One of the things that you start to worry about as soon as you have to manage your first HPC team is where your new recruits are going to come from. There just aren’t that many to choose from. One of the places working on that challenge is TACC at UT Austin (home to Ranger)
To address this fundamental need, the Texas Advanced Computing Center (TACC) created a unique curriculum of courses for undergraduate and graduate students at The University of Texas at Austin. Offered through the College of Natural Sciences Division of Statistics and Scientific Computation, undergraduate students can complete coursework to earn a Certificate of Scientific Computation, while graduate students finish a Portfolio in Scientific Computation.
…The certificate program premiered in the fall of 2008, but TACC staff members have been teaching these courses since 2005. TACC Director Jay Boisseau and senior TACC scientists began crafting short classes at the center to train new employees in the essentials of advanced computing. These courses soon evolved into university courses.
Students come in from the sciences and engineering, where they have learned (or are learning) a discipline, and get computer skills from the ground up, including instruction in C and Fortran.
Beyond classroom instruction, students have the opportunity to use what they are learning on the state-of-the-art equipment available through TACC. For example, Parallel Computing students start working on Ranger, one of the most powerful supercomputers in the world, during the second week of class.
…Students are entering a competitive labor market today, and having extra credentials on their resumes will put them ahead of the pack. The certification is the equivalent of a minor, and employers recognize the value of this practical knowledge.
More in the article, which is well worth a read. If you have an university near you that you work closely with (or are a part of), perhaps you should consider adopting TACC’s curriculum as a model for your own certificate.