Workshop: Teaching HPC Systems Administrators
Abstract: The ability to grow and teach systems professionals relies on having the ability to let students interact with supercomputers at levels not given to normal users. In this paper we explore the teaching methods and hardware platforms used by Purdue Research Computing to train undergraduates for HPC system roles. From Raspberry Pi clusters to the LittleFe project, tremendous previous work has focused on providing miniature hardware platforms and developing curriculum for teaching. We have come up and employed a method using virtual machines to reach a wider audience and remove barriers as well as some best practices for approaching coursework. This paper outlines the system we have designed, expands on the benefits and drawbacks over hardware systems, and discusses the failures and successes we have had teaching HPC System Administrators.