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2023 Research Computing Days Recap

Boise State University’s annual Research Computing Days event was held March 28-29 in the Student Union Building. A range of high-performance computing (HPC), cybersecurity, data science, and artificial intelligence (AI) training for attendees was led by Boise State’s Research Computing Services staff in the Office of Information Technology, University of Idaho’s HPC Director, and Boise State faculty and Ph.D. students. Additionally, Amazon Web Services offered a two-hour session on AWS cloud resources and AI toolkits.

Hydrometeorologist Mel Kunkel from Idaho Power (a Boise State Research Computing Services industry sponsor) delivered a talk on Cloud Seeding. Idaho Power affiliates from the National Center for Atmospheric Research use Boise State cyberinfrastructure for a range of climate, energy, wildfire mitigation, and related research.

The conference drew 77 registrants from throughout the Pacific Northwest ranging from students to research professionals who work for state agencies and local industries. A poster competition and “Research Data as Art” exhibit was held in Boise State’s touch interactive visualization cave, the Stein Luminary. On March 29, Boise State’s Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics Student Chapter hosted a co-located Hackathon in the Student Union.

Keynote speaker Tom Gulbransen, National Science Foundation (NSF) Program Director, introduced the mission of NSF’s Office of Advanced Cyberinfrastructure (OAC). Gulbransen delivered an in-depth view of NSF’s Advanced CI Coordination Ecosystem of Services and Support (ACCESS) and discussed OAC programs dedicated to developing CI professionals and career pathways.

Publicity about the event captured the interest of Andrew Cowell, Director of Research Computing at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL). He contacted Elizabeth Leake, his Boise State counterpart, to discuss the prospect of collaborating on workforce development programs in the future.

“Boise is conveniently located midway between Idaho National Laboratory to the east, and PNNL to the west,” said Leake. “Boise State’s Research Computing Services office enjoys a wonderful relationship with Idaho National Laboratory through their C3+3 alliance with Idaho state universities and use of the Falcon supercomputer; we now hope to collaborate with Pacific Northwest National Laboratory as well”.

Recorded sessions are available upon request by emailing