Iain Bethune's blog

Bang went the Borders

Author: Iain Bethune
Posted: 23 Oct 2014 | 14:42

Last month, EPCC took part in the Bang Goes The Borders science festival at St Mary's Primary School in Melrose.  Lorna Smith, Justs Zarins and I spent the day telling people from pre-schoolers to retirees all about supercomputers, how they work, and what they are used for.  

Volunteer computing & the hunt for prime numbers

Author: Iain Bethune
Posted: 29 Sep 2014 | 15:52

As well as helping out with our drop-in workshop at the British Science Festival in early September, I also had the chance to give a talk as part of the Festival's public lecture programme. Over 75 people turned out early on Sunday morning to hear 'Seventeen or Bust: Solving hard mathematical problems with your help!', where I explained how the PrimeGrid project is working on a solution to Sierpinski's conjecture, a fifty-year-old unsolved problem in Number Theory, as well as finding record-sized prime numbers in the process.

CP2K training ramps up

Author: Iain Bethune
Posted: 5 Sep 2014 | 19:50

I spent a couple of days last week at Imperial College's Department of Chemistry running a 2-day training course on CP2K. The course was hosted by NSCCS - the National Service for Computational Chemistry Software, and ARCHER - the National HPC Service we manage here in Edinburgh.

I've blogged before about the CP2K-UK project, a direct result of EPSRC's recognition of the growing community of CP2K users in the UK. Currently around £25,000 worth of CPU time is used per month on ARCHER for CP2K calculations, so it is important that users have access to the latest information on how to make the best use of the code.

Talking HPC with the Omega Tau podcast

Author: Iain Bethune
Posted: 11 Aug 2014 | 09:36

Omega Tau: science and engineering in your headphones is a STEM-themed podcast produced by Markus Völter and Nora Ludewig which covers a wide range of interesting topics including aerospace, spaceflight, computing and physical sciences in great detail through interviews and discussions with area experts.

Parallel processing for pre-schoolers

Author: Iain Bethune
Posted: 8 Jul 2014 | 09:45

On the 10th of April Lorna Smith, Toni Collis and I spent the morning at Tweedbank Community Centre with a group of 30 pre-school children from the local nursery and playgroup - possibly the youngest group of potential HPC users we have met yet!  As part of the Borders Science Festival, we had offered to run a workshop giving an overview of HPC, kick-start an interest in STEM, and help cover one of their Curriculum for Excellence outcomes: "I can talk about science stories to develop my understanding of the world around me".

Now available: 2014 MSc Guest Lecture podcasts

Author: Iain Bethune
Posted: 5 May 2014 | 21:26

As a follow-up to my recent post, the full set of podcasts from this year's MSc guest lecture series is now available, either from the School's podcast page, or via our iTunesU channel.

MSc in HPC Guest Lecture Series 2014

Author: Iain Bethune
Posted: 4 Mar 2014 | 11:54

Every year I have the pleasure (and challenge!) of organising a series of guest lectures as part of EPCC's MSc in HPC. The lectures form part of the HPC Ecosystem course, and aim to give students an appreciation of the current issues and experiences of real-world HPC practioners.

1st Annual CP2K UK users' meeting

Author: Iain Bethune
Posted: 6 Feb 2014 | 09:50

Last week we held the first in a series of annual meetings for the CP2K user community at the University of London Garden Halls.

I blogged about it in the run-up to the meeting, but as with any first until you're there you don't know quite what to expect. I was very pleased to see over 50 attendees on the day, ranging from new PhD students to professors, and expert CP2K users to complete novices.

Supercomputing and prime numbers in Mathematics Today!

Author: Iain Bethune
Posted: 6 Jan 2014 | 14:51

As a follow-up to speaking at the British Science Festival in Sept 2013, I was asked to write an article for the Institute of Mathematics & its Applications about the PrimeGrid project. The full article is available online, or in the Dec 2013 edition of the Mathematics Today magazine.

Research in a nutshell: HPC

Author: Iain Bethune
Posted: 2 Dec 2013 | 10:13

In this short video 'Research in a nutshell: HPC', I describe my investigations into how high performance computing can be used to go beyond the limits of theory and experiment in many fields of scientific research.

Also in this series, you can watch Prof. Arthur Trew's Computational Science video where he explains the use of computers to simulate systems that are too large, too fast, too slow, or perhaps just too expensive to experiment on.

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