Volume 11, Number 1, March 2014

University of Minnesota
Supercomputing Institute
Editor: Tracey Bartlett

The Users Bulletin provides a summary of new policies, procedures, and events of interest to MSI users. It is published quarterly.

1. ANSYS Upgrade: Thanks to a new academic offering from ANSYS, Inc., MSI has upgraded their ANSYS software. The ANSYS 500/50 bundle provides 500 teaching licenses and 50 research licenses for every ANSYS core academic product. These include ANSYS Mechanical, Fluent, Maxwell, HFSS and others. See the MSI ANSYS page for information on running ANSYS.

2. NX Upgrade: NX provides a remote desktop connection to MSI Linux systems. MSI has upgraded to NX4. As of March 5, MSI no longer supports NX3.5. If you are currently using the NX3 client, we encourage you to install the new NX4 client as soon as possible. The new client is more stable and responsive.

3. R Package Installation: R is a very popular and powerful tool for computation. A large number of packages can be installed to extend its functionality. Due to sheer volume of these packages, we recommend that users install R packages in their home directory. It can be accomplished by following instructions given on the R software page

4. Supplemental Allocations: MSI research groups can request supplemental Service Units (SUs) and storage three times per year. The next due date for supplemental allocation requests is April 1, 2014. Requests should be submitted using the online form. Please note that only Principal Investigators or Group Administrators can access the form. Contact the Research Programs Administrator (rpa@msi.umn.edu) with any questions.

5. DARPA Open-Source Software: The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has created Open Catalog, a curated list of DARPA-sponsored software and peer-reviewed publications. This catalog is available on the DARPA website. Some of these programs may be of use to MSI users.

6. Tutorial Series: MSI conducts tutorials every semester on various topics ranging from basic concepts, such as orienting users to the MSI environment; programming in Perl, Python, MATLAB, and other languages; to more specialized topics, including analysis of High-throughput Next Generation Sequencing data. To better organize tutorials, MSI has created tutorial series. Currently there are four series: General programming, Accelerator and Thread programming, Distributed programming and Infrastructure. You can find a list of tutorials under each series on the Upcoming Tutorials page.

7. MSI Research Exhibition 2014: MSI will host the annual Research Exhibition on April 24, 2014, in Walter Library. The event includes a judged poster session with prizes awarded to the finalists. This is an excellent opportunity to see what other MSI researchers are doing and to make connections for possible collaborations.

The event webpage will be updated as more information is available.

8. MSI Research Reports Series: MSI Principal Investigators are asked to submit citations for articles, papers, book chapters, and other publications supported in whole or in part by MSI resources (hardware, software, or user support). MSI maintains records of these publications and uses them to determine SU allocations, as well as for reporting to the University’s administration about productivity related to MSI. Bibliographies for each research group can be found on the PI’s project abstract page. PI pages can be found linked to the list of MSI active PIs on the MSI website.

On the individual PI page, click the Project Title, and you will be taken to the abstract page. The group’s bibliography, if any, will be linked at the bottom of the page.

MSI should be acknowledged in these publications in the byline, the acknowledgements, or both. Examples of acknowledgements can be found in the FAQ on the MSI website.

9. Software Renewals and Discontinuations: In order to align software resources to the needs of researchers, MSI’s software working group regularly reviews software at MSI. The Software Renewal page contains information about which software packages are coming up for renewal and which ones will not be renewed. You can also provide feedback and requests for MSI software purchases. 

10. Useful Webpages: Looking for help with your research? MSI has a number of complementary services:
a. Software application and database development
b. Interdisciplinary informatics and bioinformatics
c. Visualization
d. High-performance computing
e. Network and general computing

11. Useful Email Addresses:
a. Address for requesting technical assistance: help@msi.umn.edu
b. Address for submitting citations for articles, papers, posters, book chapters, and other publications supported in whole or in part by MSI resources: submissions@msi.umn.edu
c. Address for submitting videos of your research or suggestions for research articles: videoclips-articles@msi.umn.edu