Magnificent Manic Monday @SC18

by Dan Lorts (STEM-Trek Blogger and HPC Advocate)

Well Monday at SC18 started off in typical fashion; I arrived late, thanks to lovely Dallas traffic and the fact that everyone forgets how to drive when it’s raining.

I checked in after walking a ‘short’ distance, which at the Dallas Convention Center is a hike at times, and was greeted by a conference center employee who, because I was using my cane, took me straight to the front of the registration desk and promptly checked me in without any problems.

Then there was the first major decision everyone must make at SC18…which lanyard was I going to pick up and use for my badge? It is a  tough decision (not enough scientific data…). I picked up two; Micron and Cray since they were kind to support STEM-Trek’s SC delegation this year.

Another attendee was having the same difficulties and so I …

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A peek under the covers @SC18!

By Dan Lorts (STEM-Trek Blogger and HPC Advocate)

How about a behind the scenes look at what happens during the setup of a big conference like SC18?

It just so happens that I also work part-time for an event security company that is one of many providing services at SC18. This first group of pictures was taken during the second night of the setup. The floors were taped to identify the location of booths and placement of not only electrical connections but also the required data connections (Fig 1: show floor space map; cover image).

There were contractors running all over the place, including SciNet engineers who were setting up dNOCs and running the fiber connections per the above layout. The green Xes indicate completed booths; there were three additional sheets with booths in progress.

So, as you walk around or view pictures of the SC18 exhibit floor, remember how …

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Reflections from IDW in Gaborone, Botswana

By Elizabeth Leake (STEM-Trek)

More than 830 registered to attend International Data Week (IDW) in Gaborone, Botswana November 5-8, including data scientists, performance computing specialists and policymakers from 66 countries. Sixty percent were from African nations. Co-located meetings included a convening of the Executive Council of the Committee for Data of the International Council for Science  (CODATA); the Research Data Alliance (RDA) Twelfth Plenary; #Drones4Good; and more.

Botswana’s President Mokgweetsi Masisi delivered the opening keynote on Monday, November 5. While he has only been in office since last April, his presence underscored the national commitment to science and technology. And he rarely travels alone; the many dignitaries who accompanied him were enlightened by his keynote and the IDW program, alike. When the tone at the top favors science, as it clearly does in Botswana, and that sentiment is echoed by all who support the leadership, research excellence …

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Ubuntu House @SC18

Elizabeth Leake (STEM-Trek) recently asked SC18 travel grant awardees (traveling to Dallas, Texas Nov. 9-16), “Shall we call our AirBnB South Fork or Ubuntu House?”

All she heard were crickets.

“Remember? J.R. Ewing was the lead character in the 1980’s teledrama, and South Fork was the name of his ranch.”

Again. Silence…

She began to realize this cohort was either too young to have known about the television series, Dallas, or grew up in places where it was never a ‘thing.’  They should consider themselves lucky to have avoided a decade of show-inspired “Texas Helmet Head” and massive shoulder pads. Seriously; we looked like linebackers!

So, Ubuntu House it is!

From Wikipedia: Ubuntu (Zulu pronunciation: [ùɓúntʼù])[1][2] is a Nguni Bantu term meaning “humanity.” It is often translated as “I am …

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CERN’s Maria Girone: “We explain the magic!”

Originally featured in TOP500 on June 26, 2018

The International Supercomputing Conference (ISC18) kicked off on Monday, June 25 in Frankfurt, Germany, with Maria Girone, Chief Technology Offier of CERN openlab delivering the opening keynote address. She explained how CERN’s needs will drive exascale computation and data science innovation in the future.

Founded in 1954, CERN straddles the Franco-Swiss border, and has an annual operating budget of one billion Swiss francs. With 22 member-states, its resources support 15,000 scientists around the world, and employs 2,500 at Swiss and French sites. CERN is home to the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), the world’s largest and most powerful particle accelerator.

In addition to probing the fundamental structure of our universe, understanding the very first moments of our universe after the big bang, and searching for dark matter, CERN technicians and scientists are always developing new technologies for accelerators and detectors. Its instrumentation advances …

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ISC High Performance Reflections of a Newbie

Dear Elizabeth,

First of all, thank you so much for finding a donor for my flight from Gaborone to Johannesburg. Please extend my gratitude to the wonderful people at South Africa’s Airlink Airlines!

Many thanks to ISC Marketing & Communications Manager Nages Sieslack, ISC Student Program Coordinator Colleen Sheedy and the ISC High Performance conference for the travel grant award! I appreciate STEM-Trek’s help covering up-front costs until ISC could make a reimbursement from my grant, and for the pocket euros. If not for everyone’s unwavering and collaborative support, it would have been difficult for me to attend the conference. People like you are rare, and worthy of being celebrated. You are my heroes!

My favorite part of the conference was the “Deep Learning Demystified” tutorial by NVIDIA and Leibniz Supercomputing Center. I was excited to experiment with Deep Learning models to do Object Detection on ocean shots, generate heat …

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International School of Crystallography, Ettore Majorana Foundation and Centre for Scientific Culture

In this blog, Marcus Bond, an XSEDE Campus Champion and professor of inorganic chemistry and x-ray crystallography at Southeast Missouri State University, shares his experience at the International School of Crystallography at the Ettore Majorana Foundation and Centre for Scientific Culture in the mountaintop village of Erice, Sicily, June 1-10.

This crystallography school has been held annually since 1974. Program themes change each year, and there is usually a single topic. However, this year two distinctly different themes were presented simultaneously: Electron Crystallography and Quantum Crystallography. While attendees of both met jointly for a few lectures, each held separate sessons and workshops. Everybody came together informally for meals, social events, excursions or just …

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XSEDE Campus Champion Marcus Bond blogs about ISC High Performance

In this blog, Marcus Bond, an XSEDE Campus Champion and professor of inorganic chemistry and x-ray crystallography at Southeast Missouri State University, shares his experience at the International Supercomputing Conference, ISC High Performance. Bond’s first ISC blog post was featured in HPCwire on June 26, 2018. All photos by Bond.

ISC Tutorial Day: Sunday

Knowledge. As a relative newcomer to the field of high performance computing (HPC), this is primarily why I attend. The last few years have been a flurry of HPC conferences, workshops, and Linux Cluster Institutes as I try to educate myself and become more conversant about supercomputing. Repetition is helpful, since it is easy to forget from one conference to the next, …

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Xiaoxiang Zhu Receives the 2018 PRACE Ada Lovelace Award for HPC

Featured in HPCwire on June 13, 2018

Xiaoxiang Zhu (朱晓香) who works for the German Aerospace Center (DLR) and Technical University of Munich (TUM), was awarded the 2018 PRACE Ada Lovelace Award for HPC for her outstanding contributions in the field of high performance computing (HPC) in Europe.

Dr. Zhu is a professor of Signal Processing in Earth Observation (SiPEO) at TUM and head of the Department EO Data Science at the DLR Remote Sensing Technology Institute.

This was the third year that the Partnership for Advanced Computing in Europe (PRACE) issuedthe Lovelace Award, and it was presented to Zhu on May 28 during the PRACEdays18 conference in Ljubljana, Slovenia, by Sinéad Ryan who chairs the PRACE Scientific Steering Committee.

I caught up with Dr. Zhu in Ljubljana, and she agreed to this interview.

Dr. Zhu, EO research is important to many disciplines, but it is complex and I imagine few understand how it is applied. How would you describe it to a layperson?

 “Urbanization is one of the most important megatrends of global change. Currently 55 percent of the world’s population lives in urban communities, and that percentage is ticking upward; in 1950, 30 percent lived in cities, but by …

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European HPC Summit Week and PRACEdays 2018: Slaying Dragons and SHAPEing Futures One SME at a Time

Featured in HPCwire on June 20, 2018

The University of Ljubljana in Slovenia hosted the third annual EHPCSW18 and fifth annual PRACEdays18 events which opened May 29, 2018. The conference was chaired by PRACE Council Vice-Chair Sergi Girona (Barcelona Supercomputing Center), and officially opened by PRACE Managing Director and Chair of the EHPCSW & PRACEdays OPC Serge Bogaerts. An official welcome was provided by PRACE Council Chair Anwar Osseyran (Dutch National HPC Center, SURFsara); and University of Ljubljana Minister of Education, Science and Sport Maja Makovec Brenčič.

With 343 registered attendees from Europe, Australia, Asia and the United States who represented a wide range of disciplines, EHPCSW18, with many co-located meetings, was a monumental feat of execution. Much of the credit goes to local organizers, contracted consultancies and volunteers who serve on planning committees. I was especially grateful for the opportunity to work closely with the communication team …

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