This year’s Duke Research Computing Symposium will include the (now traditional) gala poster competition. This year, it will be associated with the scintillating talks to take place the afternoon of January 22, 2018 in the Penn Pavilion. Penn Pavilion, you ask? Yes, last year’s event in the TEC at the monumental Telcom Building was practically bursting at the seams, so we had to move to more spacious quarters. (It is, indeed, hard to contain the geniuses of Duke!)

There are two tracks this year:

  1. The research computing track is open for research that uses computing technologies to conduct research, whether or not the research uses Duke Research Computing services. This is a pretty inclusive track, since so much (most?) research uses information technologies to be done.
  2. The Scholars@Duke interdisciplinary track is for data visualizations that use data provided by Scholars@Duke as well as other data supplied by submitters. An additional dataset from the Duke Graduate School is also available this year. Information and data are available here.

This is a great opportunity to display your new research (and even update your recent posters) to share your achievements and insights with others in the Duke research community.

Posters submitted to the competition are due by January 15, 2018 at 11:59 pm. Posters go up in the early afternoon on January 22, 2018, and the thronging public arrives that day around 2:00 pm.

Of course, in keeping with tradition, delicious food will be available for all at the symposium and poster session.

Did someone say “awards”?

Of course, they are stupendous:

  • Four-years use of a beefy virtual computer in the Duke Compute Cluster or otherwise tailored to your lab’s research needs. This one has 240 GB RAM and 22 CPU cores, so you can really burn through the data. Value: $9300!
  • Credits for storage, CPU cores and RAM to apply as you see fit on Duke Research Computing platforms, usable during the 2018 calendar year. Value $1200.
  • For the Scholars@Duke visualization challenge, prizes: First Prize – $500, Second Prize – $250, and Third Prize – $100.

Great prizes for great posters!

How to take part

The poster competition is open to all Duke faculty, staff and students.

Submissions will be made by using Box, a web-based file storage service available to all Duke faculty, staff, and students. The web address is NetID authentication is required. You can invite collaborators to use the storage, too, as you put together your poster. You will be able to update your submission between the January 15, 2018 deadline and the actual event, however your poster submission should be substantially finished by the submission deadline.

Before anything, register to attend the symposium!

  1. Create your Box folder for submission, and call it “[lab or author name here] Poster 2018” (e.g., “Farnsworth Poster 2018”).
  2. In that folder, upload a document that lists the authors, their affiliations, and includes a brief abstract. (Use Microsoft Word, PDF, or text formats. No LaTeX, please.) Call the file “Authors and abstract.”
  3. In the folder, create a sub-folder called “SCRIPTS” and place any scripts that were important to produce the analysis the underlies your poster or that were used to create images, etc. Include a document that outlines your methods. The items in this folder represent the “methods section” of a paper you might submit, except here your product is the poster and the research it represents.
  4. In the folder, create another sub-folder called “OTHER DATA” and include in it either a document indicating where data underlying your poster is available (e.g., a public repository or a research lab) and/or data files themselves with appropriate data dictionaries and clarifying materials. If you are submitting a poster for the Scholars@Duke track, you do not need to submit the datasets supplied by Scholars@Duke or The Graduate School. Just note their use in a document placed in the folder.
  5. Then, upload your award-winning and insightful poster in a file with the title “[lab or author name here] Poster 2018” (e.g., “Farnsworth Poster 2018”). You can use PDF, Keynote, PowerPoint for your submission.
  6. And FINALLY the pièce de résistance: share your completed Box folder with Mark DeLong ( before 11:59 pm on January 15, 2018. Designate him as an “Editor.” That completes your submission.

Before you share the folder, it should look something like this example from Hubert J. Farnsworth and John A. Zoidberg. After submitting, Mark DeLong will be listed as an “Editor” collaborator.