Common Acronyms and Terms

Anaconda / Conda

A distribution of Python and R used for scientific computing that is meant to simplify package management and deployment. Conda is used for installing packages and managing their dependencies. [Related Page - Anaconda]


Within Oscar, an association refers to a combination of four factors: Cluster, Account, User, and Partition. Associations are used to control job submissions for users. [Related Page - Associations & Quality of Service]

Batch Jobs

Put simply, batch jobs are scheduled programs that are assigned to run on a computer without further user interaction. [Related Page - Batch Jobs]


Brown University's Center for Computation and Visualization. Provides software, expertise, and other services for Brown's research community. See our website for more information.


Stands for Community Earth System Model. "CESM is a fully-coupled, community, global climate model that provides state-of-the-art computer simulations of the Earth's past, present, and future climate states." (Source) [Related Page - Using a CESM module]


PIs can purchase condos that have a significant amount of computing resources which can be shared with others. [Related Page - Account Types]


"CUDA is an extension of the C language, as well as a runtime library, to facilitate general-purpose programming of NVIDIA GPUs." (Source) [Related Page - Intro to CUDA]

Desktop App

This app on Open OnDemand allows users to launch a Desktop GUI on Oscar. This app is based on VNC which is a desktop sharing system that allows you to remotely control another desktop.[Related Page- Desktop App (VNC)]


Stands for High Performance Computing. HPC is the ability to process data and perform highly complex calculations at an accelerated rate. Oscar is the service that CCV offers to the Brown community for their High Performance Computing needs.

Job Array

A job array is a collection of jobs that all run the same program but on different values of a parameter. [Related Page - Job Arrays]

Jupyter Notebook

"The Jupyter Notebook is an open-source web application that allows you to create and share documents that contain live code, equations, visualizations and narrative text." [Related Page - Jupyter Notebooks on Oscar]

Interactive Jobs

Jobs that allow the user to interact in real time with applications within Oscar, often from the command line. This differs from batch jobs in that each command to be run must be put in one at a time. [Related Page - Interactive Jobs]


Modules are software components that can easily be loaded or unloaded into Oscar. For instance, a user can load the Python 3 module using a module load command. [Related Page - Using Modules]


Stands for Message Passing Interface. MPI is a system that aims to be the standard for portable and efficient message passing. Message passing is a technique often used in object-oriented programming and parallel programming [Related Page - MPI Jobs]

Open OnDemand (OOD)

Open OnDemand (OOD) is a web portal to the Oscar computing cluster. It can be used to launch a Desktop session on Oscar [Related Page - Open OnDemand]

OOD app

OOD app is a web application that runs on the Open OnDemand web portal. It allows users to launch interactive applications like Jupyter Notebook, RStudio, Matlab or Desktop. [Related Page - Interactive Apps on OOD]


Partitions are essentially groupings of nodes that allocate resources for specific types of tasks. On Oscar, partitions are based on job submissions through the Slurm workload manager. [Related Page - Slurm Partitions]


Stands for Principal Investigator. Mainly used to refer to the individual responsible for conducting and administrating a research grant. Within Oscar, PIs have their own data directories that can be shared to students. PIs may also purchase condos. [Related Page - Account Types]


A client for SSH for Windows and Unix that emulates a terminal [Related Page - SSH (Terminal)]


An object-oriented, high-level, and popular programming language [Related Page - Python on Oscar]

Quality of Service (QOS)

The job limits that are linked to a given association. For instance, Priority Accounts will generally have a higher quality of service than Exploratory Accounts. [Related Page - Associations & Quality of Service (QOS)]


A workload manager used within Oscar to schedule jobs [Related Page - Slurm Partitions]


Stands for Secure Shell Protocol. Used to communicate securely between computers and often used within a command-line interface (CLI) for connections to remote servers [Related Page - SSH (Terminal)]


The Server Message Block (SMB) protocol is a network protocol that allows users to communicate with remote computers for file-sharing and other uses. It is one of the versions of the Common Internet File System (CIFS). Within Oscar, SMB is mainly used for file transfer. [Related Page - SMB (Local Mount)]

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