Public outreach

Collaboration, collaboration, collaboration

Author: Adrian Jackson
Posted: 15 Jun 2016 | 13:35

This week sees our annual collaboration workshop with Tsukuba University, Japan (more details are available here).  This is a great chance to get a flavour of the kind of research another HPC centre is undertaking, how they work, and what platforms they are investing in.

The Centre for Computational Sciences (CCS) at Tsukuba is a department very like EPCC, in that it is responsible for high performance and parallel computing at the university, runs and supports large-scale computers for researchers, and undertakes parallel computing research.

Software engineers + screwdrivers = ?

Author: Iain Bethune
Posted: 31 May 2016 | 15:32

Block diagram of a computer

I'm firmly of the opinion that one of the best ways to understand how computers work is to get hands-on with hardware. Many of us will have at some point come across a block diagram of a computer - maybe something like the one on the right.  That's all well and good, but there's something about physically taking something to bits and putting it back together that helps you understand how everything fits together.  

With that in mind, over the last year I've been helping develop a STEM outreach activity based on the idea of building PCs.  We first trialled it at Bang Goes The Borders 2015, and ran a workshop at the Edinburgh International Science Festival earlier this year, and kids as young as 5 have been able to successfully get a PC running from scratch.

Getting Wee Archie online: configuring a cluster for network access

Author: Alistair Grant
Posted: 29 Apr 2016 | 14:42

8x8 LED Matrix Connected to Raspberry Pi

At the tail end of last year, the EPCC Outreach team launched Wee Archie, a Raspberry Pi cluster designed to demonstrate parallel concepts and the type of work that is carried out on supercomputers such as ARCHER. Since the launch, Wee Archie has travelled around the UK including to Oxford, Birmingham and Dundee.

Junkyard Clusters

Author: Mario Antonioletti
Posted: 5 Apr 2016 | 12:30

It was not without a certain element of trepidation that I volunteered to help out at our offering at this year's Edinburgh International Science Festival: Junkyard Clusters.

The activity basically involved taking a stripped down Dell desktop system and, in a workshop format, with a host of mostly young participants, walking them through putting the machine back together, networking the systems up and from the now working systems getting them to collaboratively build a fractal image.

The Big Bang Fair and ARCHER Champions

Author: Toni Collis
Posted: 20 Mar 2016 | 10:01

Broadening participation in HPC: taking outreach to the next level

Learning about SAFE at ARCHER Champions

One of the reasons why EPCC set up Women in HPC is because we recognised there was a problem. The problem was the apparent lack of women in the supercomputing community. When my colleagues and I started Women in HPC, our purpose was very clear: to recruit and retain women in the international HPC workforce.

Day 5: Big Bang Fair

Author: Nick Brown
Posted: 18 Mar 2016 | 17:33

Day five of the Big Bang Fair, our busiest day yet and Mario left us to return back to Edinburgh. The previous evening we all attended the supporter’s dinner, where the Young Scientist and Young Engineer of the year were announced. It was followed by a three course sit down dinner with people from industry, the exhibitors and other guests.

Day 4: Big Bang Fair

Author: Mario Antonioletti
Posted: 17 Mar 2016 | 23:06

Day 4 of the Big Bang Fair - we were joined by Toni and Lorna left us to return to Edinburgh. Miles was our allocated helper for today (in the red shirt) who helped us in the early part of the morning but was to be co-opted to be a water tap for Water Aid in the second half of the day (see picture at the end). If anything, today was busier than yesterday. The problem with the dino racing demo crashing discoveed yesterday was fixed. A number of other improvements were made with the supercomputing app showing the most recent scores in case you did not make it the leader board.

Big Bang Fair Day 3: The show begins

Author: Mirren White
Posted: 16 Mar 2016 | 20:59

If you’ve been following our blog up to this point, you’ll know that today was the opening day of the Big Bang Fair in Birmingham. Our exploits in getting here and setting up the booth at the fair were chronicled in our Day 1 and Day 2 blogs, but today was a big one too.

Day 2: The Big Bang Fair

Author: Lorna Smith
Posted: 15 Mar 2016 | 21:12

Day 2 of the Big Bang Fair and the second day of the build. The event starts tomorrow morning and today was about finishing off the build and ensuring all the demos were tweaked for the show. Having arrived late last night, I avoided most of the heavy build on Day 1 Mario, Alistair and Mirren had obviously had a long day putting things together.

Day 1: Big Bang Fair

Author: Mario Antonioletti
Posted: 14 Mar 2016 | 21:31

This is day one of the Big Bang Fair, not one that the target audience see; it is build day where we, along with all the other exhibitors, begin construction of our booths and exhibits. Our two pallets that got shipped from Edinburgh at the end of last week await unpacking whilst our floor, in the background of the pic, is being laid out. Not only are there two pallets but we have all come down, burdened like donkeys, bringing additional material, laptops, PC sticks, etc that will also be used on the booth. Despite all this the National Exhibition Centre in Birmingham is truly massive with 20 exhibition halls. The Big Bang Fair are only using four of them and we are completely dwarfed by this huge amount of space.

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