Tightly Coupled Cluster (TCS). The transition to Niagara will take place in the fall of 2017, and the system is planned to be available to users in early 2018.

The University of Toronto has awarded the contract for Niagara, which means its installation will start soon. To make room for this system, the General Purpose Cluster will be reduced from 30,912 to 16,800 cores on Tuesday November 28, 2017, at 12:00 noon.

Niagara is estimated to be installed, operational and ready for users towards the end of February 2018. At that time, the GPC will be decommissioned.

Even before official ready-date, there will a period in which select users can try out and port their codes to Niagara.

After the friendly-user period, all current users of the GPC (and former users of the TCS) will get access to Niagara (and their allocations on GPC or TCS will be carried over).

The setup will also be tailored to large parallel computations. Nonetheless, there will still be a fair amount of backfill opportunity for smaller jobs.

Although the details of the Niagara system are yet to be announced, existing SciNet users can get more information about the new system here.

Road to Niagara 1: Tightly Coupled Cluster Decommissioned

October 25, 2017 in frontpage, news, Road_to_Niagara

This is the first of a series of posts on the transition to SciNet’s new supercomputer called “Niagara”, which will replace our aging General Purpose Cluster (GPC) and Tightly Coupled Cluster (TCS). The transition to Niagara will take place in the fall of 2017, and the system is planned to be available to users in early 2018.

To make room for Niagara, old systems will have to go. Because enabling research computing is our priority, throughout the process of installting Niagara, at least 50% of the GPC will be kept running. The GPC will not be completely switched off until Niagara is available.

The first cluster to go was the TCS. This was SciNet’s first supercomputer, a 102-node, 3264-core, IBM Power 6 system installed in January of 2009.

The TCS was shut off on September 29, 2017, and physically removed in October. The end of an era.

As the pictures below show, you don’t just put your old supercomputer to the curb, there is a bit of work involved in removing it. It took about 8 hours, 14 pallets, 10 racks, and 3 truck loads. And a $5 bill was found under one of the TCS racks, so we made some money as well!

Currently we are in mids of finalizing the contract for Niagara, so the next post in this series will provided more details on the new system to come.

Decommissioning the old Power 6 TCS requires a little fork lift; those are heavy nodes.

TCS nodes taken out of their racks.

The empty space left behind by the TCS…

Decommissing TCS subfloor connections.

Expired: Job Opportunity at SciNet: HPC Sysadmin

September 11, 2017 in blog-general, for_users, HPC Jobs, HPC Jobs Ontario, news

The SciNet HPC Consortium is looking to augment their team with a systems administrator.

Title of job: Systems Administrator and Web Applications Developer

Location: SciNet HPC Consortium, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Summary of job:
The System Administrator and Web Applications Developer maintains and updates SciNet Identity Management System including complete integration with Compute Canada Database; develops the security plan for SciNet High Performance Computing systems ensuring maximum availability of the computing system and integrity of research performed on the High Performance Computing System. The incumbent designs, tests, implements, maintains and improves web-based applications for the SciNet User Portal and the Compute Canada Database, tests and monitors SciNet connectivity to University of Toronto and the rest of Compute Canada; designs and recommends improved networking schemes and hardware to enable researchers to efficiently move datasets across the country. Performs system administration on Linux High Performance Computing systems including Canada’s largest supercomputer (40,000+ cores) and large storage system, as well as other hosted systems. Minimum qualifications: BSc in Computer Science or a related field or equivalent combination of education and experience; 5 years of relevant work experience.

Salary: $81,918 CAD with an annual step progression to a maximum of $104,759 CAD (USW Pay Band 16). Pay scale and job class assignment is subject to determination pursuant to the Job Evaluation/Pay Equity Maintenance Protocol.

Closing date: Sep 25, 2017, 11:59:00 PM EST

For more details, see the job site of the University of Toronto

New Courses and New Initiatives for this Coming Semester

September 2, 2017 in for_educators, for_press, frontpage, news, Uncategorized

Excited about the beginning of a new academic year?

We, at SciNet, certainly are!

SciNet has created several new courses for this coming fall semester and we are really excited about that!
Take a look at our education website to learn about all the courses and workshops that we will be offering.

In addition to the traditional courses on Scientific Computing, we have also added courses on Computational BioStatistics, Machine Learning and Neural Networks, and basic level introductory courses for students without any previous background on computing or programming!

Additionally, several members of our team have obtained Graduate restricted appointed positions at the Institute of Medical Sciences and the Physics Department!

The number of SciNet courses that are listed as U of T graduate courses continues to increase (no small feat for a non-teaching unit like SciNet). Our full-term graduate courses in 2017/2018 are

Finally, starting this September we want to officially launch our “Research Initiative Program”!

This is a collaborative program, aimed to partner with research groups across the University, in order to boost and empower research.

Of course, research support is something that we have been doing since the beginning of SciNet, by providing technical support and the infrastructure to researchers for tackling their computational needs.
This program will go beyond that, by allowing researchers to explicitly partner with SciNet’s scientists, in order to pursue short and long term research projects.

More information about this program, ongoing collaborations and areas of expertise can be found at the
Research @ SciNet page.

Postdocs opportunities at SOSCIP

July 19, 2017 in HPC Jobs, HPC Jobs Ontario, news

Several SOSCIP projects are looking for Postdoctoral Fellows.

You can find details about these positions in the following link.

2017 Compute Ontario Summer School Central

June 14, 2017 in blog, blog-general, for_educators, for_press, for_researchers, for_users, frontpage, news, Uncategorized

The Compute Ontario Summer School on Scientific and High Performance Computing is an annual educational event for graduate/undergraduate students, postdocs and researchers who are engaged in a compute intensive research. Held geographically in the west, centre and east of the province of Ontario, the summer school provides attendees with the opportunity to learn and share knowledge and experience in high performance and technical computing on modern HPC platforms.

Each site will have a slightly different list of courses. The summer school will include both in-class lectures and hands-on labs (done on the participants’ laptops). Those who attend at least three full days cumulatively will receive an official certificate in HPC training (i.e., a total of 6 full morning and afternoon sessions).

Instructors for this school have been provided by SciNet, CAMH and SHARCNET. Break refreshments are provided courtesy of Compute Ontario.


Registration for the central installment in Toronto from July 24-28, 2017 is now open!

The registration is free and is aimed at Compute Canada users as well as students, post-docs and other researchers from academic institutions. You do not need to have a SciNet account. Please be advised that seats are limited and tend to fill up.

More information and registration can be found on the summer school website.


High Performance Computing Stream Data Science Stream Biomedical Stream
Mon, Jul 24
Morning: 09:00-12:00
Welcome and Introduction to HPC and SciNet
Afternoon: 13:30-16:30
Shared Memory Programming with OpenMP Introduction to the Linux Shell PLINK
Tue, Jul 25
Morning: 09:00-12:00
Shared Memory Programming with OpenMP Introduction to R Next Generation Sequencing
Afternoon: 13:30-16:30
Programming Clusters with Message Passing Interface Data Science with Python RNASeq
Wed, Jul 26
Morning: 09:00-12:00
Programming Clusters with Message Passing Interface Parallel R for Data Science Python for MRI analysis
Afternoon: 13:30-16:30
Programming Clusters with Message Passing Interface Python for High Performance Computing (Parallel Python) Image Analysis at Scale
Thu, Jul 27
Morning: 09:00-12:00
Programming GPUs with CUDA Visualization with Python Machine Learning for Neuroimaging
Afternoon: 13:30-16:30
Programming GPUs with CUDA Scientific Visualization Suites R for MRI analysis
Fri, Jul 28
Morning: 09:00-12:00
Programming GPUs with CUDA Debugging, Profiling and Bring-Your-Own-Code Lab Public Datasets for Neuroimaging
Afternoon: 13:30-16:30
Programming GPUs with CUDA Debugging, Profiling and Bring-Your-Own-Code Lab Unit Testing / Neuroinformatics Pipeline Development


This event will be held in the Medical Science Building at the University of Toronto, 1 King Circle, Toronto, Ontario, M5S 1A8, Canada.

The nearest subway station is “Queen’s Park”. Paid parking is available on the St. George Campus.


Lodging is not provided by the organization. If you require lodging, you will have to make arrangements yourself. It may be worthwhile checking out the University’s summer residence program at www.studentlife.utoronto.ca/hs/summer .


Meals are *not* provided by the organization, but refreshments will be provided during the morning and afternoon breaks, courtesy of Compute Ontario.


For the hands-on sessions, participants are to bring their own laptop with working wireless and with an ssh client with X-windows installed. The latter is needed to connect to one of SciNet or SHARCNET supercomputers, to which the participant will get access for the duration of the School.


Participants that complete at least three days worth of instruction (i.e., a total of 6 morning and afternoon sessions combined) are to receive a Compute Ontario Summer School Certificate on the last day of the School. Note that this certificate is separate from the SciNet certificates, but parts of the school may count towards a SciNet certificate as well.

Grand Opening of the ArcNet Space at MaRS

May 15, 2017 in blog-general, for_educators, for_press, for_researchers, for_users, frontpage, news, Uncategorized

On May 9, 2017, the Grand Opening of the ArcNet space took place (despite having moved a while ago). What is ArcNet? It is a space where expertise and support of Advanced Research Computing (the “ARC” in ArcNet) from three organizations come together. SciNet is the oldest of the three; It is the supercomputing consortium at the University of Toronto, which has been providing Canadian researchers with computational resources and expertise necessary to perform their research on scales not previously possible in Canada, from the biomedical sciences and aerospace engineering to astrophysics and climate science. SOSCIP is a research and development consortium that pairs academic and industry researchers with advanced computing tools to fuel Canadian innovation. The third organization, Compute Ontario, partners with the four academic computing consortia in Ontario aims to drive advanced computing to accelerate research and enhance competitiveness in the global marketplace resulting in a more prosperous Ontario.

The Grand Opening brought together many of our stakeholders, and was also attended by the Ontario Minister of Research, Innovation and Science, MPP Rezi Moridi, by the President of the University of Toronto Meric Gertler, by the Vice-President of Research at the University of Toronto Prof. Vivek Goel, and by the Scientific Directory of SciNet Prof. W. Richard Peltier. We were honoured that each was willing to say a few words about the opening of this space.

“This facility is a true partnership between the University of Toronto’s SciNet High Performance Computing Consortium, SOSCIP and Compute Ontario. Bringing them together in a state-of-the-art facility will strengthen their partnership and undoubtably create new opportunities to drive innovation through advanced computing in Ontario.” said Prof. Goel, one of the driving forces of the creation of the space.

The President of the University of Toronto reminded us that “With ARCNet, we have created an amazing hub of talent and technology that fosters collaboration between the public and private sector.”

Minister Rezi Moridi remarked that “Today we are here to celebrate the grand opening of the Advanced Research Computing facility. It is great to see that three organizations got together and set up this wonderful facility: SOSCIP,
Compute Ontario, and University of Toronto’s SciNet. I wish you all the best in serving our research community.”

The speeches were given in the new teaching and visualization room. This room holds up to 40 students and is already frequently used for courses and other events. It features a large visualization wall, i.e., a 13 x 7.5 feet ultrahigh resolution screen (8K, to be precise).

Two presentations were given by SciNet analysts to demonstrate the capabilities of this visualization wall; Ramses van Zon showed how to get insight into the complexity of the software installed on SciNet’s main cluster by using graph visualizations, while Marcelo Ponce showed visualizations of several aspects of interacting neutron stars, with data from numerical general relativity simulations.

You can see the capabilities of the visualization wall in the following video:

Sheridan Cyber Security Symposium 3.0

May 6, 2017 in for_educators, for_industry, for_researchers, for_users, news

The Sheridan Cyber Security Symposium 3.0, will be held on Monday, May 15, 2017 at the Hazel McCallion Campus of Sheridan College in Mississauga.

This conference is hosted by the Sheridon College Faculty of Applied Science and Technology in collaboration with Sheridan Applied Research and Innovation, and will explore cyber security within public health & safety, community, education and business.

For more information and registration see the symposium’s website.

Expired: HPCS 2017, Kingston June 5-9, 2017

April 25, 2017 in blog-general, for_researchers, for_users, news, Uncategorized

HPCS (the High Performance Computing Symposium) is Canada’s premiere Advanced Research Computing (ARC) conference, bringing together top researchers from across Canada and around the world, as well as major industry partners.

This year’s conference is being held in Kingston, Ontario – June 5th – 9th, and will include a range of keynote sessions and technical workshops designed to appeal to the research community and ARC professionals. Topics will include “traditional” HPC disciplines, as well as emerging areas such as cognitive computing – and there will have sessions exploring future technologies.

For more information see 2017.hpcs.ca

Note that Ontario students can go for fee (see the flyer).