Mario Antonioletti's blog

A bunch of stars!!

Author: Mario Antonioletti
Posted: 16 Nov 2016 | 11:41

It has been around two years since a number of us at EPCC became science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) ambassadors and, as part of our outreach activities, we have maintained our membership of STEMNET (you have to do at least one STEM-related event per year).

Can one of our MSc students help you?

Author: Mario Antonioletti
Posted: 31 Aug 2016 | 15:29

We're looking for collaborative projects with industry and academia.

A new batch of students will soon be joining our MSc in High Performance Computing (HPC) and MSc in HPC with Data Science.

As ever we are on the look-out for interesting collaborative projects for the students to undertake towards the end of their course (roughly from April/May to August). 

Data and Software Carpentry combo at Edinburgh

Author: Mario Antonioletti
Posted: 29 Aug 2016 | 10:35

Software Carpentry attendees during the shell session. Pic Credit: Martin Callaghan.

With my Software Sustainability Institute hat on, I recently participated in a back-to-back Data Carpentry and Software Carpentry course sponsored by the University's Research Data Service here at the University of Edinburgh. The courses were held in the main University library in a gorgeous room with a glass wall, providing a rather distracting view of the Meadows parkland. 

ExTASY: smarter simulations for chemists

Author: Mario Antonioletti
Posted: 23 May 2016 | 14:43

Last week I attended an ExTASY tutorial here in Edinburgh. The project aims to build a set of Extensible Tools for Advanced Sampling and Analysis (hence the name) to allow chemists who use computational methods and off-the-shelf molecular dynamics (MD) packages (such as GROMACS, AMBER and NAMD) to be cleverer and more efficient with their simulations.

The Extasy-based tools are well worth considering if you are doing MD calculations. If you want to be smarter about how you do your simulations, take a look at ExTASY.

Mozilla Science Lab Global Sprint 2016

Author: Mario Antonioletti
Posted: 5 May 2016 | 15:51

We will be one of the participating sites at this year's Mozilla Science Lab Global Sprint here in Edinburgh.

The event will take place from 2nd-3rd of June, and will bring together researchers, developers, librarians and the general public from all over the world to hack on open science and open data projects.

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.

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.

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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