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The 2012 NCHC HPC Conference

2012/11/01

The National Applied Research Laboratory's (NARL) National Center for High-Performance Computing (NCHC) held its annual HPC Conference on October 30th, 2012, at its headquarters in Hsinchu, Taiwan. Nearly 200 professionals from both industry and academia gathered together to share their latest HPC-related achievements. As part of the conference, the NCHC also held an HPC research poster display competition. Forty research posters showcasing Taiwan’s HPC R&D prowess were presented during the competition.

In his welcoming talk, the NCHC's Director Kuo-Ning Chiang stated that the NCHC HPC Conference has always been a great opportunity for Taiwan’s HPC community to learn and exchange technology and information and that it was a rare occasion that so many experts from various fields of HPC could gather together.

Although great progress has been made in the development of supercomputers in recent years, researchers still face several issues and challenges in advancing them further. For many years now, the NCHC has been hard at work developing and building supercomputers which serve to illustrate Taiwan’s technological competitiveness as well as satisfy the demands of domestic research. Now that the NCHC has established a quality HPC hardware and software environment, it needs the support of experts’ knowledge from many specialized fields. The NCHC will continue to attract more professionals to join in on the study and application development of HPC. In order to boost the overall competitiveness of Taiwan, the NCHC will integrate fields such as science and engineering, as well as humanities-based fields, the economy, and culture-based industries into its HPC development.

the photo of Director Chiang
― The NCHC Director Kuo-Ning Chiang delivering the welcoming talk

the photo of Dr. Chou
― Dr. Mei-Yin Chou giving the keynote speech

The conference began with a keynote speech entitled “HPC in Materials Physics and Chemistry,” delivered by Dr. Mei-Yin Chou, distinguished Research Fellow and Director, Institute of Atomic and Molecular Sciences, Academia Sinica. Director Chou gave a broad overview of the development of HPC applications in material science since the 1960s. She emphasized that computational physics is not physics without the researchers’ imaginative input. Users cannot simply depend on the strength of the computers alone. They also have to delve deeply into the exploration of concepts and theories. She went on to say that past developments and future trends in HPC illustrate the significance of developing new materials that will increase with time and that domestic researchers should invest more of their energies into how to make theory, computation, and experimentation work together.

Immediately following Director Chou’s lecture, the conference’s parallel sessions began. The subjects included “The NCHC Computation Challenge Program (NCCP),” “Scientific Computing and Multi-core Computing Technologies,” “Emerging Computing Fields,” and “Industrial Applications.” The parallel session attendees consisted of experts in basic sciences, fluid and solid mechanics, biomedical, meteorology, IT, finance, culture and creation, semiconductor, and industrial design. Though their expertise varied, they all pursued improved computational efficiency. Participants listened closely to the presentations on the latest progress on R&D initiatives, exchanged their experiences and ideas, and praised the services that the NCHC offered. The NCHC held an HPC Users' Meeting as well. During the Users' Meeting, the NCHC introduced its current services and received the users’ valuable feedback as well.

the photo of contestant's presentation
― Judges listening carefully to the research poster contestants' presentations

the photo of the best poster winner
― Director Kuo-Ning Chiang awarding the “Best Poster” to Yan-Min Li of National Taiwan University

While the parallel sessions were taking place, the HPC research poster contest also began to unfold. The posters were evaluated and judged on site. The contestants had to present their research results within the allotted amount of time. The competition was judged by a seven scholar panel which included Professor Chi-Tin Shih of Tunghai University, also the Chief Judge, Associate Professor Shih-Hung Chen of National Central University, Associate Professor Kuo-Chan Huang of National Taichung University, the NCHC's Deputy Director Jee-Gong Chang, Division Manager Steven Shiau, Division Manager Ho-Cheng Lien, and Deputy Division Manager Nan-Yow Chen. The competition resulted in the awarding of one "Best" poster, three "Superior" posters, and seven "Excellent" posters.

After the afternoon sessions had ended, the award ceremony for the best references and the poster competition brought the conference to a new climax. In appreciation of domestic scholars' support over the years, the NCHC awarded the "Best References" to Professor Jyi-Tsong Lin of National Sun Yat-Sen University, Professor Ching-Liang Dai of National Chunghsing University, and Professor Pin Su of National Chiao Tung University. The winner of the “Best” poster award was Yan-Min Li of National Taiwan University. The winners of the “Superior” poster awards were Min-Wen Chang of Fu Jen Catholic University, Feng-Nan Huang of National Central University, and Pin-Sian Liou, Yu-Sian Song, Ming-Kai Chen, and Sheng-Jhih Liou of National Sun Yat-Sen University. The winners of the “Excellent” poster awards were Wei-Chao Chuang, Chun-Yen Li, Sung-Hua Chen, all of National Tsing Hua University, Bo-Han Cheng of National Central University, Chih-Cheng Chen of Tunghai University, Chia-Yang Hung of National Chunghsing University, and Huai-Chih Tsao, Cia-Han Chan, and Bai-Chun Wei of Tunghai University.

The conference drew to a warm and cheerful ending with all participants looking forward to next year’s meeting. We at the NCHC hope that in the 2013 HPC Conference, there will be even more and even better research results presented in order to not only sustain but also to accelerate Taiwan’s HPC energy!

 

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