Call for Student Posters – CIUK 2017

Applications for the student poster competition at Computing Insight UK (CIUK) are now open. Computing Insight UK will take place on the 12-13 December 2017 at Manchester Central Convention Complex with the main theme of joining up e-Infrastructure within the UK.

Topics of interest include, but are not limited to, all forms of advances in high performance computing, storage, networking and big data analysis. Successful applicants will be invited to display their posters during the two days of the event with a dedicated poster session scheduled for the evening of Tuesday 12 December immediately following the keynote presentation. A panel of judges will select a winning poster which will receive a prize of £500. All students who are selected to present posters will receive free conference registration.

For full details of how to apply visit the CIUK website.  Closing date 24th Nov 2017.


Build Your Own Earth

Would you like to be able to explore climate models and visualise their output? A new web-based tool from Prof David Schultz’s research group in the School of Earth and Environmental Sciences at the University of Manchester allows you to do just that. The research team consisting of Jonathan Fairman, Stuart Anderson, and Sharon Gardner, developed the “Build Your Own Earth” model using the computational power provided by N8 HPC.

Funded by the University of Manchester and NERC, Build Your Own Earth is a web-based climate modelling tool used to visualise climate model output.  The model contains 50 preselected Earth simulations where you can vary a number of characteristics of your Earth such as the tilt of the Earth’s axis, the eccentricity of the Earth’s orbit, the solar constant, the distribution of the continents and oceans, and the carbon dioxide concentration of the atmosphere. You can also view quantities such as clouds, wind, precipitation, surface air temperature, sea-surface temperature, ocean currents, and sea ice.

By using N8 HPC, the team were able to run FOAM (Fast Ocean Atmosphere Model) quickly and efficiently, allowing them to generate a large number of climate model simulations that span many years. Additionally, the team were also able to include three specific categories: Recent, Ancient and Alien Earths. Without the use of N8 HPC, it would not have been possible to produce the model on time.

Since its release, Build Your Own Earth has been used in a massive open online course (MOOC) and has also helped to develop interdisciplinary research collaborations. To find out more about the model a recently published paper “Build Your Own Earth: A Web-Based Tool for Exploring Climate Model Output in Teaching and Research” is now available or see the N8 HPC project case study.

EPSRC Tier-2 HPC Applications Open Now

EPSRC is offering open access to five new Tier-2 High-Performance Computing facilities through a call for proposals. Free access to the facilities is through a two stage peer review process with an initial closing date of the 21st of September.  There will only be three calls a year for access to the facilities.

The five facilities users can access through this call are:

  • Cirrus HPC System – 10,000 core system based on Intel Xeon Broadwell
  • GW4 – Test bed for emerging architectures including ARM, GPU and Xeon Phi
  • CSD3 – 24,000 cores of Intel Xeon Skylake, 342 Intel Xeon Phi and 360 NVidia GPUs
  • HPC Midlands – 14,336 core system based on the Intel Xeon processor
  • National GPU facility JADE – 22 NVIDIA DGX-1 Deep Learning systems

Further details on each of these systems can be found in the call document.

The aim of the call is to provide access to the national Tier-2 HPC facilities for adventurous high-risk, high-reward projects that will benefit from the diversity of computing architectures available at Tier-2.

A non-exclusive list of eligible projects includes:

  • Short computational projects that do not warrant a full grant application;
  • UK led collaborative projects with international and/or industry partners;
  • Joint applications from students (as Co-Is) with proven HPC experience and their PIs;
  • Projects that link consecutive standard grant applications or that aid the preparation of a grant or fellowship application;
  • Extended feasibility studies and trailing application developments at scale;
  • High-risk, high-reward projects that would benefit from using novel architectures.

If you are interested in applying then we are happy to help you with your application so please get in touch.

FAIR in Practice Focus Group

You’re invited to participate in one of several focus groups exploring the use of FAIR data principles within UK academic research. ‘FAIR in Practice’ is the Jisc project which explores questions around how data is used in research, and to what extent it is findable, accessible, interoperable and reusable. If you want any background information about this work, you can find it described in this blog post by Bas Cordewener, project manager for FAIR in practice at Jisc.

We are also holding separate focus groups for…
1) Research support professionals familiar with the “data” aspects of the research lifecycle.
2) Researchers from 4 key discipline areas, with focus groups in London and Newcastle.

Sept 12th London Research Support Professionals
Tickets can be found here.

Sept 13th Researchers Focus Group London
Tickets can be found here.

Sept 26th Researchers Focus Group Newcastle
Tickets can be found here.

Your participation will help to get an overview of the current state of data being FAIR and identifying opportunities to improve. The focus group will allow you to exchange views and expertise on FAIR principles with interested colleagues. Discussions will contribute to a better understanding of the principles and their potential to enhance research in the UK.

Lunch will be provided.

We hope to see you there!

Investigating the running abilities of Tyrannosaurus Rex using N8HPC

What if you were told that you could out-run one of the largest and most terrifying bipedal animals to have ever evolved and walked the Earth…the T-Rex? Well, today new research written by Dr William Sellers (University of Manchester’s School of Earth and Environmental Sciences) and published by PeerJ states just that! With the paper suggesting that maybe the T-Rex couldn’t even move faster than a gentle jog, let alone run.

This discovery coming from the University of Manchester, suggests that the size and sheer mass of the T-Rex would render it physically impossible to move at any speed higher than 7.7mph, which is slower than the average man’s running speed, which is around 8.4mph. Any speed higher than that would cause the T-Rex’s legs to simply break during chase due to its immense weight.

Their research utilised the Tier 2 HPC facility N8HPC, which underpins world-class research, to generate intense and detailed simulations to test Dr Sellers’ findings. A team led by Dr Sellers himself  combined two popular bio mechanical techniques – multi-body dynamic analysis (MBDA) and skeletal stress analysis (SSA) to create a more refined model which he and his team (Stuart B. Pond, Charlotte A. Brassey, Philip L. Manning, and Karl T. Bates) used to prove their theory.

Dr William Sellers’ results disrupt the idea that the T-Rex was primarily a high-speed pursuit predator. A topic which has been an intensely debated subject matter amongst the palaeontology community for decades. The research suggests a less athletic lifestyle for the T-Rex and even throws into question their hunting methods.

Furthermore, their results bring into question the maximum running speeds of other large two-legged dinosaurs such as: Giganotosaurus, Mapusaurus, and Acrocanthosaurus.

Dr Sellers has stated that the ‘Tyrannosaurus Rex is one of the largest bipedal animals to have ever evolved and walked the earth. So it represents a useful model for understanding the biomechanics of other similar animals.’

Dr William Seller’s research can be found in PeerJ.

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