Welcome, students!

Welcome to the Aalto! We are glad you are interested in scientific computing and data. This site may be useful to you, but are somewhat targeted to research usage. However, it can still serve as a good introduction to resources for scientific and data-intensive computing at Aalto if you are a student. This page is devoted to resources which are available to students.

If you are involved in a research group or doing researcher for a professor/group leader, you are a researcher! You should acquaint yourself with all information on this site, starting with Welcome, researchers! and use whatever you need.

General IT instructions can be found at https://it.aalto.fi. There used to be some on into.aalto.fi, but these are gone now. There also used to be a 2-page PDF introduction for students, but it also seems to be gone from online.

Accounts

In general, your Aalto account is identical to that which researchers have — the only difference is that you don’t have an departmental affiliation.

Getting help

As a student, the ITS servicedesks are the first place to go for help. The site https://it.aalto.fi is the new central site for IT instructions. Previously, some public instructions were on https://into.aalto.fi (studies focused) and https://inside.aalto.fi (staff focused) and finding information was a great challenge. Note that in 2018, all of these are being merged somehow, but the dust hasn’t settled yet.

This site, http://scicomp.aalto.fi, is intended for research scientific computing support but has a few page useful to you.

Computation

As a student, you have access to various light computational resources.

Panikki computer lab Linux workstations, GPUs, software via modules
Other computer labs workstations, different OSs
Shell servers via ssh, software via modules, overcrowded
JupyterHub basic software, in web browser
Remote desktop Windows and Linux, https://vdi.aalto.fi
Own computers Software at https://download.aalto.fi

The Jupyter service at https://jupyter.cs.aalto.fi is available to everyone with an Aalto account. It provides at least basic Python and R software; we try to keep it up to date with the things people need most.

The shell servers brute and force are for light computing, and generally for students. You may find them useful, but can often be overloaded. Learn how to launch Jupyter notebook on there.

For GPU computing, the Paniikki Linux computer lab (map) has GPUs in all workstations. Software is available via module spider $name to search and module load $name to load (and the module anaconda3 has Python, tensorflow, etc.). Read the Paniikki cheatsheet here. The instructions for Aalto workstations sort of apply there as well. The software on these machines is managed by the Aalto-IT team. This is the place if you need to play with GPUs, deep learning, etc.

A new (2018) remote desktop service is available at https://vdi.aalto.fi. This provides Windows and Linux desktops and is designed to replace the need for computer classrooms with special software installed. You can access it via a web browser or the VMware Horizon client.

The use of Triton is for research purposes and students can’t get access unless you are affiliated with a research project or (in very rare cases), a course makes special arrangements.

Data storage

Aalto home directories have a 40GB quota, and this is suitable for small use. Note that files here are lost once you leave Aalto, so make sure you back up.

The IT Services for Research page contains some other cloud services which may be useful for data storage. Of the cloud services, note that everyone at Aalto can get an unlimted Google Drive account through the Aalto Google Apps service: instructions. Your Aalto Google account will expire once you are no longer affiliated, so your files here will become inaccessible.

Software

ITS has a software and licenses (FI) page, and also a full list of licenses. There is also http://download.aalto.fi/. Various scientific software can be found for your own use via the Aalto software portals.

The Lmod (module) system provides more software on brute/force and in Paniikki. For example, to access a bunch of scientific Python software, you can do module load anaconda3. The researcher-focused instructions are here, but like many things on this site you may have to adapt to the student systems.

Common software:

Python module load anaconda3 on Linux
Tensorflow etc packages same as Python, in Pannikki

Other notes

It can be hard to find your way around Aalto, the official campus maps and directions are known for being confusing confusing. Try UsefulAaltoMap instead.

Do you have suggestions for this page? Please leave on issue on Github (make sure you have a good title that mentions the audience is students, so we can put the information in the right place). Better yet, send a pull request to us yourself.