Federation of High Performance Computing @ Harvard (Tue, Nov 17, 2009)

Thanks to everyone who came to the sixth installment of the 2009-2010 HCS seminar series. Here are the details of the talk:

Speaker: Dr. James Cuff, Director of Research Computing and Chief Technology Architect at FAS-IT
Bio: http://www.fas-it.fas.harvard.edu/about/executiveLeadership.html

When James joined Harvard in 2006, both the IT landscape and financial climate were somewhat different than they are today. This talk will explain significant steps taken in the last three years to to bring both stability and scale to our computing infrastructure with scarce financial resources.

Our faculty and students here at Harvard have an almost insatiable appetite for high throughput, large scale computing. Their science and research ranges from the evolution of hydrogen in the early universe, to studying complex ecosystems and global climatic change, the science of our brains, the evolution of species and genomics, and on to include detailed economic and financial modelling.

In this talk, we will cover advanced tightly coupled parallel computing, the algorithms and science that run on our various platforms. We will also speak about our novel GPGPU systems that are being used to model novel compounds for clean energy production. We will also cover how we have built out massively parallel petabyte data stores to attempt to keep up with the data deluges from the LHC, ATLAS and other truly "astronomical" data sets.

In comparison to the complex landscape of ad-hoc computing service providers in 2006, consolidated and coordinated computing at Harvard is now starting to dramatically improve the underlying landscape of service for our science and research - these are exciting times to be involved in high performance technical computing! In looking back naming our main computing resource "Odyssey" was in the end all rather apposite. Hopefully this talk will give you some insight into how far we have come on this epic journey, and where we plan on heading next...

For more information about the FAS-IT Research Computing Group please visit: http://rc.fas.harvard.edu/

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 http://www.hcs.harvard.edu/events for an up-to-the-minute schedule of talks. Interested in giving a seminar? Submit a brief description of your talk at http://www.hcs.harvard.edu/events/speak, or email us at seminars@hcs.harvard.edu.