Posted: 1 Jul 2013 | 15:19
Recently I have been taking the 'EPCC Roadshow' around local university departments, usually with a colleague or two, giving an overview of EPCC: who we are, what we do and how we can be of assistance. It is surprising how little communication takes place within a large institution and how little knowledge there is about what is available at one’s very own doorstep.
The roadshows aim to not only inform people about how they can take advantage of EPCC's resources, but also to establish longer-term collaborations between EPCC and other local departments and institutions. There is a definite synergy that can be exploited by bringing together an academic discipline such as chemistry, engineering or physics and combining it with EPCC's expertise in high performance computing. With our extensive project management experience, we can help to create a unique partnership which can tap into various funding sources.
Supporting science through collaboration is one of our longer term goals. But we can also offer advice on how to improve the performance of an application, the suitability of using different HPC platforms (such as GPUs and Intel Xeon Phi cards) to solve problems, or how to exploit the parallelism of an application when moving from multi-core shared memory systems to large distributed memory parallel systems. We may even be able to give access to these types of resources to allow one to try things out.
Collaborations can be established to test ideas and build prototypes which, if successful, can then support a bid for funding to underpin a longer-term partnership. We have a number of vehicles that can be used to seed this process, for example our MSc in High Performance Computing students require interesting dissertation projects that can be used to take forward a piece of research and provide input into a future bid. We can also undertake one-off, one-week projects to move things forward.
Regardless of whether you want to undertake a collaboration with EPCC or not, it can be useful to know about the kind of resources and skills we can offer. If you belong to an institution close to Edinburgh and would like to host a visit by the EPCC roadshow, please get in touch.