Work experience at EPCC

Author: Guest blogger
Posted: 6 Jun 2018 | 08:38

Fourteen-year-old Alex Curtis joined us for a week of work experience in May, building a Wee Archlet (a Raspberry Pi cluster) and visiting the Advanced Computing Facility where ARCHER is hosted.

For my task I had the job of testing the instructions for the ‘Wee Archlet’ (Raspberry Pi cluster) to make sure it was understandable for people of my age. EPCC hopes that teenagers a bit older than me can open up one of their kits and build their own Wee Archlet. To create the Wee Archlet we had to make the Raspberry Pis to talk to each other in order to share out the resources from each Pi to work together as one big cluster.

I did little tests to check that the cores on each of the Pis were speaking to each other by making them say “hello world”  from each core and from each of the Pis in order. Another of my tasks was to go over the instructions and note errors.

On Monday and Tuesday, I was getting to know the place and the equipment I was using. On Wednesday I took a trip to the ACF building at the Bush Estate, Penicuik. This is where they have all the big supercomputers like Archer. The supercomputers were really cool, think how powerful they are and how different they are to your normal laptop/desktop computer! These computers are used for a wide variety of tasks like computational science, and for intensive tasks. I really enjoyed the tour I was given around the building seeing the computers.

I really enjoyed my week at EPCC and it was very exciting making my own Wee Archlet. I also enjoyed being at the ACF. I would like to say a massive thank you to the people at EPCC for making me feel welcome and making it an enjoyable experience!

Alex sets up the a Wee Archlet. Alex himself edited the time lapse videos.