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The Second PRAGMA Institute and the Third Annual Southeast Asia International Joint Research and Training Program- Promoting Collaboration in Southeast Asia

2007/12/13

The Second PRAGMA Institute and the Third Annual Southeast Asia International Joint Research and Training Program in High-Performance Computing Applications and Networking Technology were held jointly at the National Center for High-Performance Computing・s (NCHC) Hsinchu headquarters and National Dong Hwa University (NDHU). The event took place from 12/3~12/7. Participating agencies included leading high-performance computing centers and research institutes from many Southeast Asian countries including Vietnam, Malaysia, Thailand, Philippines, and Indonesia. The topics focused on high-performance computing and networking development and on how the various agencies can better collaborate. In order to increase the effectiveness of the event, the two conferences were held in conjunction with the each other. The event allowed the PRAGMA members to see the tools used by other working groups in great depth. For non-PRAGMA members, the event gave a great overview of the issues that each working group is working on. The week-long event also allowed PRAGMA members to see areas of potential interaction between the individual working groups.The Southeast Asia International Joint Research and Training Program is important to the future of PRAGMA. It provided its members with an overview of PRAGMA and the directions it is moving in. It also allowed for hand-on sessions, both of which are a great way to recruit more participation in PRAGMA. The event was supported by the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the Pacific Rim Grid Middleware Assembly (PRAGMA). Talks were given by the chairman of PRAGMA, Peter Arzberger, as well as other PRAGMA members from San Diego Supercomputer Center (SDSC), University of Utah, and Japan・s National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST). Topics discussed included computing resources and data, Bio Science, and Geo Grid. Knowledge exchange was encouraged between Taiwanese researchers, researchers from other Southeast Asian countries.The National Science Council (NSC) regards this conference as a very important collaborative event. During the opening ceremony, Program Director Yu-Hong Shan from the NSC・s Department of International Cooperation said that this conference is a vital link in collaborations between Taiwan and other Southeast Asian nations. Dr. Shan went on to say, :Through sharing, learning, and collaborative discussion, we can work better together. With the support of the NSF and PRAGMA, we will expand international collaboration in science.; Dr. William Y. Chang, head of NSF Beijing Office made a special trip from Beijing just to join the conference. In the opening ceremony, Dr. Chang gave a talk entitled :21st Century Ecological Research and Services.; He explained that, :21st century science will tightly integrate multiple disciplines with technology.; He went on to say that, :Only through international collaboration will scientists be able to achieve such integration.;PRAGMA・s chairman Dr. Peter Arzberger gave a talk on :Building Global Partnerships.; In this talk, he explained that current international collaborations focus on topics such as Ecology, biology, Meteorology, Geography, and water resources because they all require a global computing and network cyber infrastructure in order to be researched effectively. As an example, the Global Lake Ecological Observatory Network (GLEON) and the Coral Reef Environmental Observatory Network (CREON) encourage its members to participate in PRAGMA by contributing research data from their various geographic regions. PRAGMA members such as the UCSD・s Dr. Cindy Zheng shared their learning experience from the PRAGMA Grid. Dr. Mason Katz of SDSC also introduced PRAGMA・s Grid Middleware and showcased the core technology :ROCKS.; The NCHC also arranged discussion sessions on Bioscience and Geoscience. For Bioscience, Dr. Wilfred Li, the Executive Director of the National Biomedical Computation Resource at SDSC, reported on the current status of the Avian Flu Grid while Dr. Thanh N. Truong demonstrated :CSE on-line,; a computing platform for chemistry, molecules, and medicine. For Geoscience, members of the NCHC, the National Applied Research Laboratories (NARL), and the Instrument Technology Research Center (ITRC) gave a series of progress reports on Environmental and Disaster Mitigation. Dr. Satoshi Sekiguch of AIST, PRAGMA・s Geo-Science group founder, gave a presentation on AIST-GEO Grid also.For the Third Annual Southeast Asia International Joint Research and Training Program, the NCHC introduced Taiwan・s high-performance computing and advanced networking environment to international researchers. The NCHC also facilitated knowledge exchange between PRAGMA, UCSD, and AIST. Researchers from other Southeast Asian nations were impressed with Taiwan・s HPC infrastructure and learned a great deal about current international collaboration-based projects. After the conference, representatives from Vietnam・s Hanoi University of Technology were eager to discuss an MOU signing with the NCHC. This MOU will act as a bridge for further collaboration between Southeast Asian countries and increase the chance of future collaborations between institutes in the Pacific Rim.
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