In late 2015, an engineering services provider developed a computational fluid dynamics (CFD) app that allows college students on Formula SAE (Society of Automotive Engineers) teams to perform aerodynamics simulations on Ohio Supercomputer Center systems and get wind tunnel-like data for development of their race cars.
“The idea with this whole AweSim app eco-structure is to get modeling and simulation in the hands of people who normally couldn’t afford it, or don’t have the time to become an expert,” said Ray Leto, president of TotalSim USA—a charter AweSim partner located in Dublin, Ohio. “There’s another avenue you can go down to get information and this app is a great example of that.”
Formula SAE is a competition amongst student-run college teams in which a fictional manufacturing company has contracted a design team to develop a small Formula-style race car. The teams design, build and test a prototype based on a series of rules aimed at promoting safety and problem solving. The app itself meshes geometry, configures solver settings, generates output visualizations and organizes results so students can focus on designing and improving their Formula SAE cars without being forced to become CFD experts.
Six Formula SAE teams, hailing from The Ohio State University, the University of Akron, Indiana University–Purdue University Indianapolis, UNC Charlotte and the University of Southern California, use the app.
“It’s invaluable because we don’t have access to a wind tunnel or anything of that nature,” said Andrew Borme, senior lecturer of Motorsports Engineering at IUPUI.
Education and Training
High performance computing (HPC) and networking resources come together at the Ohio Supercomputer Center (OSC) to create an exciting and innovative teaching and research environment. And, through the integration of increased training and education leadership over the past year, OSC is working toward deeper engagement with our users. OSC staff members assist faculty and student researchers by providing workshops, one-on-one classes, web-based training and materials. Also, classroom accounts are available for teachers who want to incorporate HPC resources into courses.
Our on-site instruction workshop provides users an engagement opportunity to learn how to begin leveraging our supercomputing resources while answering users’ questions face-to-face. OSC client services has worked to identify the core competencies of a basic, intermediate or advanced high performance computing (HPC) client in order to create a curriculum for each skill level. This way, if someone wants to begin using supercomputing resources but knows nothing about how to use them, we can explain everything our new users need to know so they can log on and be productive.
Taking training on the road
Because it is not always easy to have our academic users travel all the way to Columbus for instruction, OSC staff work to visit campuses around the state several times per year to facilitate classroom projects, train students on the basics of supercomputing and demonstrate the broad service offerings OSC can provide. This takes an instructional load off faculty members, so their time is maximized to focus on content and solving problems.
OSC also held a statewide curriculum meeting for users to discuss ways to improve the OSC classroom experience. Participants representing 12 universities received direct support from OSC, shared materials and received instruction on OnDemand and AweSim interfaces, as well as for several software packages. OSC also offers training and consultation for individual clients to build core competencies for effective HPC use.
Instructors running courses can leverage OSC services in their classroom for computational science. OSC provides accounts for students and a limited amount of resource units for a semester. OSC leads also will go to classes and talk with students about supercomputing, what it is and why it might be of interest.
We are often a remote site for XSEDE training and can help clients connect to that and other training opportunities as well. XSEDE—the Extreme Science and Engineering Discovery Environment—is the most advanced, powerful and robust collection of integrated digital resources and services in the world. It is a single virtual system that scientists and researchers can use to interactively share computing resources, data, and expertise. XSEDE integrates the resources and services, makes them easier to use, and helps more people use them.
OSC can serve as a resource available to faculty leadership that can be very helpful in recruiting talented candidates interested in HPC. We can participate in the conversations that are ongoing with faculty candidates and talk about the services OSC provides as Ohio’s shared-supercomputing model, which is different than what is found at institutions in other states. Our services are largely paid for through a state subsidy; we can highlight what we provide and offer to help in the recruitment process.
Our 24x7 Help Desk, with Level 2 and 3 support during the day, features an expert staff that can help identify what your problem is and connect internally and externally to experts who can help you be more productive.
Participants experience the dynamic fields of high performance computing and network firsthand at our two-week summer camp for Ohio high school freshmen, sophomores and juniors. The Ohio Supercomputer Center employs a staff of experts in high performance computing (HPC), networking, engineering and the sciences to teach students computing fundamentals, such as programming language, parallel processing techniques and visualization toolkits. Students live in dormitories at The Ohio State University and participate in field trips to sophisticated laboratories.
Young Women's Summer Institute
Young Women’s Summer Institute (YWSI) is a week-long program for middle-school girls in Ohio sponsored by the Ohio Supercomputer Center. The camp is designed to promote computer, math, science and engineering skills, as well as provide hands-on experiences. YWSI helps girls develop an interest in these subjects by allowing them to work on a practical, interesting scientific problem using the latest in computer technology.