Iain Bethune's blog

What's inside the box? Building computers from scratch

Author: Iain Bethune
Posted: 28 Sep 2015 | 13:28

Last weekend, a team of us attended Bang Goes The Borders, a regional science festival hosted by St Mary's school in Melrose.

This was the fourth year we've been there, and as usual there were around 1000 school kids and their families keen to get their hands on all kinds of science- and technology-based activities.

Although our "dinoracer" has been a big favourite for the last few years, this time we took along two completely new activities: the Supercomputing App and the Build-a-PC Junkyard Challenge - which I'd like to tell you about...

And now for something completely different...

Author: Iain Bethune
Posted: 13 Aug 2015 | 14:52

Forth 1 Fringe@Work

As you may know, the Edinburgh Festival is currently in full swing - in fact it's hard to make it across the city centre without stumbling across street artists or perfomers offering tickets for their shows. For the most part, life on the King's Buildings Campus goes on regardless... until our Business Development & Marketing Manager Maureen announced that we'd won the Fringe@Work competition, and Forth 1 Radio and the Gilded Balloon would be bringing a taste of the Festival Fringe direct to JCMB Lecture Theatre A.

I'm a Scientist (and I'm out of there!)

Author: Iain Bethune
Posted: 26 Jun 2015 | 16:44

At the end of last week, I blogged about the I'm a Scientist Get Me Out of Here! event. One week on, the whirlwind of live chats, evictions and answering questions is over.

I'm a scientist, get me out of here!

Author: Iain Bethune
Posted: 19 Jun 2015 | 16:09

I'm a Scientist Logo

This week I've been taking part in I'm a Scientist, Get me out of here, an online event funded by the Wellcome Trust where high school pupils engage in live chats with scientists from around the UK.

Agony and ExTASY

Author: Iain Bethune
Posted: 8 Jun 2015 | 16:41

ExTASY project logo

Over 18 months ago, we kicked off the ExTASY project. Our lofty aim was to tackle one of the 'Grand Challenges' of biochemistry - effective sampling of complex biomolecules using Molecular Dynamics to provide a physical understanding of their function and behaviour.

TPLS 2.0 goes live

Author: Iain Bethune
Posted: 25 May 2015 | 11:52

Last week I took part in a Mini-Symposium at the University's School of Engineering to mark the 2.0 release of TPLS, a high-resolution 3D Direct Numerical Simulation code for two-phase flows that we have developed in collaboration with Dr Prash Valluri and Dr. Lennon Ó Náraigh.

CP2K-UK: One year on

Author: Iain Bethune
Posted: 5 Mar 2015 | 09:36

CP2K LogoEarlier this month we held the second annual CP2K User Group Meeting at King's College London, in the shadow of London's iconic 'Shard'.  The meeting was even more popular than last year's, with around 60 people coming along to learn about the latest new features available in CP2K, and to hear from a wide range of existing users what they are doing with the code.  

CMCGS2015: Two days of Maths in Singapore

Author: Iain Bethune
Posted: 10 Feb 2015 | 14:33

Last week I was lucky enough to spend a few days in the tropical city of Singapore, attending the Computational Mathematics, Computational Geometry & Statistics (CMCGS) 2015 conference. I was there to present a review paper on the achievements of the PrimeGrid project, which I have blogged and talked about before, but as a more mathematical rather than computationally-themed conference, it was also a good chance to make contact with researchers who might be less au fait with parallel computing than most.

Hotel Fort Canning, Singapore

VOX-FE GUI developments

Author: Iain Bethune
Posted: 25 Jan 2015 | 15:55

For the last few years, I have had the opportunity to collaborate with Prof. Michael Fagan of the Medical and Biological Engineering group at the University of Hull on the development of his VOX-FE voxel finite-element (FE) bone modelling software. Past projects under EPSRC and HECToR dCSE funding allowed us to improve the scaling of the core solver and implementent parallel I/O, but it has become increasingly apparently that this was papering over the cracks, and a complete re-engineering of the code base would be required to make it portable, scalable and flexible enough to be useable.  

Greenhouse gases and GPUs

Author: Iain Bethune
Posted: 17 Dec 2014 | 16:32

We have just reached the end of a short project collaborating with Atmospheric Geochemists at the universities of Edinburgh and Bristol. After they purchased two machines each, both with dual Intel Xeon Ivy-bridge 12-core CPUs and NVIDIA Tesla K20x GPUs, EPCC was tasked to investigate the feasability of using the GPUs to improve the performance of their software.

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