Coffee Break Consultations help Purdue faculty, students use research computing resources

  • January 30, 2017
  • Science Highlights

As part of her research at Purdue’s Intelligent Infrastructure Systems Laboratory, Alana Wilbee creates fragility curves that indicate how likely a building is to be damaged by an earthquake. She simulates the effects of thousands of different kinds of earthquakes on the structure – something that requires a lot of computation.

To learn how to utilize Purdue’s Community Cluster Program supercomputers to speed up her results, Wilbee sought help at ITaP Research Computing's regular Coffee Break Consultations, where ITaP staff members are on hand to assist faculty and graduate students with research IT questions.

In just two visits to the Coffee Break sessions, Wilbee, a graduate student in civil engineering, was able to get her own MATLAB codes running on a cluster.

“It was really helpful,” she says. “Going from not understanding much about how the clusters operate to knowing how to run my submission over two days was really inspiring.”

The Coffee Break Consultations are informal, and advance registration is not necessary. Researchers can attend to learn more about ITaP’s high-performance computing, data storage and other research computing resources, ask general research computing questions, or get help with a specific research problem, as Wilbee did.

Sessions are held three times a week at various coffee shops around campus. A complete listing of Coffee Break times and locations can be found here. For more information, contact

Those interested can also keep informed of the gatherings, and other ITaP Research Computing activities, through Purdue’s high-performance computing email list, To subscribe to the list, send a message to from the email address you want subscribed.

Originally posted: January 30, 2017 11:50am EST