The Pawsey Supercomputing Centre

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Pawsey presence in ISC16

Pawsey staff recently attended ISC16 in Frankfurt, the world’s oldest and Europe’s most important conference and networking event for the High Performance Computing (HPC) community. The conference was an opportunity for businesses and public institutions with a stake in high-performance computing to find out the latest trends in the market and share knowledge with their peers. This year more than 3,000 people from 53 countries participated in the event and amongst them were seven Pawsey experts.

The concept of “Machine Learning,” or self- learning computers, was a consistent theme throughout the five days of the conference. There were four keynote speeches. The opening speech was delivered by Associate Professor Andrew Ng who focused on HPC as the supercharger of machine learning, and presented to an audience of over 800 attendees.

The conference also provided the opportunity to attend 21 workshops, 10 tutorials, over 20 Birds of a Feather (BoF) sessions, and more than 30 presentations; facilitated in total by 400 speakers.

Pawsey experts gathered information to improve their services, inform technology procurement processes, and identify areas to upskill researchers using their services.

Sessions that Pawsey staff attended included Open MP, Intel Xeon Phi application performance, parallel programming in modern Fortran, MPI, and MPI-X. They also attended BoFs, research paper presentations, workshops on life science, neurobiotics, and artificial intelligence; tutorials on debugging and profiling on accelerators, modern Fortran, linear algebra libraries, and Infiniband. Meeting with staff and users from other international supercomputing centres, Pawsey staff discussed areas of shared interest and conducted informal discussions with other international members of the SKA SDP consortium.

This was also an excellent occasion to showcase the science outcomes of the use of Pawsey systems in the exhibition area. This year, the exhibition hosted more than 146 leading HPC vendors and research organisations from around the globe. Pawsey’s booth received more than 300 visitors with much interest in the relationship of the Centre with the SKA, industry engagement and training.

Supercomputing events are always a chance to strengthen relations with other Centres around the world. The ISC16 in Europe was an excellent place to further enhance relationships with representatives of SKA project.

The Top500 list of global supercomputers was announced at the beginning of the show, and Pawsey’s Magnus system was crowned the number one system in Australia and Oceania. The stars of the show, however, were undoubtedly Pawsey’s wombats. More than 400 of Pawsey’s mascot wombats were adopted during the three days of the exhibition, allowing them to explore all corners of the world.

Pawsey will continue to have a presence at more international events in order to promote the big science that is produced by Australia’s greatest minds using Pawsey supercomputers.

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