There are many ways to get help with your scientific computing and data needs - in fact, so many you don’t know what to use. This page lists how to ask for help, for different kinds of needs.
I don’t know my exact question, or even if I should have a question
Well-defined task and end goal
Significant or open-ended problem solving
Issues with your own Triton account
General needs at Aalto University, not related to SciComp
SciComp garage to discuss,
Open an issue at the issue tracker so we can keep track,
and possibly …
email@example.com email (account issues only, not general questions),
then if urgent …
firstname.lastname@example.org for IT issues,
SciComp chat brainstorming
SciComp chat question (small questions),
Drop by SciComp garage to discuss details,
then if needed …
email@example.com for research data related topics.
SciComp issue tracker post (big questions),
and/or/then, if needed …
We’ll create a Research Software Engineer project on the topic (you could also start here)
SciComp chat (e.g. “is Triton down for others?”)
SciComp Garage co-working
Don’t forget that you can and should discuss among your research group, too!
Formulate your question¶
We get many requests for help which are too vague to give a useful response, so we delay while we try to find something better than “please explain more”, which slows everything down. So, when sending us a question, always try to clarify these points to get the fastest solution:
Has it ever worked? (If so, what has changed?)
What are you trying to accomplish? (Your ultimate goal, not current technical obstacle.)
What did you do? (Be specific enough to be reproducible - copy and paste exact commands you run, exact output messages, scripts, inputs, etc.)
What do you need? Do you need a complete solution, pointers to get started, or should we say if it will take too long and we recommend you think of other solutions first?
If you don’t know something, it’s OK, just explain the best you can and we’ll go from there! You can also chat with us to brainstorm about issues in general, which helps to figure out these questions. A much more detailed guide is available from Sigma2 documentation.
We don’t need a long story in the first message - we’ll ask for more later. Try to cover these points, and we are happy to get your message.
Aalto Scientific Computing¶
Aalto Scientific Computing (Science-IT) is focused on all aspects of computing and data, and mostly consist of PhD-level researchers so we can understand what you are doing, too. Our main focus areas are high-performance computing (Triton), research software (RSEs), data, and training training.
Problems with Triton, using Triton
Help with software on Triton
Data advice, FAIR data, confidential data, data organization
Suggestions on tools and workflows to use
General research software and research tools
Advice on other Aalto services
Advice on using CSC services
Triton Accounts (by email)
Increasing quotas, requesting group storage space (by email)
Search this website for help. For that matter, also search the internet in usual. This is usually a good place to start, but often you need to move on to the next steps.
Triton Issue tracker¶
The Triton issue tracker, which is where all Triton issues should go. Log in and search the issue tracker for related issues, you may find the solution already
If you issue is about or related to Triton this is where it should go.
Daily SciComp Garage sessions, where you can informally chat. This is especially useful when your question is not yet fully defined, or you think that demonstrating the problem for immediate feedback is useful.
Chat can be a great way to quickly talk with others, share tips, and quickly get feedback on if a problem is large or small, something to get help with or figure out yourself, etc. For longer solutions, we will direct you to the issue trackers but it rarely hurts to do a real-time discussion. (For real-time video chat with screen sharing, come to the garage above).
The SciComp Zulipchat, scicomp.zulip.cs.aalto.fi is where we most often hang
out. You can ask triton questions in
#triton, general questions
#general, research software engineering questions in
etc. The main point of Zulip is topics, which allow you to
name threads and easily follow old information. (use zulip in your
You can also chat with us on Aalto Microsoft Teams.
The invite code is
e50tyij. Our staff also hang out on other
Research Software Engineer service¶
Sometimes, a problem goes beyond “Triton support” and becomes “scientific computing support”. Our Research Software Engineers are perfect for these kinds of problems: they can program with you, set up your workflow, or even handle all the technical problems for you. Contact via the other contact methods on this page, especially via the garage.
scicomp at aalto.fi. Use this only for things related to your account (requesting a Triton account), quota, etc. - most other things go to the tracker above.
rse-group at aalto.fi: Research software engineering service requests.
CS, NBE, and PHYS have their own IT groups (among others, but those are the Science-IT departments with the most support). They handle local matters and can reliably direct you to the right resources. Department IT handles:
Computers, laptops, personal devices
Department data storage spaces
Other department-managed tools and services
Reach them by department-specific email addresses
NBE and PHYS IT use the same email issue tracker (esupport) as Aalto IT, so issues can be exchanged no matter which address you send an issue to. CS uses a different one, so you have to think a bit more before sending something.
In addition to formal support, there is are informal activities, too:
The daily SciComp Garage, designed to provide one-on-one help, but we invite anyone to come, hang out in the main room, and network with us. This is for basic help and brainstorming.
Subscribe to notifications from the Triton issue tracker even if you don’t post there. You will learn a lot.
Sign up for the Research software engineers and powerusers mailing list and learn about more events that interest you. This isn’t the place to ask for basic help, but if you hang out here you will learn a lot.
Other groups at Aalto¶
servicedesk, Aalto IT¶
servicedesk()aalto.fi is the general IT Services service desk. They can handle things with account, devices, and so on. They have a wide range of responsibilities, but don’t always know about local resources that may be more appropriate for your needs. There is an “IT Services for Research” group which focuses on research needs
For students (who aren’t also researchers), this is always your first point of contact - in addition to your teacher.
Aalto accounts, passwords (including Triton passwords)
University-wide data storage (work, teamwork, home directories)
All university-wide common IT infrastructure: wifi, network, devices, websites, learning platforms, etc.
Anything department stuff, when you are not in a department with local IT staff.
Reach them by:
Aalto Research Services function more as project administrative services rather than close research support. They provide important help for:
Data management plans for funding applications, other openscience-level data-related questions, and Open Science (contact firstname.lastname@example.org)
Legal or ethical advice, making contracts and NDAs.
Applying for funding and administering it.
In many cases, you can chat with Aalto Scientific Computing and we can give some initial practical advice and direct you to the right Research Services resources.
Reach research services by:
Contacting service email addresses at the link above
Contacting school representatives findable at the link above
email@example.com for data-related things