NERSCPowering Scientific Discovery Since 1974

2004 User Survey Results



  • Legend
  • Satisfaction with Training
  • How Important are these Training Methods?
  • What Training Methods should NERSC Offer?
  • Comments about Training



SatisfactionAverage Score
Mostly Satisfied 5.50 - 6.49
Somewhat Satisfied 4.50 - 5.49
ImportanceAverage Score
Very Important 2.50 - 3.00
Somewhat Important 1.50 - 2.49
Significance of Change
significant increase
not significant


Satisfaction with Training

7=Very satisfied, 6=Mostly satisfied, 5=Somewhat satisfied, 4=Neutral, 3=Somewhat dissatisfied, 2=Mostly dissatisfied, 1=Very dissatisfied


ItemNum who rated this item as:Total ResponsesAverage ScoreStd. Dev.Change from 2003
New User's Guide 1     5 6 36 46 94 6.27 0.99 0.01
Web tutorials 1     8 8 37 38 92 6.10 1.06 0.03
NERSC classes: in-person       13   5 11 29 5.48 1.40 0.60
Live classes on the Access Grid 1     14   11 6 32 5.16 1.44 0.49


How Important are these Training Methods?

3=Very important, 2=Somewhat important, 1=Not important


MethodNum who rated this item as:Total ResponsesAverage ScoreStd. Dev.
New User's Guide 6 20 59 85 2.62 0.62
Web tutorials 7 31 50 88 2.49 0.64
Live classes on the Access Grid 17 12 10 39 1.82 0.82
NERSC classes: in-person 22 8 9 39 1.67 0.84


What Training Methods should NERSC Offer?


Web documentation 121
Web tutorials on specific topics 115
Live web broadcasts with teleconference audio 29
Live classes on the Access Grid 27
In-person classes at your site 21
Live classes at LBNL 18


Comments about Training:   19 responses

7   Comments on web documentation / tutorials
5   Comments on video lectures
5   Don't use / rarely use
2   Generally satisfied / ACTS workshops
1   Specialized training desired
Comments on web documentation / tutorials:  7 responses

Easier tutorial for debuggers capable of checking memory usage would be definitely helpful.

I like to see examples of using the hardware and software on the web. They can be much more helpful that a manual or a manual page.

Most of my training has been done via documentation, but the personal attention allowed by a class might be very valuable to improve the efficiency or scalability of my code.

... For me the availability of "old" tutorials on the web is important for refreshing my memory because there are long periods of dis-use of complex topics coupled with frenzied refreshing and short intense (re)use.

*Better organized* web documentation would be the key for me...I learned the most useful things about PDSF from my co-workers who were already using the system. The PDSF FAQ page (on was very helpful. [PDSF user]

I'd love to have more interactive tutorials available on the website, organized on a step-by-step basis. At the moment, it seems like information is usefully organized for anyone who already knows what to look for, but harder to access when doing a "cold" search.

I understand that web tutorials are expensive to put together, but it is rarely the case that me and ten of my buddies all need help on the same thing at the same time. The sort of class I might go to then would either be amazingly well-timed to my work flow issues at the time, or a general enrichment sorta thing.....I'm just not likely to go to a general enrichment kinda class due to my workload and focus.

NERSC response: All training materials, tutorials, quick references, and video lectures are now presented from a single page for "one stop" access to training materials. See NERSC Tutorials, How-To's, and Lectures.

Comments on video lectures:  5 responses

I've used the streaming video lectures, and find them very useful.

Would like to see more video lectures.

Believe you have tried some real broadcast which I prefer over the Access Grid because I do not have access to the access grid.

As usual, NERSC is the most proactive site in producing training. And most of it is applicable to other sites, too. Maybe this is why they pale in comparison.
GRID based technology still needs the kinks worked out and reliability improved. ...

Presently, I have no great need for training. However, when NERSC eventually moves to a newer generation architecture, training will be very important. I do not have access to the Access Grid and the technology for live web broadcasts leaves something to be desired. Thus, planning to host classes at NERSC is probably a good idea. [Stony Brook user]

Don't use / rarely use:  5 responses

Haven't used, but assume useful for others.

I haven't used these resources.

Rarely use.

I learn on my own.

I never got time to visit those web site but I will. No opinion.

Generally satisfied / ACTS workshops:  2 responses

I think generally training is very good.

Several colleagues in our SciDAC project have had audiences at the ACTS workshops and a few students from our groups have been through the ACTS workshops. These are popular and useful.

Specialized training desired:  1 response

Maybe some specialized training in certain types of solvers (ODE, etc.) or methods (Ewald, Fast Multipole).