Blog

Managing Makefiles in git

Author: Mario Antonioletti
Posted: 7 Apr 2016 | 16:36

I have become a bit of a fan of the distributed revision control provided by git. In my day-to-day work at EPCC, I find myself developing and running code across multiple machines. Trying to keep a code base coherent across all these systems would be a bit of a nightmare were it not for git or any other source control revision system. Arguably, SVN would work as well but I somewhat lost my faith in SVN after trying to commit files over a slow and unstable connection while travelling on a train.

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.

Collaborations Workshop 2016

Author: Mario Antonioletti
Posted: 31 Mar 2016 | 09:30

The Software Sustainability Institute's Collaborations Workshop 2016 is now over. If you blinked, you missed it. You shall now have to wait until 27-29th March 2017 for the next one, to be held at the Leeds Business School.  I still think that this is one of the best networking conferences around and well worth attending, though for the purposes of full disclosure I have to admit that I have a dual role: as a peripheral organiser as well as a full workshop attendee. The workshop runs over two days and is followed by a hack day which I was unable to attend because of other commitments.

Array index order matters, right?

Author: Adrian Jackson
Posted: 30 Mar 2016 | 17:46

Does array index order affect performance?

A couple of weeks ago I was teaching an ARCHER Modern Fortran course, and one of the things we discuss during the course is index ordering for multi-dimension arrays.  This course is an introduction to modern Fortran (primarily F90/F95), so we don't go into lots of details about parallel or performance programming, but as attendees are likely to be using Fortran for computational simulation it is important they understand which array dimensions are contiguous in memory so that they don't accidentally write code that is much slower than it should be.

GNU compiler performance

Figure 1: Performance using the GNU compiler

During one of the practical sessions on the course, one of the students wrote a little program to investigate the performance impact of iterating through array elements in a non-contiguous order.  They also included some code to investigate if there is a performance impact when using allocatable array rather than static arrays (I'd mentioned it shouldn't impact performance but I obviously wasn't convincing enough...).

HPC Community Survey

Author: Guest blogger
Posted: 30 Mar 2016 | 17:23

This blog article comes from one of our current Phd students: Athina Frantzana, who is researching the obstacles facing women in the HPC community, and how equality can be improved.

The under-representation of women in STEM workforces has been a widely discussed subject in recent years. However, the recording and analysis of data regarding the gender balance of HPC remains rare.

Our study is a preliminary analysis of workforce and research participation in HPC, and aims to quantify the current level of representation of women in HPC and to provide a baseline for evaluating possible reasons and suggesting ways for future changes to the demographics.

EPCC storms ahead in cycle challenge

Author: Eilidh Troup
Posted: 21 Mar 2016 | 10:13

EPCC staff have enthusiastically engaged with the ‘Love to Ride, Edinburgh’ cycling challenge. This is an effort to get more people to cycle within Edinburgh for environmental and health reasons through fun workplace competitions. Workplaces compete in a league based on the number of staff and EPCC is currently topping the departmental league (50-199 staff) .

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.

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