Are you a researcher interested in High Performance Computing?

High Performance Computing (HPC) refers to the practice of aggregating computing power in a way that delivers much higher performance than one could get out of a typical desktop computer or workstation in order to solve large problems in science, engineering, or business.

As a researcher at Griffith University, you have access to a number of HPC systems, including:

Euramoo

QRIScloud
Euramoo is the QRIScloud “Cluster-as-a-Service” offering. It provides a batch scheduler environment and is pre-populated with a range of computational application software.

The hardware and configuration of Euramoo are optimised for running multiple independent jobs each using a single processing core. It is ideally suited to large parameter sweep or ensemble applications.

See the Euramoo User Guide for assistance.

Gowonda

Griffith University
Griffith University’s High Performance Computing Facility is a 792 core HPC cluster and consists of a mixture of SGI Altix XE and SGI® Rackable™ C2114-4TY14 servers. These servers are interconnected by a very high speed network (infiniband) this provides a suitable platform for running highly parallelised jobs (mpi). It is managed by eResearch Services.

Gowonda is used to run computations that require large amount of computing resources (CPU, RAM, hard disk). All Griffith University researchers and researchers from QCIF affiliated institutions have access to Gowonda.

See the Gowonda HPC User Guide for assistance.

Flashlight

Research Computing Centre, UQ
FlashLite has been designed explicitly for Australian research to conduct data intensive science and innovation.

FlashLite supports applications that need large amounts of memory or very high performance memory and optimises data movement within the machine.

FlashLite has been designed to support data intensive applications, which are neither well served by traditional supercomputers (Gowonda) nor by modern cloud-based data centres (AWS).

Where can I go for help?

You can contact Griffith University, HPC Systems Engineer, Indy Siva or attend Hacky Hour.


A quick Q&A with Professor Ciaran O’Faircheallaigh

Professor Ciaran O’Faircheallaigh

 

School of Government and International Relations academic, Professor Ciaran O’Faircheallaigh discusses his work in environmental conservation, staying at Griffith University and his work with Indigenous cultures.

1. What did you want to be when you were growing up?
I wanted to be a vet because I loved animals, especially horses.

2. Tell us about a previous job (work experience/volunteer work) that you’ve had.
When I studied at University people didn’t have part time jobs during semester, they worked during the summer holidays to keep them going during the academic year. I worked two summers in a bottling plant attached to a brewery. Seven or eight weeks without a  day off, shift work Monday to Friday, work all day Saturday and Sunday (double time, hoorah for penalty rates!), and saved a heap of money. This meant we were able to be full time students and really enjoy the whole university experience. I feel sorry for students today, a lot of them are under so much pressure with work and study, they miss out on a lot of what university has to offer outside the class room.

3. Which 3 apps do you use the most on your mobile device?
Calendar to know where I’m supposed to be and when; Google maps to get there; and Optus Sport to keep track of Aussie Rules and English Premier League.

4. Which 5 celebrities would you invite to your ultimate dinner party?
My kids will tell you that I’m not well up on celebrities. Rick Stein to cook and talk about food. James Halliday to talk about wine and bring a few great bottles from his cellar. Hilary Mantell to discuss writing and books. Diana Krall to sing for us after dinner. And Kevin Spacey just because I think he’s amazing.

5. Tell us about your favourite fictional character.
Fictional character or character in fiction? Thomas Cromwell, the central character in Hilary Mantell’s Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies. Like many really interesting characters, a complex mix. Calculating, ruthless, utterly unforgiving in pursuit of anyone who did him harm; but fiercely loyal, protective of people wronged by the powerful, and a loving father.

6. What’s the best thing about your current role?
Doing research with fascinating people in some amazing places.

7. What sparked your interest in Indigenous and environment governance?
Doing PhD field work in Bougainville, Papua New Guinea, at the Panguna copper mine, where poor governance of Indigenous issues and of environmental impacts  eventually led to an armed rebellion, the forced closure of one of the world’s biggest copper mines, and a civil war that resulted in the loss of thousands of lives.

8. Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
Not anywhere else, as I have no desire to leave Griffith. Maybe working less than full time and spending more time with my grandsons.

9. What’s been the highlight of your career so far?
Doing field work with Aboriginal traditional owners in Cape York and the Kimberley.

10. Tell us about a project/research you are working on at the moment.
I’m working with Conservation International and Oxfam America to help develop the negotiation capacity of their Indigenous partners from different parts of the world.

11. What wise advice do you have for new researchers?
Pick a research area you’re passionate about and make a long term commitment to building up your expertise in that area. You may have to take on other projects for career reasons, but plan to stay focused on your core research area for decades rather than years.

12. What’s the best resource you’ve discovered in your Griffith University Library?
Without doubt electronic access to journals and electronic document delivery.  Maybe only researchers who, like me, started their careers working with hard copies of journals that you couldn’t search electronically and couldn’t take out of the library can appreciate what a boon this is.

13. Can you give us your 3 best research tips?
See answer 11. for my best research tip. Two more. Don’t get discouraged if articles get rejected – some of the world’s best writers have had quite a few rejection slips early in their careers. Work on developing links between teaching and research – some great research ideas come from interactions with students, and students love to feel they’re getting access to ‘hot off the press’ research.


New to project management? 5 things you need to know

Well, let’s be honest. There’s way more than five things you need to know about project management. It’s quite a complex topic. But below are five project management eBooks to get you started.

You can access these eBooks in the Books24x7 database. Your helpful Griffith University library provides access to this database and its amazing resources.

There are books on general project management resources, tool and techniques, best practices, PMP Certification and PRINCE2.

So if you are new to project management, or simply looking to further your already extensive knowledge, head to the Books24x7 database and start reading!

Project Management Basics: How to Manage Your Project with Checklists
McBride, Melanie. 2016
Including detailed checklists and hard-headed advice, this practical resource provides step-by-step instructions for managing any project in a clean sequence of five classic phases―initiating, planning, executing, releasing, and closing.

A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK® Guide), Fifth Edition
Project Management Institute. 2013.
This book ‘provides guidelines for managing individual projects and defines project management related concepts. It also describes the project management life cycle and its related processes, as well as the project lifecycle’.

Project Management Leadership: Building Creative Teams, Second edition
Burke, Rory & Barron, Steve. 2013.
Providing exercises and worked examples throughout, this comprehensive guide offers a look at the human factors involved in Project Management, in particular, the leadership skills required to ensure successful implementation of the current best practice.

Project Management: A Managerial Approach, Eighth Edition
Meredith, Jack R. & Mantel, Samuel J.
John Wiley & Sons. 2012.
Focusing on all facets of the steps needed to successfully manage a project – from planning and resources to budgeting and more, this book will also help those preparing to take the PMBOK® certification exams of the Project Management Institute.

PRINCE2 for Dummies, Second Edition
Graham, Nick.
John Wiley & Sons. 2010
Offering practical and easy-to-understand advice on using PRINCE2, this comprehensive guide will help you divide your project into manageable chunks, so you can make realistic plans and know when resources will be needed.


What can you do in September to become a better researcher?

better_researcher

You can attend our series of Higher Degree Research (HDR) Workshops. They are targeted to support you through all stages of the research lifecycle.

All staff and students are welcome to attend these workshops but preference will be given to HDR candidates. Once you have registered you will receive an email confirmation, please select add to the calendar.

Week 10 (4 September – 8 September)

Date Time Workshop Location Campus
Thu 7/9 1:00pm Managing your research data N53 1.49 Nathan

Week 11 (11 September – 15 September)

Date Time Workshop Location Campus
Tue 12/9 1:00pm Editing your writing N53 1.51 Nathan
Wed 13/9 10:00am Improving writing quality before submission G10 2.25 Gold Coast
Fri 15/9 10:00am Endnote N53 1.50 Nathan

Week 12 (18 September – 22 September)

Date Time Workshop Location Campus
Tue 19/9 10:00am Strategic publishing N53 1.49 Nathan
Wed 20/9 1:00pm  Editing your writing G10 2.25 Gold Coast

Week 13 (25 September – 29 September)

Date Time Workshop Location Campus
Mon 25/9 10:00am Endnote G10 2.04 Gold Coast
Wed 27/9 1:00pm Improving writing quality before submission N53 1.51 Nathan

What is a good research question?

That’s a good question!

Staying on topic when researching and writing is not easy. However, a good research question will assist you in reaching goals. It should suggest how your study will increase knowledge of the phenomenon, event, idea, or experience you will be researching.

Foss and Waters (2007) identify six properties that constitute a well-defined research question:

1. Identify the theoretical construct
Clearly identifying the theoretical construct you are investigating in your research question is the first of Foss and Waters’ (2007) criteria. The concept, event or experience you are researching and discovering more about is the theoretical construct. It is important that the theoretical construct is clearly identified in your question using relevant terminology from your discipline.

2. Recognisability
Recognisability should be an attribute of the theoretical construct. Foss and Waters (2007) state that recognisability means your question uses specific language to define the theoretical construct. This means that you will have a clear ‘unit of analysis’ that allows you to tell the difference between the construct and other related concepts.

Subjects or terms that possess recognisability have:

  • authority (e.g. are used by professional societies or national/international bodies)
  • are commonly used search terms
  • are associated with specific subjects or theories.

3. Transcend the data
Your research question should be distinct from the data or methods of data collection you plan to use as it is useful to consider all of the relevant types of data that may be used to address problems in your area of research. Ask yourself:

  • What are the types of data that might be used to solve problems or explain phenomena in your area of research?
  • How might such data apply to help answer your research question?

4. Significance
Once you have formulated your research question, ask yourself, ‘So what?’ Asking yourself this question allows you to look beyond your own interests on the topic and begin to form arguments and justifications as to why other people should be interested too. Consider:

  • What does the research question suggest will be achieved?
  • What will the outcome of the research mean: 1) for the phenomena studied 2) for knowledge in your discipline 3) for contexts and applications beyond?
  • What will happen if this research question is not answered?

5. Capacity to surprise
Choosing an unsurprising, expected approach for your research question compromises your capacity to contribute to your discipline in original ways. Valuable research surprises your reader with new ideas or new relationships between existing ideas. Your research question needs to hint at surprising possibilities to increase the probability of original results.

6. Robustness
A robust research question allows for interesting and complex results. Your research question should not have a ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ answer — this is not a complex result. Your question must be capable of generating multiple insights about the theoretical construct you are studying.

— Extract from the Postgraduate Reseach Information Skills Modules – Research questions


Don’t forget about Study Smart

So you know about Study Smart, right? It’s an online tutorial created by us – your knowledgeable Griffith University Library – for your students. And hey, let’s be honest, it helps you too (just nod!).

It’s been around for awhile in some form or another. But we gave it quite a hefty makeover earlier this year and we just want to make sure that you haven’t forgotten about it.

Study Smart is a resource that can help your students get through the trimester.

From preparing for university to assignment writing and referencing, Study Smart covers the basics of surviving university. It even offers some useful tips on how to make the most of social media networks.

We think it’s written in a pretty engaging style, so your students should be able to learn some pretty important stuff without too much effort.

The online tutorial also contains short, snappy video content created by one of their own. Check out the YouTube videos created by Griffith University student, Azaria Bell.

She talks students through preparing for their first day, writing the perfect assignment and how to improve their GPA (amongst other important topics).

You may be wondering why we are telling you all of this. Well, we need your help in telling Griffith University students about this amazing resource.

To help you spread the word about Study Smart, we’ve created a short animation to highlight the benefits of our online tutorial.

Now, we aren’t saying you have to show this video in all your classes. But if you happen to have a spare minute and twelve seconds, you can rock your students’ world with this Study Smart animated clip.


Why we can’t trust our brains

Your brain is logically illogical and can be easily fooled.

According to Lack and Rousseau, ‘we often act and think in an understandable but irrational manner— what we are calling “logically illogical”’ (2016, p.72).

In their book, Critical thinking, science, and pseudoscience: Why we can’t trust our brains, the authors ‘focus on how the human brain, rife with natural biases, does not process information in a rational fashion, and the social factors that prevent individuals from gaining an unbiased, critical perspective on information’.

So how do you make logical, rational decisions under these conditions? Well, according to the authors, the answer is critical thinking.

But critical thinking can be difficult to engage in. Lack and Rousseau explore ‘the psychological and social reasons why people are drawn to and find credence in extraordinary claims.

‘From alien abductions and psychic phenomena to strange creatures and unsupported alternative medical treatments, the text uses examples from a wide range of pseudoscience fields and brings evidence from diverse disciplines to critically examine these erroneous claims’.

Written by a psychologist and a philosopher, this book describes ‘what critical thinking is, why it is important, and how to learn and apply skills using scientific methods–that promote it’.

It will help you strengthen your ‘skills in reasoning and debate, become intelligent consumers of research, and make well-informed choices as citizens’.

Critical thinking, science, and pseudoscience: Why we can’t trust our brains is available online in the Proquest EBook Central database. Griffith University has unlimited access to this eBook.