Los Alamos National LaboratoryInformation Science and Technology Institute (ISTI)
Implementing and fostering collaborative research, workforce and program development, and technical exchange

Computer System, Cluster and Networking Summer Institute

Emphasizes practical skills development


  • Program Lead
  • Alfred Torrez
  • (505) 667-4902
  • Email
  • Professional Staff Assistant
  • Nicole Aguilar Garcia
  • (505) 665-3048
  • Email


The Computer System, Cluster, and Networking Summer Institute (CSCNSI) is a focused technical enrichment program for students currently engaged in computer science, computer engineering, or similar major. The primary objective of the CSCNSI is to provide a thorough introduction to the techniques and practices of cluster computing. The program includes lecture, laboratory, and professional development components. Students explore current challenges in high performance computing (HPC) through the  inclusion of an extensive seminar series consisting of seminars given by practitioners and researchers actively engaged in HPC-related topical areas. At its core, the CSCNSI is an intensive project- driven  technical summer program during which small student teams actively build computer clusters and then execute real-world, HPC-related research projects under the advisement of an assigned mentor or mentor  team. The CSCNSI is also an innovative, proactive approach to making the students aware of career  possibilities within the Laboratory. The CSCNSI is executed as a paid ten-week research internship.


Practical Skill Development

The CSCNSI is designed to provide students with hands-on experience in setting up, configuring, administering, testing, monitoring, and scheduling of computer systems, supercomputer clusters, and computer networks.

Technical Broadening

The CSCNSI exposes students to a variety of key HPC-related topics, technologies, and problems of interest  through execution of a technical research project, as well as participation in tutorials, seminars, and  facility tours, including a full facilities and machine room tour of the Metropolis Supercomputing Center at  Los Alamos National Laboratory.

Professional Development

The CSCNSI provides students with a targeted set of professional development opportunities, including teaming and written and oral communication skill development through a series of workshops and training sessions and assignments, including resume writing, technical project execution, technical poster development, and technical presentation development and coaching.



This highly-selective program is designed for third year (i.e., Junior) and above undergraduate and graduate students, although in some cases, Sophomore applicants may be considered. Attempts will be made to identify high quality students from diverse backgrounds. Acceptance into the program will be based on academic record (undergraduate 3.0 GPA minimum, graduate 3.2 GPA minimum), and an interest and goal statement.

As a general guideline, students should have sufficient academic achievement to make them eligible graduate school candidates upon completion of their undergraduate program. Computing and information technology students will be considered.

Applications must be submitted by December 1, 2017.  Application information is available on the How to Apply page. Download 2018 Computer System, Cluster, and Networking Institute brochure (pdf).

Duration and Location

The CSCNSI is executed as a paid ten-week research internship, June 5 through August 10, and will be held at the Los Alamos Research Park in Los Alamos, NM.


A New Mexico Consortium instructor will conduct lectures and supervise machine room activities. In addition, Laboratory staff will provide guest lectures on a diverse set of research topics, as well as technical mentor projects.

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