To be a strategic sub-committee of the University Research Committee (URC) with responsibility for anticipating the needs and demands of advanced academic computing across all faculties and disciplines within the institution. To advise the DVC charged with research and postgraduate studies on the advanced computing needs of the University to ensure that high-end academic computing functions as an integral activity of contemporary and future research at the institution. Annually the ACC reviews the strategic allocation of compute resources to support the University community to acquire large items of compute equipment for research, congruent with the strategic objectives and goals of the University and in line with its vision, mission, and values.
The Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Research and Internationalisation (ex officio)
The Chief Operating Officer (ex officio)
The Chair (see below)
The Executive Director of ICTS
The Director of eResearch
A Senior Advanced Computing facility technical specialist
A Senior Academic with technical knowledge of ‘Big Data’ research
Up to two Dean appointed nominees from each Faculty with specialist knowledge
Chair: Appointed by the DVC Research
Deputy: Chosen by the committee from its members
SPECIAL QUORUM RULES:
At least one of the academic representatives for each faculty. Decisions taken on voting matters at non-quorate meetings will require ratification via a Chair’s circular.
TERMS OF OFFICE:
Four years from 1 July, renewable for two further terms of four years.
TERMS OF REFERENCE:
- To develop policies and proposals for advanced computing infrastructural requirements to service the needs of UCT research activities, including postgraduate training.
- To advise the URC and DVC for Research and Internationalisation) on developments in advanced computing and advanced computing needs at UCT.
- To advise URC and UICTC of current and future institutional infrastructural needs related to advanced academic computing, particularly regarding University budget distribution.
- To periodically assess and, when necessary, advise the DVC and Director, Postgraduate Studies of the need for formal institution wide computer related training and course work for postgraduate students active in research central/related to advanced computing.
- To consider applications for mid-level advanced computing equipment from researchers in the Faculties for departmental and research grouping level use. To advise the URC on mid-level computing needs for departmental and research grouping level use.
- To solicit (from researchers in the Faculties) and compose applications, to External Agencies, funding for major computing equipment destined for institution wide research use.
The Committee must formulate proposals and policies that address infrastructure and postgraduate teaching needs in respect of Advanced Computing at UCT. Advice and opinions may be solicited from an ad hoc Advanced Computing Working Group (ACCWG) comprising academics and technical staff nominated via the ACC to advise on technical and user related matters in response to annual funding submissions. An academic appointed by the ACC chair will chair the ACCWG. The ACC should:
- Stay abreast of large research-computing infrastructure available at UCT through annual communication with ICTS, through e-Research and the Faculty IT committees.
- Consider and rank, advanced computing equipment applications submitted to the ACC prior to the annual ACC funds submission.
- Ensure (through its Chair) that strategy decisions made by the URC and UICTC take cognisance of UCT’s Advanced Computing needs.
- Periodically assess the need for formal training for postgraduate students involved in research involving advanced computing.
To ensure upward communication, the chair of the ACC will sit on the University Research Committee and on the University ICT Committee. A member of the ACC may concurrently serve on the UEC to assist with redirecting applications that have been misallocated.
The committee has delegated authority to act on all matters as set out in its terms of reference, including the authority to request, obtain and expend a budget allocated annually through the CAPEX mechanism.
This Committee is serviced by the Research Office.
APPENDIX 1: FACULTY IT / ACF COMMITTEES
Each faculty will make use of existing IT committees with appropriate changes to those committees’ terms of reference to accommodate research computing and data analytics. Where IT committees are absent an Advanced Computing faculty (ACF) committee should be established that will serve to inform the Advanced Computing Committee (ACC) of technical and practical requirements needed to achieve UCT’s computing research strategy. Faculty committees will serve to review and rank annual applications, and inform the ACC of user needs and demands as they develop within academic departments and research groupings. The ACC may from time to time seek the technical advice of an ad hoc grouping comprising members of the ACC to review the budget and best use of computational hardware and software requested in annual applications. The ad hoc grouping will be led by a Faculty representative on the ACC nominated by the Chair.
Specifically, in relation to the ACC the faculty IT or ACF committees will have the following terms of reference:
- To understand departmental and faculty computational and data analytics research present and future needs.
- To submit to the ACC technical input and comment on its planning of computing infrastructural proposals.
- To liaise with ICTS structures on how the state of the current and future institutional infrastructural needs can be improved for low and medium computational users.
- To make proposals to the ACC that will facilitate and improve the research operation of low and medium computational users.
- To process and rank faculty applications in response to URC ACC calls for funding.
Servicing Officer (Research Office): Robyn Udemans
Phone: 021 650 1924