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UW to Host Front Range HPC Symposium Aug. 13-15


August 9, 2013 — In the past 18 months, the University of Wyoming has made its mark in the supercomputing world. UW has become a member of the Coalition for Academic Scientific Computation (CASC); has had numerous faculty conduct important research at the NCAR-Wyoming Supercomputing Center (NWSC) in Cheyenne; and opened its own Advanced Research Computing Center (ARCC), a high-performance computing center, on campus.

Now, UW can add another computing laurel to that list.

The university will host the third annual Front Range High-Performance Computing (HPC) Symposium Aug. 13-15 at the College of Business building. The three-day symposium -- sponsored by the Front Range Consortium for Research Computing (FRCRC) -- will feature a series of tutorials covering many aspects of HPC design and use; nationally recognized speakers; submitted posters and presentations; networking opportunities; and a student research poster competition.

“We’re seen among the (FRCRC) members as being a peer now,” says Tim Kuhfuss, director of research support for UW’s Information Technology Center. “That’s different from a few years ago. It made it easier for UW to get the conference this year.”

FRCRC is a group of universities and government labs located near a region of the Rocky Mountains known as the Front Range. The FRCRC enables the partner institutions to collaborate in order to promote high-performance computing and share ideas for further collaboration. All member institutions rely on high-performance computing to meet their own strategic goals.

“Within our first year of our high-performance computing center being open on campus, we’re hosting this conference,” adds Tim Brewer, UW’s end user support manager for information technology. “It’s been a fairly busy year for us.”

Nearly 100 people, including many UW faculty members and students, have registered for the conference, Kuhfuss says. Thirty to 40 percent of attendees are from UW, with about 25 percent of all attendees being university students, he adds.

Farnum Jahanian will provide the symposium’s keynote address, titled “Innovating for Society: Realizing the Transformative Impact of Computing and Communication,” Wednesday, Aug . 14, from 9-10:15 a.m. This talk will focus on technological advances and emerging frontiers that are shaping our future, and accelerating the pace of discovery and innovation across all science and engineering disciplines. It also will describe how these trends inform the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) priorities and programs.

Jahanian leads the NSF Directorate for Computer and Information Science and Engineering (CISE).

A number of UW faculty and staff members are scheduled to present or moderate some of the workshops. Some examples include:

--Mohammad Piri, a UW School of Energy Resources (SER) associate professor of chemical and petroleum engineering; and Felipe Pereira, an SER professor of mathematics and director of the Center for Fundamentals of Subsurface Flow, are two of the speakers for the workshop, “Parallel Numerical Simulations of Compositional Flows in Heterogeneous Porous Media.”

--Liqiang Wang, a UW associate professor of computer science, will present “HPC in the Cloud.”

--Bryan Shader, UW’s special assistant to the vice president for research and economic development, and a mathematics professor, will moderate “Computational Science in the Classroom.” The session will focus on infrastructure and pedagogical issues computer science faculty face in the classroom.

“It’s (symposium) a great chance for researchers to discuss their projects, approaches and results,” Kuhfuss says. “There’s a lot of sharing of best practices.”

Optional tours of the NWSC will be offered Tuesday, Aug. 12, 9-10 a.m.; and Thursday, Aug. 14, 2-3 p.m.

One student winner from each member institution will be invited to join the FRCRC at Supercomputing 2013 (all expenses covered) in Denver, Colo., where their posters will be displayed at the FRCRC booth. While winners work the booth, they will have the opportunity to discuss their poster project with the public, Kuhfuss says.

In addition to UW, current member institutions include Colorado School of Mines, Colorado State University, NCAR, the National Renewable Energy Lab (NREL), the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and the University of Colorado-Boulder.

For more information about the symposium and a schedule, go to https://www.frcrc.org/HPCSymposium.

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