Georg Rath joined Joint Genome Institute’s Data Science and Informatics Department in April as a software infrastructure architect after a stint as a High-Performance Computing (HPC) systems engineer at another Berkeley Lab user facility, the National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center (NERSC). His primary assignment is to find ways to have JGI’s software infrastructure, which has run in a separate location for decades, integrate better with existing onsite Lab computing systems. Prior to that, he was part of the Institute of Molecular Biology at the Austrian Academy of Sciences.
Elements: What do you do at the JGI?
Georg Rath: I am responsible for building information technology (IT) infrastructure for our DNA sequence production pipelines and science programs, which currently translates into collaborating with our partners on creating a distributed computing infrastructure and a workflow system through which JGI users can access their computing resources regardless of the hardware’s location. This will enable JGI to get results to our users quicker. And, of course, I help out with the move where hands are needed.
Elements: Who in Berkeley, at either the main Lab campus or at UC Berkeley, are you already working with, and on what project or projects?
Georg: NERSC has been a key partner for more than five years. The move was an opportunity to consolidate services and integrate ourselves even closer with Berkeley Lab. I currently work extensively with the Berkeley Lab Science IT group on deploying the JGI cloud. The Lab’s scientific virtual machine service was invaluable in moving services from Walnut Creek to IGB. During the move, Berkeley Lab networking and desktop support have worked hard to ensure a smooth transition.
Elements: What are you looking forward to about being colocated at the main campus?
Georg: The possibility to meet the people, whose services we use, in person, will be invaluable. I believe that most of the seemingly insurmountable challenges could be tackled over lunch. On a selfish note: the shorter commute is nice too.