Research Computing Days 2019 Was a Huge Success

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Research Computing Days logo of the state of Idaho with computer icons

Boise State’s Research Computing Services team in the Office of Information Technology (OIT) and the Inclusive Computing Initiative Committee co-hosted the annual 2019 Research Computing Days (RC Days) to highlight the importance of data science, scientific programming, and computing skills to education, research, and the 21st century workforce. Sponsored by OIT and the Division of Research and Economic Development, RC Days gathered over 120 students, faculty, professional staff, and community members on February 11 and 12, 2019, from a range of domains including Idaho Policy Institute, Electrical and Computer Engineering, Information Technology Management, Biomolecular Sciences, and Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior.

The 2019 RC Days saw a 20 percent growth in attendance over last year, with nearly two dozen departments across Boise State represented as well as attendees from industry, the Idaho National Laboratory (INL), Idaho State University, University of Idaho, the Center for Advanced Energy Studies, the Boise VA Medical Center, and the Oregon Institute of Technology.

Faculty and student volunteers presented hands-on Software Carpentry coding workshops to introduce the basics for grappling with data. Workshops included Unix shell, version control with Git, and programming languages in R and Python.

New to this year’s program was an industry panel with guests from NVIDIA, Micron, HP, Idaho Power, and INL. Amazon Web Services presented cloud computing tutorials and RC Days included a student poster session. Congratulations to our poster winners:

  • First Place: Evan Miller, Micron School of Materials Science and Engineering, Boise State University, for his poster titled, “Accelerated Prediction of Self-Assembly and Charge Transport in Organic Solar Cells”
  • Second Place: Matt Clark, Human Environment Systems, College of Innovation and Design, for his poster titled, Bringing Forecasting into the Future: Using Google to Predict Visitation in U.S. National Parks
  • Third Place: Garrett Tisdale, Department of Physics, for his poster titled, “Analysis of Transcriptional Bursting Data via Unsupervised Clustering Reveals Gene Specific Heterogeneity”

Overwhelmingly, attendees enjoyed the Software Carpentry Workshops with comments like:

  • “By the end of this course, I started to see how this might be a beneficial tool for me to use.”
  • “Great examples and explanation. Good balance between work and explanation.”
  • “Super clear and beginner friendly!”

Thank you to all of our sponsors, presenters, funding partners, and the many volunteer instructor and student workshop facilitators. Please contact Mendi Edgar in OIT Research Computing at mendiedgar@boisestate.edu with questions about Researching Computing Days.

And, mark your calendars for next year’s event, Feb. 11 and 12, 2020!