The web, the grid, and the cloud: intersecting technologies for computationally intensive science (Tue, Oct 6, 2009)

Attendees listen to the talk about "the web, the grid, and the cloud" by Ian Stokes-Rees on October 6, 2009.

Thanks to everyone who came to the third installment of the 2009-2010 HCS seminar series. The slides from the talk can be found here.

Here are the details of the talk:

Science is experiencing a data deluge due to advances in instrumentation and the low cost of data storage and compute power. This has been coupled with increasing use of numerical methods, simulation, and modeling in scientific research (in silico). One project within SBGrid, a structural biology consortium based at Harvard Medical School, is to facilitate access to data and compute power by consortium members using a Django-based web portal which allows researchers to define computational workflows, submit "compute tasks" to a national federated compute infrastructure, and securely share the resulting data. This talk will provide background to grid and cloud computing, present technical details of SBGrid's architecture, provide insights into the challenges of large scale distributed scientific data managment and processing, and present perspectives on web-based collaborative compute environments.

Speaker: Ian Stokes-Rees

Ian Stokes-Rees is an NSF Research Fellow at Harvard Medical School in the structural biology lab of Dr. Piotr Sliz. He originally studied electrical engineering at the University of Waterloo, in Canada. He is still an engineer at heart, but has moved into computational science after completing a PhD at Oxford in particle physics computing, and a postdoc at INRIA in France working on parallel option pricing algorithms. He still works as a technology consultant in Europe, and the UK.

The HCS seminar series provides an open forum for members of the Harvard community to speak about topics in computers, technology, and the universe in general. See for an up-to-the-minute schedule of talks. Interested in giving a seminar? Submit a brief description of your talk at, or email us at

2009_10_pre_SBGrid_HCS-Seminar_IanStokesRees.pdf7.68 MB