UF and Nvidia Co-Hosting Hackathon

UF and Nvidia, in collaboration with OpenACC, are jointly hosting the UF Hackathon from March 29–April 6, 2022. The deadline for teams to apply is
Feb. 21, with selected teams being notified shortly thereafter.

UFIT’s AI team, along with Nvidia AI staff, will serve as mentors to help teams parallelize and optimize code for GPU acceleration. UFIT is also providing HiPerGator AI as the work platform for the UF Hackathon. Teams from the University of Florida have priority during the application process, but teams from other Florida universities and all SEC universities are also able to apply.

The UF Hackathon is a multi-day, intensive hands-on event designed to help computational scientists and researchers port and optimize their applications using GPUs. It pairs participants with dedicated mentors experienced in GPU programming and development in AI, high performance computing, and data science applications. The event will utilize computing resources from HiPerGator AI, currently ranked as the 2nd most powerful supercomputer in U.S. higher education.

Participating teams will leave the event either with applications running on GPUs or a clear roadmap of next steps to leverage GPUs. Anyone with questions about the UF-Nvidia Hackathon may contact Ms. Ying Zhang, applications specialist and AI team lead for UFIT.

Proposal Support Available for Researchers

UFIT is committed to doing everything possible to enable the research community. In addition to providing high performance computing consulting, our staff can help make your sponsored funding proposals more competitive with letters and templates related to the computing and infrastructure needs of your project. There are four components that UFIT’s Research Computing staff can assist with:

1. The budget form showing the cost of computing services or hardware acquisition.
2. Some funding agencies require a commitment letter from Research Computing. We will be happy to write a letter for your specific project.
3. A description of the facilities in support of your project is available to include in the proposal’s facilities section.
4. An explicit data management plan (DMP) is required by most funding agencies, including the National Science Foundation and the National Institutes of Health. Research Computing staff are happy to assist you in developing a DMP and its associated budget.

The Research Computing website also has examples of justification text for Hardware Acquisition and Consulting Services. All of the templates and sample text mentioned above are available on https://www.rc.ufl.edu/research/proposal-support/. Please contact Research Computing Director Erik Deumens if you need assistance with your proposal’s computing infrastructure documentation.

Options for Using HiPerGator and HiPerGator AI

HiPerGator and HiPerGator AI can be used for teaching and research by UF faculty and faculty from Florida’s state universities. Options for using University of Florida supercomputing resources are as follows:

1. For teaching a class, allocations are free and last for one semester.
2. For research, allocations can be purchased for periods ranging from three months to several years. The rates are listed at https://www.rc.ufl.edu/services/rates/.
3. A free three-month trial allocation may also be requested. Trial allocations can be used to develop a course and to explore HiPerGator’s use for research. Interested faculty should complete the trial application form. Upon completion of the trial period, faculty will work with UFIT to find the best way forward for continuing their use of HiPerGator and HiPerGator AI.
4. Colleges and departments can also request a free three-month trial allocation to be shared between faculty in the unit. This option provides access for learning about AI and preparing to include AI in courses at no cost to individual faculty. Details of a basic AI Starter Allocation are available on the https://www.rc.ufl.edu/artificial-intelligence page.

HiPerGator has been successfully operating on the financial model described above since 2013. Financial support is due to significant investment from the Provost and Senior VP for Academic Affairs, the VP for Research, and the Office of the VP and CIO. Anyone with questions about UFIT’s computational resources and support for teaching or research may contact UFIT Research Computing Director Erik Deumens.

Research Computing Support Available Remotely

Research computing consulting support is now available through remote channels. Based on the precautions taken by the university regarding the COVID-19 virus, facilitators who normally hold walk-in hours on campus are available via Zoom. The online support options for UF’s research community include:

  • Visiting the Research Computing website for information on services and the current status of HiPerGator.
  • Posting questions in the Slack #support channel. Research Computing staff monitor the channel and reply as quickly as possible. Use this link to join.
  • Attending a Zoom meeting during the listed walk-in hours. Please allow at least 5-10 minutes for your request to be acknowledged. If a facilitator is in another meeting, your Zoom call will be placed in a waiting room and answered as quickly as possible. Personal Zoom links are available here.

Researchers are welcome to contact Erik Deumens, director of Research Computing, about their consulting support needs.