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ICHEC Seminar 2006

Posted on 6 October 2006

ICHEC Seminar 2006


Towards a Coherent HPC Ecosystem


A National Debate.

Friday 20th October 2006, 9:30am

Academy House, Dawson Street, Dublin 2.



The Irish Centre for High-End Computing supported by the Royal Irish Academy (www.ria.ie) has organised a seminar entitled "Towards a Coherent HPC Ecosystem". This seminar is to take place at 9:30am on Friday the 20th of October 2006 at Academy House, Dawson Street, Dublin 2. Speakers will include Professor Martyn Guest along with Dr. Christine Kitchen from Daresbury Laboratory in the UK and Dr. Marie-Christine Sawley from the Swiss National Supercomputer Centre (CSCS). Attendance is free but registration is essential as places are limited. To register please mail seminar2006@ichec.ie.


About the Speakers

Martyn F. Guest Photo

Prof. Martyn Guest


Martyn F. Guest is Associate Director of the Computational Science and Engineering Department at the CCLRC Daresbury Laboratory (UK). He obtained his B. Sc in Chemistry from Sussex University in 1967 and his Ph.D in Theoretical Chemistry, also from Sussex, in 1971 under the direction of Prof. J.N. Murrell. Following a postdoctoral position with Prof. I.H. Hillier at the University of Manchester, Dr. Guest joined the Science and Engineering Research in 1972, first at the Atlas Computer Laboratory (Chilton, Oxfordshire), and from 1979 at the Daresbury Laboratory near Warrington. He spent three years as Senior Chief Scientist and Technical Group Leader of the High Performance Computational Chemistry Group at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (Richland, Washington, USA), before returning to Daresbury in 1995. Dr. Guest is presently an Honorary Professor in Computer Science (University of Cardiff) and Physics (the University of Edinburgh), and an Honorary Reader in Chemistry at the University of Manchester. His research interests cover a variety of topics in the development and application of computational chemistry methods on high performance computers. Dr. Guest is lead author of the GAMESS-UK electronic structure program, and has written or contributed to more than 230 articles in the areas of Theoretical and Computational Chemistry, and high performance computing. He is the Terascale Applications Team Leader within the UK's National Terascale Facility, HPCx and project leader of the HPC-UK consortium featuring Daresbury and the Universities of Manchester & Edinburgh.

Dr. Christine A. Kitchen


Christine Kitchen is a member of the Distributed Computing Group (DisCo), part of the Computational Science and Engineering Department at the CCLRC Daresbury Laboratory (UK). She obtained her B.Sc in Chemistry from Sheffield University in 1996 and her Ph.D in Theoretical Chemistry in 2001, also awarded by Sheffield University. Her post-graduate research was performed under the guidance of Prof. B. T. Pickup at Sheffield University and Dr. J.A. Grant at Zeneca (now AstraZeneca) Pharmaceuticals. Following the award of her doctorate, Dr. Kitchen spent a further 3 years in the Molecular Modelling and Drug Design section at AstraZeneca, where as well research on a grid-based Poisson-Boltzmann model to predict the electrostatic properties of molecules, she also acted as system administrator responsible for a variety of SGI systems and a Linux Cluster. Dr. Kitchen joined CCLRC in January 2004. Dr. Kitchen leads the Commercial Outreach and Training activity within the DisCo group where she undertakes a variety of roles, from system administrator through to interacting with Universities and Industry. Over the last 12 months she has taken a lead role in providing technical advice to SRIF3 sites - a £38M coordinated procurement of computer resources for various UK Universities. This has involved the design of the procurement's benchmarking suite of codes, plus some 14 visits to different Universities to highlight critical issues in the procurement and subsequent deployment of commodity-based computer resources.

Marie-Christine Sawley Photo

Dr. Marie-Christine Sawley - Biography


Marie-Christine Sawley graduated in physics and engineering at the Swiss Institute of Technology, Lausanne (EPFL) in 1980, and completed a PhD in plasma physics (numerical studies of the coupling phenomena between electromagnetic waves and magnetically confined plasmas) at the CRPP-EPFL in 1985. The simulation of solar and astrophysical plasmas formed the topic of her postdoctoral research studies at the School of Physics of the University of Sydney (Australia). At the end of 1988, she was appointed head of the User Consulting Group at the Scientific Computing Centre (SIC) of the EPFL. She developed and organized the HPC application support, including design and support for industrial contracts. In 1994, the Steering Committee of the CRAY-EPFL Partnership on Parallel Applications appointed M.-C. Sawley manager of the Support Team of the programme, a position held until the end of the partnership in 1996. She acted as an active member in a number of selection committees for HPC systems purchase and was President of the Speedup forum from 1995 to 1998. In 1997 she established the first commission at the EPFL for analysing and issuing recommendations for the platform of basic IT services for the students. She contributed to the definition phase of the Swiss TX programme, in collaboration with Compaq, and to the founding of the SOS workshop series. From February 2000 and until June 2003, M.-C.Sawley was actively involved in the design and establishment of industrial or multi-institutional partnerships such as the EPFL Alinghi collaboration and the bio-simulation research sponsorship with Hewlett-Packard. From February to June 2003, she has been heading the steering committee for the establishment of the Vital IT centre of the Swiss Institute of Bioinformatics. She was nominated CEO of CSCS as of July, 1st, 2003. Graduate of the Mastering the Technology Enterprise programme of IMD in 1997, M.-C.Sawley is a member of A3-EPFL (EPFL alumni association).


We have now confirmed the timetable for the event:

09.00 - 09.30 Registration
09:30 - 09:45 Welcome and introduction (Prof. David Fegan and Prof. Luke Drury)
09.45 - 12.15 Session 1 - From clusters to capability systems: defining a coherent strategy (Chair: Dr. Dennis Jennings)
12.15 - 12.45 Presentation by Prof. Mark Keane (Director, Science Foundation Ireland)

12.45 - 13.30 LUNCH

13.30 - 16.00 Session 2 - Setting up a national capability service: expected challenges and common pitfalls (Chair: Dr. Turlough Downes)
16.00 - 16.15 Conclusions and closing remarks (Prof. Luke Drury)

Both sessions will include presentations by our panel of experts, as well as substantial discussion time for all attendees. This event is intended to contribute to the on-going debate on the provision of High-Performance Computing services in the country.

Lunch, tea and coffee will be provided during the event.

Although attendance is free, we request that you register in advance by e-mail to seminar2006@ichec.ie as this will help us with logistical aspects such as seating space, lunch, tea and coffee.

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