Written by Karina Nunez, Marketing & Communications Officer
Wednesday was a busy day for the Pawsey Supercomputing Centre at ISC. It was the last proper day of the exhibition, and most of the presentations from the Pawsey team took place as part of the day’s HPC in Asia sessions.
Following the welcome address, Pawsey Executive Director Dr Neil Stringfellow opened the session with the Status Report from Australia, detailing the advances in Australian supercomputing from the last year and plans for the future. The audience was particularly interested in the role of the National Merit Allocation Scheme in Australian science and the way Pawsey is supporting this program. Dr Stringfellow was followed by presenters from Singapore, Taiwan, India, Japan, Korea and China.
The winner of the HPC in Asia Poster Session was announced during the second half of the morning sessions. Dr Fumiyoshi Shoji from RIKEN AICS took home the ISC Research Poster Award for his project “Long Term Failure Analysis of 10 Petascale Supercomputer”
In the last year, bioinformatics has been one area of science that has shown rapidly growing interest in using Pawsey resources and expertise. The Centre even created a specialist program, the Bioinformatics Petascale Pioneers, to meet this growing need. Pawsey Supercomputing Application Specialist Brian Skjerven shared his experiences from his role in the program with the with HPC in Asia audience, using three cases studies to illustrate how Pawsey has helped researchers in this research area to unlock new scientific possibilities.
Thursday was ISC’s official final day – while not a part of the full conference, a range of workshops was held. Dr Stringfellow was one of three presenters at the Application Extreme-Scaling Experience of Leading Supercomputing Centres workshop. This workshop covered both modern-day practicalities as well as brainstorming for the future of supercomputing. Topics discussed ranged from the importance of using the right code to optimise use of the system, to the future of exascale supercomputing as well as how to maximise the use of resources to guarantee users the best possible outcomes.
It was this session that really highlighted to me why it is important to attend events like ISC. HPC is a comparatively small, tight-knit community, and its core business is innovation. There are always new challenges and with those come new problems, but we are not alone. There are other people going through the same situations, and everyone is willing to share their experiences with others. After the workshop, attendees stayed behind to discuss the experiences with their Centres over the last year and to ask the same of other attendees. This moment helped me realise that we have to help each other and spaces like ISC are designed to make this happen.
I and everyone from Pawsey would like to thank ISC’15 for these opportunities, as well as all the other centres and vendors who are giving researchers the best tools and expertise to deliver future ground-breaking discoveries for the world.