Scientific Computing Research Assistant

California, United States
30 Oct 2018
End of advertisement period
30 Dec 2018
Contract Type
Fixed Term
Full Time

Caltech is a world-renowned science and engineering institute that marshals some of the world's brightest minds and most innovative tools to address Caltech is a world-renowned science and engineering institute that marshals some of the world's brightest minds and most innovative tools to address fundamental scientific questions. We thrive on finding and cultivating talented people who are passionate about what they do. Join us and be a part of the diverse Caltech community.

Job Summary

The Experimental High Energy Particle Physics Group at the California Institute of Technology has an immediate opening for a scientific computing research assistant to work on the CMS  experiment computing infrastructure.

The Compact Muon Solenoid (CMS) is one of four experiments at CERN’s Large Hadron Collider (LHC) in Geneva, Switzerland. The CMS collaboration, makes use of a worldwide computing grid for the processing and analysis of the data taken by the experiment. The U.S. CMS Tier-2 program was launched by the U.S. CMS Operations Program in 2005 to fulfill U.S. commitments to supply computing resources to international CMS and also to provide computing resources to physicists at U.S. institutions to support their needs for successful data analysis. The Caltech group is one of the leading US institutes in CMS, with an excellent track record in high energy particle physics research and in state of the art research and development for scientific computing. Caltech hosts one of seven US-based Tier-2 computing facilities in CMS, which are part of this grid. The Caltech HEP group also manages smaller testbed clusters as part of testing and network/computing R&D projects and AI GPU clusters. Additionally it connects to the Institute campus-wide HPC computing facility recently deployed at Caltech (2018).

This is a 2-year term position with the possibility of extension.

Job Duties

  • Operate the scientific computing Tier-2 and associated R&D computing clusters at Caltech; includes hardware installation, OS installation, software installation and updates, monitoring, security set up, and troubleshooting
  • Respond to local and grid user problems in a timely manner
  • Help monitor and evaluate the performance of the Tier-2 facility, and actively work to ensure reliable performance
  • Work with the Open Science Grid (OSG) and local campus security teams to implement reasonable security safeguards and respond to any security threats
  • Participate (usually by videoconference) in biweekly CMS computing meetings where the status of the Caltech CMS Tier2 computing resources are discussed and in weekly Tier-2 local computing and software meetings
  • Other duties as assigned

Basic Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s degree in physical sciences, engineering or computer science
  • Minimum 2 years of experience in distributed systems Linux environment (RedHat/CentOS preferred and installation, configuration, maintenance, and troubleshooting (hardware and software)
  • Basic scripting knowledge (Bash, Python, Perl or similar)
  • Basic knowledge of IP networking (DNS, DHCP, PXE, IPv4, IPv6, etc.)
  • Basic knowledge of orchestration tools for automated deployments (Puppet/Chef/Ansible)

Preferred Qualifications

  • Master's degree in physical sciences or engineering, computer science
  • Familiarity with monitoring, operating and managing computing and storage clusters, Open Science Grid (OSG) middleware including HT Condor, HDFS, CEPH and/or other file systems
  • Knowledge of computing grid technologies and interest in distributed system and network application development
  • Experience with large scale data management systems for data intensive science

Required Documents

  • Resume
  • CV
  • Cover Letter