Monday, February 22, 2010

National Service ?

I agree with the point that says HPC services will be free of charge for "significant" researchers of our nation. What ... what about those SMEs or even national corporations ? why are they out ?

Could there not be a panel of experts to evaluate the impact in our society (workforce to create, quality of jobs, really new techologies -aerospace, materials- .... ) and the government be paying for the electricity bill and secure resources with a nice uptime ?

It is kind of illogical not to support who is going to help most the country. I am not saying that the HPC service should be only for industry, but clearly our companies could do better if they did not have to pay for cpu/hour for a "regular" service. Obviously they will go for commodities until they get an unaffordable electricity bill!

Update 26th Feb '10

I forgot to mention the closely related to this
project SPRI (Basque Development Agency) wanted
to promote Grid-Computing Projects within the SMEs.
Well a consolidated HPC management for Biz and Research
could give an answer to this proposal we have never heard
of again.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Computed Tomography and Molecular Imaging Platforms

According to this article published on HPCWire:

"in order to process the data and create the reconstruction, the CT software requires a high-end computer with significant computation capability."

Such infrastructures would include NVIDIA GPUs to ease this task.

Nonetheless and altough I am a complete unliterate in CT, I just wanted to highlight here that CIC Biomagune includes a complete Molecular Imagin Platform.

I am thinking here not only about the processing (that perhaps is done using only privative software and formats) but in the storage: we do not have an scalable, redundant storage solution. At least not known. And this is not a regular task that any "time machine" could do.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Visitors and Computational Simulation

Prof. Marcus Muller will participate in the Physical Chemistry of Biointerfaces workshop organized by CIC Biomagune.

This session will cover "Statistical physics of soft matter, studied by computer simulation and numerical self-consistent field theory. Special focus on polymer physics, interfacial and wetting phenomena, and biologically motivated problems. " and will include lab session.

Further information about this research visiting soon in his group web page.

ps: I never noticed but BCAMATH organises high profile events-seminars practically every week.

i2Basque, the Natural Coordinator

And I say this becoz this is the aim of Josu Aramberri who has been leading and coordinating this academic network project for the last period.

Josu and his excellent team have deployed a powerful and extremely valuable network using high end Juniper components that connect practically the total amount of centers and companies in the science, research and education sphere in the Basque.

They also provide High End Computing resources: a newest called gt3, the old gt, and the development one ft.

Although they seem to be used it is not clear by whom: it is most probably used by certain researchers in the academic arena like the Basque Centre for Applied Mathematics.

From my point of view their role is critical and of an incredible value for our system. Nonetheless, having said this, my point of view is that i2Basque should be granted more power to coordinate all the spread high end machines that are growing in the area. My point of view is that they have good and well linked personnel to help HPC projects grow. I would rather enable these guys to turn themselves into a CIC centre and start doing and transferring research and technology.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Unknown (for me) HPC Users

It is always grateful to see new users in areas one never expected to see them happen.

It is the case of the "Basque Center on Cognition, Brain and Language "

Their mission:

"provide a platform for researchers and professionals from related areas to carry out frontline research, development and innovation in this area. " ( Cognitive Neuroscience of Language )

It has been operating sin 2008 but after hard months of work it will be finally inaugurated in 2010 in Guipuzkoa -a county with big HPC demand and a region with over the average investment in research- concretely in San Sebastian/Donostia.

These guys claim to have in place state of the art computing facilities perhaps including extensive and specialized databases from their experiments. A local company claimed to have won the procurement for the data processing center and other facilities.

In any case it is very good news. We can find similar centers for instance in Cambridge .

Recruiting Personnel

We have recently known that the engineering department at Mondragon University -a privately run educational institution in the Basque-, hired Prof. Mustafa Tutar who is specialized in CFD.

His contract was agreed under the Ikerbasque scheme.

Further Information in his web page.

It is interesting to remark that it is this instution along with Epsilon Euskadi -a major HPC user here- the one running the Master in Motorsport Engineering.

Although certain types of personnel may be leaving our region, others are clearly back, and it is exactly a profile like this the one the Basque should be looking into. Well done Ikerbasque!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

San Sebastian-Donostia, Spanish Head Office for the European master in Theoretical Chemistry and Computational Modelling

The San Sebastian campus, part of the University of the Basque Country, hosts a internationally renowned faculty of Chemistry. These guys are great and intensive users of scientific computational resources at several scales both in Spain and abroad.

This month 40 universities from 9 states in Europe will meet in this campus to advance in the concepts of the course.

As themselves state on their webpage:

"Theoretical Chemistry and Computational Modelling (TCCM) play a key role in the development of modern chemistry, biochemistry, chemical biology, physics and material science. This has motivated six Universities leaders in the key disciplines of the field to set a consortium and offer a joint TCCM Master course. The creation of this joint Master has two main objectives:
  • establish a European standard for Master training;
  • promote the international mobility of Master students"

CD-Adapco: Towards the Virtual Lab: Introduction to CFD

More great news regarding the Basque and HPC.

The University of The Basque Country, Epsilon Euskadi and CD-Adapco celebrated a seminar at the University premises in Vitoria-Gasteiz.

Further Information Available here:

The basque has a true HPC-heart.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Cerfacs as a reference

I would like to thank Prof. Enrique Zuazua from the BCAMATH. The acclaimed maths professor has -during a recent conference- named Cerfacs as an example for the Basque Country.

I totally agree with his point of view: it is time to build our own Software, our own research. An HPC center is not build upon the pieces of the rest: these centers are made to CREATE. An HPC center will never go far if they only thing about TOP500.

I think there are great chances for creating such center in here (based on a public-private status) and promoting the local research in our industry by proposing them challenges, and excellence in education as Prof Enrique explained. For instance, our industry is based on mechanics, therefore perhaps the Basque could in parallel develop integrated solutions for datacentres.

One more time, a big round of applause for Prof Zuazua.