Mohsin Desai, University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa

MohsinMohsin Desai is an information technology business analyst and project manager at the University of the Witwatersrand in South Africa.

He helps manage the high performance computing (HPC) facility which serves the computer science, mathematics, statistics, and actuarial science departments. They support a range of applications, including machine learning, astrophysics simulation, remote sensing, and data processing (for the physics and mechanical engineering departments). They offer Matlab and Mathematica, and use TORQUE/Maui for scheduling. Additionally, Mohsin mentors postgraduate scholars who help researchers run simulations and calculations.

Their new data center received two Ranger racks, and Mohsin installed the systems, power, network, and ventilation requirements with the help of colleagues from the Center for High Performance Computing (CHPC) in Cape Town. He visited CHPC last November for an accelerated education experience that enabled him to launch the Wits’ system quickly; it has been running since January.

I attribute our successful implementation to CHPC’s willingness to help. I’m an advocate for on-site training, and the benefits that come from shadowing others who work in larger facilities that serve a range of administrative, research, teaching, learning, and outreach missions. I’m interested in developing a sustainable funding model that allows hardware replacement and professional development so we can continue to grow and offer a larger service portfolio in the future.”


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