YCRC Newsletter, Issue 1

September 11, 2015



Welcome to the YCRC

The White House’s recent executive order for the creation of a National Strategic Computing Initiative (NSCI), with a particular focus on high performance computing (HPC), validates HPC’s growing importance to scientific discovery in both academia and industry. The creation of the Yale Center for Research Computing (YCRC) provides an opportunity for Yale to strategically align with national multi-agency initiatives such as the NSCI, and will advance research throughout the University by supporting both computationally and data-intensive research. 

In 2007, Yale had 2132 cores of computational power and 57 TB of high performance storage.  Today, the university has 19536 cores, 6.7 PB of storage, and is expanding the 100Gbps science network. 

While advancement of HPC is one of the goals of the center, the YCRC is also investigating opportunities to partner with the various centers and institutes on campus. These efforts will support research more broadly in the science, engineering, mathematics, digital humanities, social science, and medical disciplines, and in computational areas such as data analytics and scientific cloud computing. 

Education and training is also a critical goal of the YCRC, and we recently welcomed the two faculty co-directors, Dr. Harlan Krumholz, Harold H. Hines, Jr. Professor of Medicine (Cardiology), and Dr. Daisuke Nagai, Associate Professor of Physics and Astronomy, who will help set the academic direction and implement strategic directions for the center.  We’re excited to offer our first set of boot camps this fall!  

The YCRC’s exceptional team, whose expertise encompasses areas of computational research support, parallel programming, scientific software support, and systems engineering, will soon co-locate in 160 St. Ronan St. near Science Hill.  We look forward to hearing from faculty on potential synergies and opportunities for collaboration.  

If you wish to continue to receive information about the YCRC, please make sure to subscribe to our newsletter.


Kiran Keshav
Executive Director
Yale Center for Research Computing

Message from Deputy Provost for Research and YSM Deputy Dean for Academic & Scientific Affairs.


Steven Girvin, Deputy Provost for Research and Carolyn Slayman, Deputy Dean of Academic and Scientific Affairs at the Yale School of Medicine at Yale University share their thoughts regarding the opening of the YCRC and its impact on research occurring across campus.

For some time, many faculty have been eager to see the creation of a center to be home to an intellectual community focused on research computing and the science of computation.  I am very pleased that this vision has now come to fruition” said Girvin.

The creation of the YCRC is a great step forward for all involved in research computing at Yale. The Center will engage academic departments, research cores, and individual faculty members to assess needs and contribute actively to the development of research plans and projects at Yale.” added Slayman.


Faculty Co-Director Comments  


Dr. Harlan Krumholz, Harold H. Hines, Jr. Professor of Medicine (Cardiology), and Dr. Daisuke Nagai, Associate Professor of Physics and Astronomy are excited about the opening of the center and share their thoughts about what the Y|CRC means to the research community.  

Computational power is becoming more of a focus in medical outcomes research”. said Krumholz. “Our own work is increasingly identifying complex questions that must be addressed with high-dimensional data, placing a premium on having equipment that is secure and powerful. Limitations in computational power have implications for the feasibility of our projects and the time required to complete them”  he added.  ”To participate fully in the community of researchers seeking to advance our ability to prevent, diagnose and treat disease, it is now compulsory to have a strong computer backbone. My hope is that the Yale CRC will be a hub for promoting the interests of research scientists and students, inspiring the community regarding the possibilities that advanced computing can bring, and stimulating collaborations that can enhance discovery throughout campus.”

“Computational science is a rapidly emerging discipline that holds promise to change the way we tackle problems in today’s global society”  Nagai said.   “My research areas in cosmology and astrophysics, like many other fields, have been transformed by integrating and synthesizing ever-growing datasets produced by computer simulations, experiments and/or telescopes in the discovery process. However, in order to harness these large and complex datasets, modern researchers (commonly known as data scientists) must combine scientific expertise, computational knowledge and statistical skills to extract small signals from noisy data and develop sophisticated computer simulations to interpret them. This requires fundamentally different approaches, powerful and reliable computing infrastructure, better tools and techniques, and new data-driven practices. To meet these challenges, I envision that the YCRC will serve as a nexus for providing support for critical hardware and software capabilities, educating and training the next generation of data scientists, and stimulating exchange of ideas and collaboration across disciplines. I hope that this new initiative will represent a step forward in enabling computational science as a new approach to solving problems in a variety of research areas at Yale and beyond.”

Notes from the CIO


Len Peters, Yale University CIO, sees the YCRC as key a driver in steering the IT infrastructure and shares his ideas about how ITS is responding to researchers needs. “From a technological perspective, data is the lifeblood of the university. As we enter a new academic year, Yale’s capacity to support data is growing faster than any other aspect of technology infrastructure. Accordingly, much of the work performed by ITS and IT partners in FY15 focused on, or was related to, meeting increasing demands for data storage, transport, security, management, and governance”  Peters said.   “We are all excited to have launched the YCRC and look forward to a growing partnership with researchers and the provost office. This academic year ITS is making data a top priority. With the launch of the new Storage@Yale solution the community will find new and improved ways of storing, computing and sharing large data. Additionally, we are improving our network and implementing new services in support of data visualization. I am excited about the challenges before us, and the ways that data will drive new discoveries in research, new modalities in teaching, and enhanced learning.“ 

Training and Events

HPC Bootcamp
On Oct 2 and Oct 19, the YCRC will give a 2 hour introductory course on using Yale’s HPC resources. This course will be taught by YCRC members Steve Weston, HPC Support Specialist, and Rob Bjornson Ph.D., Senior Research Scientist, and will cover the basics of accessing the HPC clusters, running batch jobs, accessing and managing files, and basic parallel computing.  No previous experience with HPC is necessary.  For times and locations, please see the registration pages.   If you have questions about the course, please email research.computing@yale.edu.

Register for the Oct 2 session

Register for the Oct 19 session

The YCRC can also offer customized training for departments and labs. For example, in mid-September, YCRC staff members Kaylea Nelson Ph.D., Computational Research Support Specialist, and Andy Sherman Ph.D., Senior Research Scientist,  will conduct an introductory class specifically for users in the Department of Geology & Geophysics. For information on customized training please send email to research.computing@yale.edu.

Parallel Programming and Optimization with Intel® Xeon Phi™ 
Developer Training

On Oct. 21 and 22, the Y|CRC will host Intel for two training sessions.  The first (CDT 101) is a one day seminar style training that features presentations on the available programming models and best optimization practices for the Intel Xeon Phi coprocessors, and on the usage of the Intel software development and diagnostic tools.  The second day’s session (CDT 102) is full-day lab course featuring hands-on exercises on the available programming models.  Follow the links above to register for each session separately.

Yale ITS Tech Summit

On Friday, October 30th, 2015 join Yale ITS for the second annual Yale Technology Summit, a celebration and showcase of innovative and emerging technologies used in teaching, research, entrepreneurial, and administrative activities at Yale University. Faculty, student, staff, and alumni will present their work and engage in debate and discussion at this day-long event that also will feature a technology expo and workshops.

The Yale Technology Summit takes place in the Yale School of Management Evans Hall building. The inaugural Yale Tech Summit took place in October 2014, providing a platform for dialog about technology in teaching, learning, research, and entrepreneurship at Yale and beyond. Fall 2015 is the second annual event, which is open exclusively to the Yale community.

Please visit the ITS Website to learn more about the Tech Summit including how to submit a proposal for presentation.

Yale Day of Data

The 2015 Yale Day of Data will be held on Friday, September 18 in the Burke Auditorium of Kroon Hall. This day-long event will focus on collaboration across disciplines and across the university.

Featured keynote speakers include:

Robert Grossman, Director, Center for Data Intensive Science, University of Chicago

Chaitan Baru,  Senior Advisor for Data Science, CISE, NSF

The day will also feature presentations by Yale faculty and researchers on issues specific to research data management, preservation, and sharing, and a poster session highlighting additional data-related work and initiatives by Yale students and other researchers.

For more information about the Day of Data, please visit the library website.