My name is Cesar Sul and I’m a relatively new ACI-REF at USC’s Center for High-Performance Computing. My introduction to facilitation began when one of our researchers started using our login nodes to run their research software. This was an excellent first case because it helped me learn about the rules and layout of our system and the scope of our work. If a user runs a job on our compute nodes for longer than 24 hours, our system automatically ends their job. This user found that their program needed more time to complete and using the login node, a shared resource, was an easy way to get around the system. After asking them to not use the login node for this purpose, we offered to help get their program working without impacting our other users.
With the guidance of my team, I was able to learn how their program worked, run it on a set of test data, and come up with a plan to best help this person. We showed the user how to break up their processes into smaller chunks that would complete within the time limit and then merge their results into a large database.
After working on a few cases, I now see that this is a typical example of the work done by an ACI-REF here at USC. I’ve been having a lot of fun in my new role and I look forward to the new things I’ll be learning.