Through XSEDE's Extended Collaborative Support Services (ECSS), the series offers two half-hour presentations on the second Tuesday of each month. The presentations move briskly (30 minutes each, including Q&A), moderated by ECSS co-director Nancy Wilkins-Diehr, San Diego Supercomputer Center, and share knowledge from ECSS consultants who collaborate with computational scientists nationwide - and sometimes internationally - on a diverse range of projects.
Kicking off the series in November, ECSS consultant Darren Adams, National Center for Supercomputing Applications, discussed his work with the LSST project in evaluating methods of data storage to handle as much as 30 terabytes a night of raw data - along with even greater quantities of processed data - in a system of open-access distributed storage. He has investigated the REDDnet distributed storage infrastructure as a testbed for Lstore (Logistical Storage) underlying technology. Similar infrastructure, Darren Adams believes, could satisfy ambitious data-sharing goals of many large collaborative projects.
In December, another ECSS symposium talk, by Anirban Jana, Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center, discussed work at Carnegie Mellon University (Endor Final) on patient-specific modelling of aortic aneurysms. With models constructed from medical imaging for individual patients, computational predictions can guide decisions about surgical intervention. Anirban Jana has consulted on MATLAB coding and in developing a method to implement boundary conditions from patient-specific profiles.
Ralph Roskies (PSC), ECSS co-director with Nancy Wilkins-Diehr, sees the symposia as serving XSEDE internal and external objectives. "Primarily", he stated, "this is an internal educational process for ECSS people to learn from each other. Beyond that, these presentations further XSEDE's objectives of energizing progress in computational science. We enrich knowledge and problem-solving through this channel that opens XSEDE expertise to the wider scientific community."
Nancy Wilkins-Diehr concurred: "We have a staff of about 70 ECSS consultants working on a range of projects. This is, first of all, our mechanism to share experience among ourselves. It's not so much at an academic, theoretical level, but more about hands-on experience. These are tremendously interesting and varied projects", she added. "For me, these talks remind me of the quality of people in our programme, how knowledgeable they are and how well they do their jobs."
Future plans, added Nancy Wilkins-Diehr, include having presentations on new architectures as they become incorporated into XSEDE.
Other symposia to date, along with presentations by Darren Adams and Anirban Jana, have highlighted Distributed Parallel Molecular Simulations by Yaakoub El Kharma and Matt McKenzie, Data Movement with Globus Online by Steve Tuecke, Visualization with Nautilus by Amy Szczepanski, CONDOR by Ben Cotton, Modelling Studies of Nano and Biomolecular Systems by Ross Walker and Tools for Scientific Communities in the Apache Software Foundation by Marlon Pierce.
The symposia are open to all and can be accessed via the XSEDE website at https://www.xsede.org/ecss-symposium .
Audio and PowerPoint slides of the ECSS symposia are posted on YouTube, available at http://www.youtube.com/user/xsedeorg?feature=watch .