Research Computing Consulting

Effective March 11, 2020: In response to the actions that campus is taking to help limit coronavirus (COVID-19) risk, we in Research IT are moving most of our consultations online. This includes Research Data Management consultations as well as those for our Berkeley Research Computing services (Savio, AEoD, and Cloud).

If you already have a consultation scheduled, someone from Research IT will contact you. Email research-it-consulting@berkeley.edu if you have any questions.

To initiate a new consultation, please send email to research-it-consulting@berkeley.edu or any other list or individual. A Research IT consultant will schedule a consultation with you via Zoom or Google Hangout.

Research IT consultants will be available for online consultations during our usual drop-in hours. If you go to the Academic Innovation Studio (117 Dwinelle), the students at the desk will contact an RIT consultant or provide other instructions

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Berkeley Research Computing staff and domain consultants hold office hours twice a week in the Academic Innovation Studio (117 Dwinelle; enter through the main doors, take a left, and walk all the way to the wall). BRC office hours are scheduled for:

  • Wednesdays 1:30 - 3:00pm
  • Thursdays 9:30 - 11:00am

Researchers are welcome to drop in, or schedule an appointment by emailing brc@berkeley.edu.

BRC domain consultants -- made up of UCB graduate students and staff -- is to extend the reach and impact of campus, publicly-available, and national research computing infrastructure in support of the research conducted by faculty and students at UC Berkeley. BRC domain consultants serve as a first point of contact for faculty, postdocs, grad students, and research staff, working to understand scholars’ research and facilitate their access to the computing resources that might best support that research.

Consultants are subject-matter experts in one or more research domains and/or computing resources (e.g., high performance computing (HPC), cloud computing, analytical environments software stacks/tools, etc.) of high interest to campus researchers.

Key aspects of the BRC Consulting service include:

  • First point of contact for faculty, to ensure match to appropriate resources
  • Specialist consulting in each service area
  • Supporting migration between computational modes for efficient scaling and reproducible research
  • Domain consultants for specific skills
  • Fostering cross-domain community and knowledge-sharing
  • Partnering with network of partners (D-Lab, BIDS, SCF, EML, et al.) to coordinate consulting services and training across campus
  • Coordinating with operational team of BRC-run services such as the Savio HPC cluster or AEoD VMs.

Types of assistance that BRC consultants do not offer:

  • Debugging users’ analytical/processing code (note: domain consultants may assist with debugging Slurm job scripts on Savio or other environments)
  • Optimizing code

That said, BRC staff will offer architectural / engineering advice; and if BRC has staff with skills appropriate to a coding effort, it may be possible to arrange a funded engagement (researcher pays for staff time).