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Project TitleResearch and Support for the Cactus Framework
SummaryThe student will join an international team developing and support the Cactus Framework for large scale, collaborative scientific computing. The student will be a full member of the team, with a tool development project and support tasks such as general bug fixes and interactions with users.
Job DescriptionThe student will join the distributed team that develops and supports the Cactus Framework ( and its applications. Cactus is used by numerous groups working in computational relativity and using existing NSF TeraGrid machines, and two NSF Blue Waters PRAC groups use Cactus. The student will develop new tools for assembling, running and verifying Cactus simulations on large scale compute resources. The position will provide the student with experience in collaboration, scripting languages, large scale software development and scientific computing in general.

The student can work remotely from LSU and will interact with the distributed development team regularly using iSight/EVO for group meetings, skype calls, instant messaging, blogs etc.

Planned projects for the student include:

1) Cactus simulations can contain over 400 independent components that are developed in geographically distributed research groups. As simulations are scaling up in size and growing more complex this number is increasing. This project will develop and implement a metadata description for generic software components that will be added to Cactus thorns and used to search for components with specific capabilities.

2) Verification and validation is a crucial component of computational science. For petascale computing this problem is more pressing since the cost of individual simulations is so high. This project will improve the verification capabilities provided by Cactus by rewriting the regression testing script that is distributed with the framework to include additional features, including more flexible tolerance testing and the comparison of binary files.

3) The Eclipse PTP platform is being developed to provide a development platform for large scale computing. The student will work with Eclipse PTP supporting a Cactus project to develop and assess application-specific interfaces.

The student will work with the Cactus development team and application groups to understand requirements and design new software to implement these capabilities. Tools will be tested on the NSF TeraGrid and LONI platforms.

In addition the student will be a full member of the Cactus development team, and will take part in weekly meetings of the group, interact with users, contribute bug fixes and support in appropriate areas, and assist in training activities.

Start Date05/23/2010
End Date05/23/2011
LocationCactus Group, Center for Computation & Technology, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA 70803.
Eric Seidel