Breadth, depth and scientific value of computational research in New England on display at SC20

16 Nov 2020 Holyoke - The breadth, depth and value of computational research at New England colleges and universities is on display during SC20, the largest conference in high performance computing (HPC). The theme of the virtual conference is "More Than HPC".

The Massachusetts Green High Performance Computing Center (MGHPCC) has highlighted examples of this research, and the collaborations that support it, in a series of SC20 Booth Talks from November 17-19. The MGHPCC virtual booth also includes a Minecraft model that encompasses the MGHPCC and the campuses of its five member universities.

HPC-enabled research projects to be featured at the MGHPCC's SC20 booth span a wide range of research topics, including real-time monitoring of road conditions and vehicle emissions, financial engineering and technology, air traffic management, biological dynamics and disease, brain science, black holes, the digital economy, disaster reporting, supercomputing performance, scientific computing and visualization research, and protein folding.

The MGHPCC also highlights collaborative projects designed to advance the state of the art in research computing. These include the Northeast Cyberteam, Mass Open Cloud, Open Storage Network, Northeast Storage Exchange, Open Cloud Testbed, FABRIC national research infrastructure, Expanding Computing Education Pathways Alliance, Eastern Research Network, and Commonwealth Computational Cloud for Data Driven Biology (C3DDB).

Campuses represented in the virtual booth include the University of Massachusetts Amherst, MIT, Northeastern University, Harvard University, the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, the University of Vermont and the University of Maine.

"COVID-19 and the race for a vaccine remind us that our future will increasingly rely on science and that science will increasingly rely on high performance computing", stated John Goodhue, executive director of the MGHPCC "SC20 provides a glimpse into that future".

The Minecraft model that is part of the MGHPCC virtual booth includes the data centre, the universities in the MGHPCC consortium and kiosks featuring computationally intensive research projects at the different campuses. Attendees are able to win fun prizes by participating in a scavenger hunt for QR Codes. The university Minecraft models were built by college students, and the MGHPCC model was developed by eighth-graders with guidance from a Holyoke Codes instructor and a student at the University of Vermont. Access to the MGHPCC Minecraft world can be found online .

"SC20 is about advancing science through inspiration, connection and information-sharing", stated Julie Ma, program manager of the MGCPCC and Northeast Cyberteam. "In a COVID-19 world where often-isolating virtual engagement has become the norm, we hope to improve the experience by adding some fun."

Source: Massachusetts Green High Performance Computing Center - MGHPCC