How I Spent My GCP Summer Camp Vacation

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By Bob Flynn, Internet2 Program Manager

Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

Bob Flynn
Bob Flynn

We all have memories of summer vacations and summer camps. I remember most of mine fondly, even that time I got a nasty bit of poison ivy in a most inconvenient spot after a nighttime stroll with (name withheld to protect the innocent) in the woods at Russian language camp. But I digress. That was then and this is now. This summer we took a trip to GCP summer camp together and I think everyone who attended will agree it was quite memorable (and without itching).

For this year’s camp, the Internet2 NET+ team brought together a group of professionals as sharp as the arrows from the archery range, as brilliant as the glitter in the craft pavilion, as collaborative as the group standing behind you (I hope) on the trust fall, and as death-defying as the rope swing (OK, so maybe I was traumatized by the rope swing. Don’t judge.). This group, representing eight higher education institutions and two of our program resellers, showed a breath of knowledge and ingenuity not seen since Team Iguana found their way out of their locked cabin.

We really had some truly amazing presentations covering a wide range of highly creative uses of Google Cloud across several critical facets of higher education’s core missions. I’ve teased out each with a short description below, but you owe it to yourself to watch them and share them with your colleagues.

(Presenters’ names are linked to the start of their presentation in the recording.)

Teaching & Learning – June 23 (full recording

NET+ Google Cloud Platform (GCP) Summer Camp illustration of a girl on a swing
  • Alan Walsh from Indiana University – A comprehensive overview of Google programs in support of teaching on GCP, including computing credits, hands-on training credits and cloud computing curriculum.
  • Wu-chang Feng from Portland State University – Thunder CTF (capture-the-flag) is a program developed by Professor Feng with support from the National Science Foundation (NSF) and Google to teach cloud security in a fun and engaging way. It’ll make you wish you were back in school again.
  • Geraldine Van der Auwera from the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard – Genomics is a vital and data-intensive discipline. Researchers in this field rely heavily on cloud computing. In order to ensure the Genomics research talent pipeline is cloud-savvy and ready to contribute, a program has been developed to train students to use the cloud early in their academic careers.

Research – July 21 (full recording

  • Gilad Evrony from New York University’s Grossman School of Medicine – Approximately half of children with rare genetic diseases remain undiagnosed – meaning that the causative mutation of their disease has not been identified. This lack of a molecular-genetic diagnosis prevents accurate prognoses, targeted treatments, and research. NYU utilized the Google Cloud Platform to analyze genomics data,in order to find diagnoses for children with rare previously undiagnosed diseases.
  • Phillip Harris from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology – With data rates rivaling 1 petabit/s, the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) detectors have some of the largest data rates in the world. If every collision was saved to disk, the world’s storage would be exceeded by many orders of magnitude. As a consequence, there is the need to analyze the data in real-time. Dr. Harris discusses new technology that allows MIT to deploy AI algorithms to process information at the LHC at incredible speeds.
  • Alan Amundsen and Matthew Gregg from Burwood Group – This Burwood duo highlights their research support, particularly around secure, compliant data environments.

Administrative Computing – July 28 (full recording

Suffice it to say that GCP Summer Camp was a blast. Everyone left pleasantly exhausted, well-tanned, and with their brains fed to overflowing. It’s kind of a shame we all have to head back to school now. It might just seem boring by comparison. If you weren’t able to join live for the fun and learning, you need only click the links above to check it out. I hope you enjoy them and share them with your colleagues.

Oh, and Team Iguana? They only ended up with poison ivy on their hands and legs.