NERSCPowering Scientific Discovery Since 1974

NUG Charter

The NUG charter was last updated July 26, 2019.

Purpose

The National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center (NERSC) is the principal provider of high performance computing services to Office of Science programs. NERSC's mission is to accelerate scientific discovery at the DOE Office of Science through high performance computing and data analysis. NERSC Users Group (NUG) is the users group for the NERSC facility at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. NERSC is developed and maintained under the auspices of the Office of Science, U.S. Department of Energy (DOE).

NUG is mandated to provide advice and feedback to NERSC and DOE program managers on the current state and future of NERSC resources and services. NUG exists to promote the effective use of NERSC by collecting and analyzing data concerning user experience, center operation and facility performance, suggesting areas for investigation and performance improvement, suggesting new research and technology directions in scientific computing, advising on and suggesting user training needs, and voicing user concerns. NUG should communicate this information within its membership, to NERSC, to the Computing Sciences Advisory Board, and the appropriate DOE program managers. To these ends NUG will maintain communications through appropriate means, such as regular meetings, electronic mailing lists, shared databases, and webpages. In addition, NUGEX should promote a vibrant user community and inter-disciplinary exchange of ideas and experiences.

Membership

All principal investigators with a reviewed resource allocation at NERSC, and all active users associated with such research accounts, are automatically members of NUG. Participation in the activities of NUG is open to all NERSC users. NERSC will provide staff and administrative resources to facilitate the meetings and other business of the NERSC Users Group.

Chair and Executive Board

The organizational body for NUG is its Executive Board (NUGEX). It consists of twenty-one user representatives who are each to maintain awareness of, and represent, the interests of the user community. Each of the six divisions of the Office of Science (BER, BES, HEP, NP, OASCR, and OFES) will have three representatives on NUGEX. Three additional members of NUGEX will represent the user community at large. The Chair of NUG and an Executive Board will represent the NERSC User Group. The members of this Executive Board will be elected by the NERSC User Group members in elections administered by NERSC with the help of NUGEX. The Chair and the Vice-Chair will be elected by the members of the Executive Board from among its ranks. The Chair of NUG is responsible for convening NUGEX at regular intervals, and assures that NUG can carry out its mission effectively. The Vice Chair will take on the Chair's responsibilities, whenever the Chair is not available. All terms are for a duration of three years. The three year terms are for three consecutive calendar years. There are no term limits.

Voting

Topics which require voting, such as charter adoption and changes or new permanent working groups, will use a simple majority approach. People who do not participate are assumed to agree with the proposed changes. NUGEX will have a minimum of two days to respond to electronic requests for votes. NUGEX will provide the results of voting to NERSC.

Task Forces and Working Groups

When appropriate, the Executive Board of the NERSC User Group will appoint task forces and working groups to address specific issues related to NERSC. The NUGEX will name the subcommittee membership, the responsible lead of the subcommittee, and its charge. Such subcommittees should be formed from the appropriate experts and interested parties. The leadership and/or membership may include persons outside NUG. Such subcommittees should regularly report back to NUG at its monthly general meetings. Standing working groups are detailed below and will have dedicated time on monthly agendas. If the lead of the working group is absent it may nominate an alternate to present. Task forces may be formed and disbanded by agreement of the chair(s) and NUGEX members.

User Requirements

NUGEX will appoint from among its ranks a task force contributing to the development and writing of NERSC’s user requirements based on their scientific research area. The creation of this document will be led by NERSC and reviewed by NUGEX, NERSC management, and DOE program managers bi-annually. It will detail the hardware, software, infrastructure, and training needs of the NERSC User community including but not limited to requirements for uptime, job turn around time, and file system latency. The chair and one representative from each Office of Science from NUGEX will participate in advisory committees when they are convened. The NUGEX chair will be integrated into the SOW creation process to assure concordance between user requirements and planned system purchase. NUGEX will have access to pre-production systems, and recommend representative software from across the Office of Sciences for testing. The aim of this subcommittee is to help NERSC and the DOE Office of Science in the planning process for the NERSC facility.

User Experience

NUGEX will appoint from among its members a working group to collect and report on current user experience.  The goal of this working group is to develop actionable recommendations in a 6-12 month time frame, distinguishing it from the long-term planning done in the user requirements working group. This group will be focused on improvements to system monitoring, system performance, and other challenges as well as share user success stories.  NUGEX will be granted early access to test changes to the software environment to ensure contiguity of user experience. In collaboration with NERSC this group will analyze trends in support tickets and the user survey, perform retrospectives after major changes, and analyze gaps between NERSC offerings and user needs. The leader of this working group will attend NERSC queue committee meetings or nominate an alternate.  This group will report recommendations within its membership, to NERSC, to the Computing Sciences Advisory Board, and the appropriate DOE program managers.

User Education and Engagement

NUGEX will appoint from among its members a working group responsible for user education and engagement that works closely with internal NERSC staff to cultivate and expand an engaged user community. The working group is responsible for helping plan and host NUG meetings as well as helping plan other training events, including any NUG conference calls. In person NUG meetings will be held at a minimum of once a year. It will make recommendations on venue and establish, in cooperation with NERSC, the program for the NUG meetings. This working group is responsible for communicating user needs with respect to training events, including making sure length, frequency, and level of detail of training is appropriate. Finally, it will make recommendations to lowering the barrier of entry to utilizing new functionality at NERSC.