Polaris Computing Cluster Access

Core Facility for Computational Modeling
Canadian Language and Literacy Research Network
c/o The University of Western Ontario
Elborn College, 1201 Western Road
London, Ontario
N6G 1H1 Telephone: (519) 661-2111 ext 88995

Getting Access

Access to the Polaris cluster is open to all CLLRNet researchers, and all other Canadian researchers interested in developing simulations of language and reading acquisition and processing.

Why use it?

Beowulf clusters like Polaris excel in the ability to run either a large number of simulations all at once, or parallel simulations that distribute computations across many processors. Adapting your work to a parallel environment can vary in complexity, and depends on the type of work that is being done. We may be able to provide some limited support for adapting your current code for use in a parallel environment, however users should understand that this remains largely their own responsibility.

Since Beowulf clusters are built from standard computing hardware, serial applications that have not been parallelized will typically run only run marginally faster on them. What this means is that users will only gain a benefit from using the cluster if they are able to modify their code to a parallel environment. This is typically done either by parallelizing existing code using packages such as MPI, or taking advantage of the multiple processors to run many simulations at once.

What does it cost?

Access to the cluster is provided free of charge to CLLRNet users, and to other Canadian researchers working in the field of language and literacy. As resources permit, me may also be able to provide some limited access to other researchers and individuals interested in parallel computing. However, priority is given to research that falls within the central themes of CLLRNet, and in particular to researchers who are developing parallel computing simulations.

Signing up

Click here to access our web-based signup form. You will be contacted within a few days with a username and instructions for logging into the cluster.

Getting started

Our Getting Started Guide has some basic instructions for how to access and use the cluster, and where to get more information.

For more information

If you would like more information about the cluster, or have questions about getting access, please contact Marc Joanisse. For technical support, please contact Golam Chowdhury.