CISL revises its program for scientific and technical visitors

By Brian Bevirt
03/23/2016 - 12:00pm
CFD algorithm collaborators
Student visitor
Engineering collaborator
Student collaborator presentation
These images show recent CISL collaborators and visitors in mathematics, statistics, and engineering whose work increased the visitor's expertise, advanced CISL research projects, and benefited the Earth System sciences community.

CISL has redefined its scientific and technical visitor program for 2016 and beyond. The CISL Visitor Program (CVP) aims to increase collaborations that transfer technology and knowledge between CISL, universities, and both private and public sectors of the national economy. Before being funded under the CVP, collaborations are evaluated for their potential benefits. Primary among these are alignment with CISL’s mission and expected outcomes that are both well defined and beneficial to all parties involved. Funding for CVP-supported visitors in summer 2016 has been closed, but future opportunities will be announced later this year.

The CVP supports fruitful collaborations between CISL staff and university faculty, practitioners in high-performance computing, students, and early-career researchers. Part of CISL’s role in the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) is to develop a diverse and vigorous community of researchers who can contribute to our scientific mission. The CVP promotes scientific and professional visits to enhance the productivity of CISL staff, visiting researchers, and other professionals. Further, it enriches the training of students, post-doctoral researchers, and early-career scientists and engineers.

Because CISL has active groups in computational mathematics, modeling, data assimilation, geophysical statistics, data analysis, and visualization, our visitor program offers unique opportunities for mathematical and computational scientists and engineers to explore critical problems in understanding the Earth’s climate system and weather forecasting. CISL also accommodates visits for scientists in the geosciences to gain expertise in high performance computing and data analytics.

Collaborative projects are encouraged in a wide range of research, education, and service areas including climate variability and impacts, optimizing supercomputing applications, computational mathematics, geostatistics, data assimilation, data curation, data science, facility engineering and management, computer networking, scientific visualization, and many others. More details and information about how and when to apply for the CISL Visitor Program is available at the CVP website, which also specifies these program requirements:

  • Visits must be sponsored by a CISL staff member and have a clear plan for productive interaction.
  • Visits are expected to last from two weeks to a maximum of three months. Requests for shorter or longer time periods will be considered.
  • Financial support is limited to travel costs and local living expenses.

One example of a desired collaboration might be a university researcher who can work with CISL staff to develop more efficient and scalable algorithms for computer models. Such work could lead to joint publications in research journals. An example for the private sector might be an engineer from a processor manufacturer who can help CISL explore bottlenecks in our codes running on their systems. Benefits to the manufacturer might be improved designs for their next-generation processors or computers.

For more information, you can contact a CISL Visitor Program representative by sending email to

Other opportunites to visit CISL, NCAR, and UCAR

CISL also has a summer internship program to develop students with a background in computational science, applied mathematics, computer science, or the computational geosciences. These 11-week internships provide exceptional opportunities for students to gain practical experience with a wide variety of parallel computational science problems by working with the HPC systems and applications related to NCAR’s Earth System science mission.

CISL has a visitor program at its supercomputing facility, the NCAR-Wyoming Supercomputing Center (NWSC) in Cheyenne, Wyoming. This program supports future computational scientists, facility engineers, and the interested public with a visitor center and guided tours through the computer room.

NCAR offers the Advanced Study Program (ASP) to enrich the development of early-career researchers in the atmospheric and related sciences by emphasizing timely scientific areas, organizing new science initiatives, supporting productive interactions with universities, and promoting continuing education at NCAR.

UCAR’s Significant Opportunities in Atmospheric Research and Science (SOARS) program is designed to broaden participation in the atmospheric and related sciences. It is an undergraduate-to-graduate bridge program built around summer research internships, mentoring by top scientists, and a supportive learning community.

Finally, the UCAR Center for Science and Education offers a visitor program for school groups and the public at NCAR’s Mesa Laboratory.

Visitors tour NWSC
A group of University of Wyoming Camp GEAR UP students in the NCAR-Wyoming Supercomputer Center (NWSC) participate in a tour conducted by UCAR Center for Science and Education instructor Marc Mueller. During the summer of 2013, over 200 GEAR UP students engaged in activities relating to computing and science at the NWSC. GEAR UP, which stands for Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs, is a federally funded initiative that prepares 2,000 7th–12th grade students each year to enter and succeed in postsecondary education.