Center for Institutional Research Computing (CIRC)
Washington State University
CIRC supports WSU’s mission to advance, extend, and apply knowledge through its commitment to the land-grant heritage and tradition of service to society. CIRC provides a critical research ecosystem that consists of computing resources for WSU and the Pacific Northwest, and a culture of computational literacy that accelerates the pace of knowledge discovery, creative, and scholarly work. CIRC broadens participation in the research endeavor among stakeholders at WSU, partner institutions in the Pacific Northwest, and North America.
CIRC develops and supports research computing infrastructure (hardware, software, and human capital) to advance cutting-edge computation-based research at WSU, with the goal of expanding the research enterprise and facilitating growth in computational expertise across the WSU research community.
It is the goal of CIRC to support the WSU’s research computing ecosystem and to identify and implement strategies that increase collaboration, competiveness, and impact. Toward that end, we have identified the following key objectives:
Objective 1. Ensure a robust and sustainable computing infrastructure that consists of hardware, software, and technical staff that creates computational literacy and enhances productivity and learning.
Strategy 1.1: Build continuous support for CIRC staffing needs among WSU administrators.
Strategy 1.2: Build continuous funding support for infrastructure through PI- and CIRC-driven external funding requests.
Objective 2. Support the growth of research computing throughout the WSU system; this may include diversification of computing resources used by researchers, broadening participation in non-traditional disciplines, and facilitating new partnerships.
Strategy 2.1: Provide technical and organizational support for university-wide training workshops and student engagement via the WSU HPC club, R and Python working groups.
Strategy 2.2: Assist and advise faculty, post-docs, and students about technical details for optimizing HPC resources with myriad research problems and grant applications utilizing Kamiak (locally), as well as proposals seeking national computational resources on XSEDE and other leadership computing facilities (LCFs).
Strategy 2.3: Use the CIRC internship program to offer hands-on HPC management opportunities to undergraduate students at WSU. Future plans to expand this program will leverage outreach and applied research applications in partnership with regional industry partners and PNNL.
Strategy 2.4: Actively participate in outreach and educational at events such as WSU Postdoctoral and Professional Research Association’s welcome reception to increase awareness about various HPC resources available to the WSU research community.
Objective 3. Dynamically respond to the changing research portfolio of WSU though a mechanism of faculty governance and regular assessment of strengths, weaknesses, threats, and opportunities (SWOT).
Strategy 3.1: Continuously promote faculty governance of CIRC, and engage faculty across WSU through outreach to academic units to assess needs.
Strategy 3.2: Conduct semi-regular surveys of faculty and research staff on CIRC strengths, weaknesses, threats, and opportunities.
This plan outlines the general goals and objectives of CIRC, and is supported by supplementary materials on our current SWOT analysis, and overviews of the CIRC research infrastructure plan, CIRC research portfolio, and CIRC user community. Assessment of these activities will occur through feedback mechanisms built into Objective 2 and Objective 3, where participants and the WSU research computing community can provide feedback on the resources and support activities of CIRC.