HPC-Europa3 report: studying the strong force between quarks and gluons

Author: Guest blogger
Posted: 13 May 2020 | 15:25

HPC-Europa3 visitor Fernando Romero López, a PhD student from the Institute of Corpuscular Physics (IFIC) at the University of Valencia in Spain, visited Dr Antonio Rago of Mathematical Sciences at Plymouth University earlier this year. Here he describes his experience.

I am a physicist doing my PhD in theoretical particle physics at the University of Valencia. During January and February, I had the chance to visit the UK for a six-week research project at the University of Plymouth as a part of the HPC-Europa3 programme.

EPCC joins the UK’s ExCALIBUR programme to address the challenges of Exascale

Author: Kevin Stratford
Posted: 8 May 2020 | 09:37

ExCALIBUR is a £45.7m programme to address the challenges and opportunities offered by computing at the exascale (high performance computing at 1018 floating point operations per second). The programme will address problems of strategic importance, and how to approach them in an efficient, effective, and productive fashion on the world’s largest computers.

Enabling research access to historic geospatial data of places around the globe

Author: Guest blogger
Posted: 5 May 2020 | 11:28

The National Collection of Aerial Photography (NCAP) is an early adopter of the Edinburgh International Data Facility, which is being developed by EPCC. Dr Allan Williams, Head of the Collection, explains the benefits of the collaboration.

One of the largest collections of aerial photography in the world, the National Collection of Aerial Photography (NCAP) holds tens-of-millions of high-quality analogue images that record key moments in world history, and places around the globe. NCAP is the official custodian of UK government military-declassified aerial imagery created from the 1920s onwards, it also holds imagery commissioned by UK government civilian agencies and air survey photography created by commercial partners.

Rapid Assistance in Modelling the Pandemic (RAMP) initiative

Author: Kostas Kavoussanakis
Posted: 1 May 2020 | 10:37

I am the Project Manager of the Rapid Assistance in Modelling the Pandemic (RAMP) initiative, supporting Prof. Mike Cates and the RAMP Steering Committee. RAMP was convened by the Royal Society in the UK to enhance existing COVID-19 initiatives. The motivation was to enhance the modelling teams who inform Government policy through channels such as SPI-M (Scientific Pandemic Influenza Modelling Group), which reports to SAGE (Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies).

Better software, better COVID-19 research

Author: Mike Jackson
Posted: 30 Apr 2020 | 10:08

A friend recently forwarded me a tweet from Professor Neil Ferguson, director of J-IDEA and the MRC Centre for Global Infectious Disease Analysis at Imperial College London, concerning their COVID-19 pandemic modeller, used by the UK Government:

"I'm conscious that lots of people would like to see and run the pandemic simulation code we are using to model control measures against COVID-19. To explain the background - I wrote the code (thousands of lines of undocumented C) 13+ years ago to model flu pandemics..." @neil_ferguson - 22 Mar

Survey of European engineering community requirements

Author: Mark Sawyer
Posted: 24 Apr 2020 | 11:57

EPCC is a partner in the EXCELLERAT programme, which brings together key players from industry, research and HPC to provide services that will enable the European engineering industry to advance towards Exascale technologies. A Service Platform (including training, access to codes and software, and expert consultation) will be offered within EXCELLERAT where participants will be provided with the most suitable type of support, based on their own current needs.

Under pressure

Author: Adrian Jackson
Posted: 23 Mar 2020 | 10:45

Squeezed performance

Memory under pressure

I was recently working with a colleague to investigate performance issues on a login node for one of our HPC systems. I should say upfront that looking at performance on a login node is generally not advisable, they are shared resources not optimised for performance.

We always tell our students not to run performance benchmarking on login nodes, because it's hard to ensure the results are reproducible. However, in this case we were just running a very small (serial) test program on the login node to ensure it worked before submitting it to the batch systems and my colleague noticed a performance variation across login nodes that was unusual.

Efficient FE2 multi-scale implementation applied to composite deformation

Author: Guest blogger
Posted: 1 Mar 2020 | 10:37

Guido Giuntoli visited STFC's Daresbury Laboratory in December 2019 through the HPC-Europa3 programme. Here he describes his work and time in the UK.

Enhancing data-streaming programming platforms: a case for dispel4py and a GrPPI comparison

Author: Guest blogger
Posted: 12 Feb 2020 | 11:34

Javier Fernández Muñoz was an HPC-Europa3 visitor from 1st June 2019–30th August 2019 hosted at EPCC by Rosa Filgueira. Here he tells us about his experiences.

Hi! My name Javier Fernández Muñoz, I am working as a Visiting Professor in the Computer Architecture and Technology Area of the Computer Science Department at the University Carlos III de Madrid (Spain). 

My research field includes the development of parallel programming frameworks that enhance usability and portability. In this regard, I have been working several years in the development of GrPPI (Generic Reusable Parallel Pattern Interface), an open source generic and reusable parallel pattern programming interface. Basically, GRPPI accommodates a layer between developers and existing parallel programming frameworks targeted at multi-core processor capabilities, such as ISO C++ Threads, OpenMP, Intel TBB, and FastFlow. To achieve this goal, the interface leverages modern C++ features, meta-programming concepts, and generic programming to act as a switch between those frameworks.

Training researchers for a software/ data-intensive world through the Edinburgh Carpentries

Author: Giacomo Peru
Posted: 30 Jan 2020 | 14:12

The Edinburgh Carpentries (EdCarp) is a training initiative which offers the Carpentries computing and data skills curriculum in Edinburgh. We train researchers on fundamental skills they need, with a team of volunteers from across disciplines, academic units, and career stages. 

Since 2018, EdCarp has organised 25 workshops across the academic institution, training over 300 staff and students in tools such as R, Python, Unix shell, git, and OpenRefine. Courses are free to participants and get oversubscribed very quickly.

We are now rolling out our 2020 curriculum and announcing workshops at


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