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2022 Summer REU in Distributed Computing Systems

at the University of Notre Dame

Join the Cooperative Computing Lab at the University of Notre Dame for a summer research experience in distributed computing systems!

Our research group computer systems that allow many people to cooperate in the solution of problems that are too large for any single machine or person to attack. Students in this REU program will develop software and new techniques for managing computations that harness thousands of machines at once, such as the 20K-core cluster provided by the Center for Research Computing. These tools are used to attack problems in disciplines such as high energy physics, organic chemistry, biometrics, and bioinformatics.

We encourage applications from women and others that are not well represented in computer science. We also encourage applications from students at regional colleges and universities. A summer research position is a great way to develop your skills and prepare for graduate school. This program will accept two applicants that will work alongside the staff and graduate students in the CCL.

Applicants must be a U.S. citizen, national, or permanent resident enrolled in a computer science degree program or a closely related field. Some skill in one of the existing areas below is helpful, but not required.

Summer 2022 Focus Areas

Two students this summer will focus on scalable data analysis applications in high energy physics that are used to process data from the CMS experiment at the Large Hadron Collider. You will be working alongside a group of graduate students and professional staff in the Computer Science and Engineering department, and collaborating with our colleagues in the Physics department.
  • Efficient Code Distribution. The current data analysis application operates by remote function transmission: the analysis kernel is captured in a Python function that can be serialized and moved to multiple remote nodes where it is evaluated on distributed data multiple times. However, the cost of code distribution and invocation can be high, due to the complexity of the analysis. The student will develop a capability to transform the application into an invokable "serverless" application that can be efficiently deployed on HPC clusters as well as cloud services.
    Relevant Skills: Python, Unix, Distributed Systems, Cloud Computing

  • Efficient Data Query. Each node of the TopEFT application must query remote data from a distributed data federation used by the high energy physics community. For many queries, the bottlebeck is the number of round-trips over the network to fetch each column or row of the database. The student will work to profile and understand the query system, and then refactor the system so that queries are sent over the network for execution at the storage server, ideally converting a latency-bound system into a (more scalable) throughput-bound system.
    Relevant Skills: Python, Unix, Databases, Networking

Summer at Notre Dame

Summer research students will be paid a stipend of $800/week for ten weeks during the summer term, 23 May 2022 - 29 July 2022. Students must register for a zero-credit (no fee) course, which gives access to campus resources such as housing, computing, libraries, and athletic facilites. The stipend should be used to pay for housing, meals, and other living costs. Students may choose any housing on or off campus, but are invited to take advantage of on campus housing in order to meet other students involved in REU programs.

How to Apply

Send an email with the title "REU Application" to dthain at nd dot edu with the following information:

  • Current resume listing education, experience, and skills.
  • Name and contact information for a letter of recommendation, such as a previous employer or a professor who knows your work well.
  • Applications received by April 15th will be given first consideration.

    For More Information

  • Prof. Douglas Thain
  • Cooperative Computing Lab
  • University of Notre Dame