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Facilitating Research Computing at the University of Edinburgh

In this post, Dr Eleni Kotoula, Lead Research Facilitator, provides an update on recent research facilitation work and skill development opportunities for researchers, students and staff supporting research at the University of Edinburgh.

The Digital Research Services website is the single point of access to all the data and computing services available to researchers at the University of Edinburgh.

The ‘Research in Action’ section showcases how researchers at the University of Edinburgh use our services, from cluster computing to data management, to support discoveries, improve research outcomes, and share results.

What is Research Computing?

The latest additions to the ‘Research in Action’ pages highlight the use of research computing across schools and colleges, disciplines and domains. As Mike Wallis, Research Services Support Team Lead, stated in the March 2023 Digital Research Lunchtime Seminar: “Research computing can be statistics, visualisation, meta-analysis, machine learning, image manipulation or anything that involves research and computers.”


Eddie in Action across Colleges

At the University of Edinburgh, all staff and postgraduate researchers have direct access and free standard allocation to Eddie, a high-performance Linux computing cluster. You can access Eddie by simply logging in using your EASE username and password. Access to Eddie allows you to analyse large amounts of data far more quickly than a desktop computer, for simulation and modelling, data analysis, manipulation, mining and visualization, while regional and national high-performance computing services can be accessed through EPCC.

Eddie can be used throughout all disciplines and domains, for example, Andre Vieira, College of Science and Engineering Research Facilitator, recently highlighted applications of research computing for large-scale molecular dynamics simulations within the School of Physics and Astronomy and the School of Engineering in our ‘Research in Action’ pages.

Sarah Janac, College of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine Research Facilitator, also recently discussed with researchers and bioinformaticians how Eddie supported liver disease studies.

The most recent ‘Research in Action’ page for the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences, features the use of Eddie in Automatic Speech Recognition.

Get in touch if you would like your research to be featured on our website.


Developing Research Computing Skills: Research Facilitators are here to guide you through the first steps

A dedicated team of Research Facilitators can help you discover data and computing resources. Their priority is to aid the discovery of the services, raise awareness, ensure researchers make the most of the available facilities and supporting the digital research skills development.  Some projects and upcoming events include the following:

Lunchtime Seminars

Our May Digital Research Lunchtime Seminar on 17/5/2023 will be focused on research computing and the interpretation and analyse phase of the research lifecycle. In the seminar, colleagues from Research Services will introduce research computing support and services offered by the Edinburgh Compute and Data Facility, including the University’s  and Eleanor, the University’s cloud computing service. Our Edina colleagues will also update us on their ongoing work with the Automatic Systematic Reviews project. Our guest speaker will be Dr Alessia Calafiore, Lecturer in Urban Data Science and Sustainability at Edinburgh School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture.

The Unix Shell – Media Hopper Playlist

Linux skills are necessary for Eddie and similar systems, but the learning curve for those without previous experience in the command line might be steep. To help them get started, we have recently developed walk-through videos complementing The Unix Shell carpentry documentation.


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