Usage model and joining

Aalto Scientific Computing operates with a community stakeholder model and is administered by the School of Science. Schools, departments, and other units join and contribute resources to get a fair-share of the output. There are two different components to join:

For everyone

Aalto Scientific Computing gets university-level support already, so our computing resources are usable by anyone doing research at Aalto (with a limited share). By joining further, a unit gets something even more valuable: time. Our support for using our infrastructure is concentrated for member departments which provide joint staff with us or support the RSE program, in addition to a greater share of resources.

Staff network

There is no Aalto Scientific Computing, just people who want to make computing better.

You might be a department IT staff member, a lab engineer, a skilled postdoc or a doctoral candidates who helps other researchers with their technical/computational challenges. Why not joining forces and join our network of specialists? There is no “Aalto Scientific Computing” on paper, only different teams that work together to help researchers better than they could alone. We invite interested staff to join our community, help sessions, infrastructure development, etc. This program is just being developed (as of 2020), but it roughly includes:

  • Participation in admin meetings to help us develop infrastructure (e.g. Triton) in the best way for your users

  • Teaching, for example ensure our classes are suitable to your audience, teach your own classes with our help via CodeRefinery, or directly help us teach.

  • Co-maintenance of infrastructure (for example, your unit’s special software) on Triton and in out automated software deployment systems.

  • Learn how to solve your users’ problems more efficiently.

  • Networking and continual professional development

  • This is not just for IT support or administrative support, but high-quality research support that connects all aspects of modern work.

This does not replace local support, it just makes it more powerful.


How to take part.

Triton: computing and data storage resources

Triton is the Aalto computing cluster, for computationally and data-intensive research. Users from members of the community are allocated resources using a fair-share algorithm that guarantees a level of resources at least proportional to the stake, without the need for individual users to engage in separate application processes and billing.

Each participating department/unit funds a fraction of costs and is given an agreed share of resources. These discussions are carried out with the board of the Science-IT project. Based on this agreed share, units cover the running expenses of the project. There is also direct Aalto funding, which allows the entire Aalto community to access a share of Triton for free.

However, computing is not just hardware: support and training is just as critical. To provide support, each unit that is a full member of Science-IT is required to nominate a local support contact as their first contact point. Our staff tries to provide scientific computing support to units without a support contact on a best-effort basis (currently, that effort is good), but we must assume a basic level of knowledge and attendance at our training courses.

Interested parties may open discussion with Science-IT at any time. Using our standing procurement contracts, parties may order hardware to be integrated into our cluster with dedicated or priority access (or standalone usage), allowing you to take advantage of our extensive software stack and management expertise, with varying levels of dedicated access: a share of total compute time, partitions with priority access, private interactive nodes, and so on. Please contact us for details.

Scientific software: research software engineers

The Research Software Engineer program provides specialists in software and data, who can be contracted out to projects to provide close support. The goal is not just to perform a service, but to teach by hands-on mentoring.

For projects, the principle is that the project pays for help lasting more than a few hours or days. This can seamlessly come from project money as a researcher salary.

Units (departments, schools) can also join to get a basic service - their members can receive short-term support without any billing needed. Their members will also receive priority for the project services.

For more information, see the RSE for units page.


Let Mikko Hakala know about Science-IT related joining, Richard Darst know about the RSE program or SciComp community, or contact us at our scicomp ↔ email address.