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Academic and Research Computing Support

There are several offices at the University of Richmond that provide support for the broad needs of academic research computing. This includes but is not limited to Information Services; Center for Teaching, Learning, and Technology; Boatwright Library; and Office of Foundation, Corporate and Government Relations (FCGR). The goals of this coordination are to (1) enhance the University of Richmond community by facilitating the integration of technologies for an engaging learning and research environment for faculty and students and (2) assist with the use of technology so that researchers can concentrate on core research activities.

Areas of support include:

End user computer and network assistance

When a current system, server or application has a problem which is preventing normal work on the system it can be considered an emergency. These requests should be directed to the Help Desk at helpdesk@richmond.edu or 804-287-6400. Or, if your office has an established procedure for such times, follow the appropriate procedure.

Consultation in data best practices (backups, archival, publication)

As science has become more data-intensive and collaborative, research data management is consuming more of researchers' most precious resource: time. In the era of "big data", decisions regarding data are more complex and fraught with larger consequences, e.g., funding agencies mandate to make the data accumulated with taxpayers' dollars publicly available.

Information Services and Boatwright Library can help with the following:

Boatwright Library:

Information Services:

  • Recommend, assist with ordering, and install storage and backup devices and software.
  • The IS Research Analyst, Fred Hagemeister ( (804)287-6689 and fhagemei@richmond.edu ), can help consult on advanced data organization and integration schemes.
Help with High Performance Computing (HPC) resources in UR data centers

For a first conversation, Fred Hagemeister, the IS Research Analyst ( (804)287-6689 and fhagemei@richmond.edu ), can help researchers identify the needs in order to develop a project intake ready for progressing towards implementation. If you are ready to initiate a project intake, please fill out that form.

The following is a list (but not an inventory) of examples of HPC resources hosted at the University of Richmond.

HPC Clusters

HPC clusters on campus have been primarily funded through external grants directly to the principle investigators. They have been designed and installed on campus with an HPC vendor and maintained in the Information Services Data Center.

Cluster Name

Department

Installation Year

Total # cores

vadur

Chemistry

2016

156 (+108 GPU cores)

urspdr

Chemistry

2012

144 (+24 GPU cores)

overlap

Chemistry

2010

876

dunamis

Chemistry

2008

144

gluon

Physics

2011

64

quark

Physics

2010

396

HPC Workstations

Several HPC workstations and/or individual servers are used for academic research at UR. Examples of HPC workstation projects:

  • The Data Center, Help Desk, and Research Analyst worked with a faculty member to develop an HPC system including a 32-core, 128GB server and a similarly specified workstation. As part of the project, terabytes of data from another institution were migrated and a multifaceted bioinformatics system from a 3rd institution was "cloned" locally.
  • To help a faculty biologist modernize his research methods, the Help Desk and Research Analyst consulted to specify a hardware and software platform capable of supporting the new methodology including a 128GB, 32-core workstation with the latest life sciences 3D imaging software.

Faculty Researcher

Department

Type of Computing

Carol Parish

Chemistry

ab initio and molecular dynamics

Rafael de Sa

Biology

3D CT reconstruction

Saif Mehkari

Economics

Matlab processing of economic models

Further, several individual servers are used for academic research by Computer Science:

Server Name

Installation Year

Total # cores

dr-penguin3

2016

12

turing2

2016

36

Help with analyzing or visualizing data, including 3D design and printing

If you are simply interested in learning particular software applications or need to 3D-print something, you can best begin with lynda.com or the Technology Learning Center, respectively.  If you need consultation to identify data visualization methodologies or advanced needs for 3D scanning, design, or printing, please contact the IS Research Analyst, Fred Hagemeister ( (804)287-6689 and fhagemei@richmond.edu ).

Technology Learning Center

The Technology Learning Center (TLC) supports the creation and use of multimedia in teaching and learning with an emphasis on course-related digital media projects. Open to all current faculty, staff, and students, we provide software, equipment, and support for the production of sound, video, graphics, website, and 3D objects. TLC staff members are available to work with the university community to make sure they have the knowledge needed to complete their projects. Audio/video equipment is available for short-term checkout with priority going to class projects. 

Help with training on hardware and software used in research

Please contact Academic Computing Services or the IS Research Analyst, Fred Hagemeister ( (804)287-6689 and fhagemei@richmond.edu ) for consultation to identify the best source of training for your needs.

Academic Computing Services

Academic Computing Services provides support for teaching, learning, and technology across campus. This support includes computer hardware and software assets located in classrooms, departmental labs, and public labs. We also provide support and training to faculty, staff, and students in the creation of multimedia projects through the Technology Learning Center. We regularly consult with faculty, staff, and students to discuss their use of technology, ascertain their needs, and provide innovative solutions. We deploy and maintain a rich set of technology resources to provide access to cutting-edge educational tools for our faculty and students. ACS manages 254 applications and management tools on 1442 end points that run Windows, Mac, and Linux OS. 

Research Computing Consultation

If you need consultation to find the appropriate methodology, algorithms, tools, etc. for a particular research project, please contact the IS Research Analyst, Fred Hagemeister ( (804)287-6689 and fhagemei@richmond.edu ) for assistance.

Collaboration for grants and research projects

Although Information Services teams may be brought in to help develop a proposal, the Grants Office is the perfect place to begin a proposal with assistance.

For researchers without access to HPC resources, we recommend using XSEDE (formerly known as TeraGrid). XSEDE is a collection of shared computing systems distributed across many sites nationally. These resources are supported by the National Science Foundation (NSF) and are maintained as a free national resource. Available resources include systems for large shared memory (Symmetric MultiProcessing or SMP) applications, highly scalable applications (Massively Parallel Processing or MMP), traditional clusters, and more recently high-throughput computing via Open Science Grid. Please contact the IS Research Analyst, Fred Hagemeister ((804)287-6689 and fhagemei@rchmond.edu

University Funding Sources for Academic Computing

No centralized University funding process exists for discipline-specific academic research computing needs across campus. The typical funding sources are:
  • Grants
  • Faculty start-up funds
  • Academic department budgets
  • Faculty Research Committee (A&S)
  • Kresge Committee (A&S)
  • Dean's office
  • University Planning & Priority process