As proud participants, Pawsey Supercomputing Centre hosted our first Open Day on Saturday, August 20.
Members of the public were invited to the Pawsey Centre in Kensington, and over 300 people attended the event to learn about supercomputers and their importance to the advancement of science in Australia. Approximately 220 visitors came through Pawsey’s exhibition space to learn about our centre and research projects and get a “selfy” with Magnus. Another 80 people toured our restricted “white space” which houses Magnus, the most powerful supercomputer in the Southen Hemisphere.
Throughout the day tour groups attended presentations from archaeologists, physicists, and radio astronomers who discussed science projects that require the use of a supercomputer.
Over 100 kids were lucky enough to adopt our furry Pawsey wombats and take them home for a cuddle. Children also got some fantastic face painting done and good luck to everyone who entered the Raspberry Pi Competition!
Everyone enjoyed our centre tours, gourmet sausage sizzle, helium balloons, kids’ activities, and barista coffee van all of which were complimentary.
One attendee commented:
“I liked hearing from the scientist Dr Laura about how Magnus is helping her solve hunger in East Africa and talking to the scientists about the SKA and the physics of it all. It was great. The awesome sausages and coffee were a nice touch too. And the lovely face painting for my kids helped them wait while mum asked a million questions.”
As a result of the success of Open Day and increasing community interest the Pawsey Supercomputer Centre plans to conduct free group tours of the supercomputing facilities on a monthly basis.
“We were overwhelmed by the interest and enthusiasm our Open Day generated on Saturday,” said Neil Stringfellow, Executive Director of the Pawsey Supercomputing Centre.
“It’s wonderful to see younger generations inspired and excited about supercomputers and how they enable amazing insight, boost our understanding, and deliver fantastic advances in science and technology of benefit to all Australians.