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2018 Research Computing Days

Research Computing Days

With two days of presentations and workshops, Research Computing Days is FREE and will feature:

  • Software Carpentry Courses in Unix Shell, Git, Python, MATLAB, and R*
  • High Performance Computing Labs to learn how to saddle-up Boise State’s R2 cluster*
  • Keynote Speaker Dr. Josh Anderson, from the University of Michigan, lead developer of HOOMD-blue.
  • Poster Session Round-Up to share computational and data-intensive research being done by students at Boise State
  • Lightning Talks to hear how Boise State researchers wrangle computing and coding tools to impact their research projects
  • Team Code Challenge + Prizes! spend the afternoon lassoing real-world research challenges with your new skills

*Space is limited. Use the online registration at our Software Carpentry Webpage to sign up for workshops and labs.

You only need to register for Software Carpentry workshops and the R2 Labs; otherwise, feel free to come as your schedule allows!!!


Workshops will be in the Student Union Building and specific room assignments will be published prior to the event.  Check in at the Jordan Ballroom lobby starting @ 7:30 a.m., Thursday March 15.

Thursday, March 15
8:00 – 9:45 a.m. Software Carpentry Part I: The Unix Shell – Jordan A, B, and C
10:00 – 10:15 a.m. Research Computing Days: Welcome – Jordan D
10:15 – 11:15 a.m. Keynote Speaker: Dr. Joshua Anderson,
University of Michigan – Jordan D
11:15 – 12:00 p.m. Lightning Talks: Computing & Research – Jordan D
12:00 – 1:00 p.m. Free Appetizer Lunch & Poster Session Round-Up – Jordan D
1:00 – 3:00 p.m. Software Carpentry Part II: Version Control with Git – Jordan A, B, and C
3:00 – 4:00 p.m. Lab: How to Use Boise State’s Cluster R2 – Jordan D
Friday, March 16
8:30 – 12:30 p.m. Software Carpentry Part III: Scientific Programming Breakouts – Room Assignments Based on Course
12:30 – 1:30 p.m. Free Lunch – Boyington
1:30 – 4:30 p.m. Team Code Challenge + Prizes!
2:00 – 3:00 p.m. Lab: How to Use Boise State’s Cluster R2 – Boyington

Email anytime for more information.

Software Carpentry Courses

Software CarpentryBoise State University is hosting a Software Carpentry workshop for graduate students, faculty, and other community researchers. Software Carpentry teaches basic lab skills for research computing. They provide researchers high-quality, friendly training that teaches researchers how to build, use, validate, and share software well. Lessons at Research Computing Days will include the following. Use the links to learn what will be covered in each of the courses.

The target audience is learners who have little to no prior computational experience, and the instructors put a priority on creating a friendly environment to empower researchers to spend less time wrestling with software and more time doing useful research. Even those with some experience will benefit, as each workshop is unique, and people with different skill levels will bring home different lessons, but everyone will learn something useful.

Space is limited and it will likely fill quickly. The courses are being offered free of charge. Here is a registration link and the workshop webpage for more information.

Questions? Send email to  We hope to see you at the workshop!

Keynote Speaker Dr. Josh Anderson

Josh AndersonJoshua Anderson is a Research Area Specialist Lead working with the Glotzer Lab in the Biointerfaces Institute at the University of Michigan, where he develops simulation software and performs research on colloidal and nano-scale self-assembly. He received Bachelor’s degrees in Physics and Computer Science from Michigan Technological University in 2005 and a Ph.D. in Condensed Matter Physics from Iowa State University in 2009. In 2015, he received the AIChE CoMSEF Young Investigator Award “for contributions to the development and dissemination of open source, GPU-enabled molecular simulation software, HOOMD-blue, which enables scientific computations with unprecedented speed.”

An abstract of Dr. Anderson’s talk, “Research computing on massively parallel systems with open source software” follows:

Modern supercomputing centers provide computational researchers with easy access to a tremendous amount of resources. Many centers house powerful GPU systems, others have many-integrated-core systems, and some run large clusters of old-fashioned CPUs. All types of systems change drastically from one hardware generation to the next, so researchers must write and adapt new codes to utilize them effectively. Researchers often develop new computational tools to meet certain science goals and release the code open source for the benefit of the community. Efficient simulation codes are important, but flexible, easy to use workflow, analysis, and data management tools are just as critical to obtaining productive science output. In this talk, I will discuss historical and future trends in supercomputer systems, how it enables computational self-assembly research, and share my experiences over the last ten years as the developer of a widely used open source simulation code, HOOMD-blue. HOOMD-blue is a general-purpose particle simulation toolkit, designed for soft matter simulations and runs efficiently on modern GPU systems. It has been used in over 200 peer reviewed publications, and more than 60 people have contributed code to the project.