Interactive computing refers to working with software that accepts input from the user as it runs. This applies not only to business and office applications, such as word processing and spreadsheet software, but HPC use cases involving code development, real-time data exploration and advanced visualizations run across one or more compute nodes. Interactive computing is often used when applications require large memory, have large data sets that are not that practical to download to local devices, need access to higher core counts, or rely on software that is difficult to install. User inputs are entered via a command line interface (CLI) or application GUI (e.g., Jupyter Notebooks, Matlab, RStudio). Actions are initiated on remote compute nodes as a result of user inputs. This session will introduce participants to advanced CI concepts and what's going on "under the hood" when they are using interactive tools. Topics covered will include mechanisms for accessing interactive resources, commonalities and differences between batch and interactive computing, understanding the differences between web-based services and X11/GUI applications, monitoring jobs running on interactive nodes, and an overview of Open OnDemand portals.
Mary Thomas, Ph.D.
Computational Data Scientist and HPC Training Lead, SDSC
Mary Thomas works in the Data-Enabled Scientific Computing Division, where she is leading education, outreach & training on HPC systems. In the past, Mary has led several portal and Web services projects for high-performance computing infrastructure. Mary holds a Ph.D. in computational science, and her primary research has been focused on HPC computing, coastal ocean modeling, cyberinfrastructure, web technologies, and Amazon Web Services. Mary is also a research faculty member in the Computational Sciences Research Center at San Diego State University. For fun, Mary has sponsored several teams at the annual student cluster competitions at the SC Conference (The International Conference for High Performance Computing, Networking, Storage, and Analysis).