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The NCHC hosts the Southeast Asia 2009 Conference

2009/12/14

The 4th “2009 Southeast Asia International Joint Research and Training Program in High-Performance Computing Applications and Networking Technology” and the Pacific Rim Applications and Grid Middleware Assembly (PRAGMA) Institute, sponsored by the National Science Council’s (NSC) Department of International Cooperation and the National Center for High-Performance Computing (NCHC), and co-sponsored by the National Palace Museum (NPM), took place from November 30th through December 4th at the NCHC’s Taichung Business Unit and the Hui-sun Experimental Forest located in Naitou, Taiwan.

The participants included a total of 31 professionals representing 17 academic research institutes from 5 different countries. Among the representatives, 10 were from Vietnam, 6 from Malaysia, 6 from Thailand, 2 from the Philippines, 4 from Indonesia, and 3 from Singapore. Additionally, 10 foreign speakers were invited to give talks at the gathering. Senior decision-makers from the technology sectors in their countries, such as the Transport Minister of Aceh Province in Indonesia, the Vice Chancellor of Nanyang Technological University, Singapore, the Director of Thailand National Electronics and Computing Technology Center, and the Director of the Information Center of the Vietnam Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, also were in attendance.

The idea behind this symposium was to exchange cross-cultural and cross-field technology experiences and ideas, and to convey and share the NCHC’s high-performance computing (HPC) and networking technologies development experience. In addition to the discussions on existing technologies developments, this symposium also presented an opportunity to establish the cooperation of new technological developments. The person in charge at the Department of International Cooperation at the NSC, Mr. Yu-hung Sha, said in his opening speech that the NSC puts great emphasis on this symposium, and he hoped it could be an important bridge for research cooperation between Taiwan and other Southeast Asian countries.

He went on to say that in addition to cooperating with other PRAGMA group members, he hoped that the cooperative relationship would extend to the Pacific Rim and beyond. He also indicated that the cooperative relationship among Taiwan, the U.S., and Southeastern regions could become closer through learning, sharing, cooperation, and further discussion.

Mr. Yu-hung Sha’s opening speech

Department of International Cooperation, Mr. Yu-hung Sha’s opening speech

Via a high-definition video teleconference, Dr. Peter Arzberger, Chairman of PRAGMA, interacted with the participants in real-time from his office in San Diego, Califormia, U.S.A. In addition to introducing PRAGMA’s global cooperation framework and ongoing research projects, Dr. Arzberger introduced and detailed PRAGMA’s educational programs including the Pacific RIM undergraduate Experience (PRIME) undergraduate student exchange program, the Pacific Rim International UniverSity (PRIUS) graduate student exchange program based in Japan, and the Monash University Research Program Abroad (MURPA) program based in Australia. Dr. Arzberger also emphasized how important cross-cultural learning and education is in today’s educational system.

The content included in the symposium was substantial. As a result of the natural disasters that have taken place in the world recently, the topic of Geoscience attracted a great deal of attention. Also, Dr. Uwe Woesser and Prof. Shinji Shimojo gave an extremely informative talk regarding the application of IT to the reconstruction and preservation of cultural and historical relics. The Director of the National Palace Museum, Mr. Kuo-ping Lin, also introduced the development and application of IT at the National Palace Museum, and stated that the museum will continue to promote cooperation between itself, the NCHC, and foreign research units such as Osaka University.

With the cooperation of the National Chung Hsing University, on days 4 and 5 of the meeting, a discussion on H1N1 research took place at Hui-sun Experimental Forest. Also during this meeting, Senior Information Specialist at Chiayi Christian Hospital, Ms. Mei-ling Shiu, shared her experience on establishing electronic medical records within a medical institution. Around the world, the establishment of electronic medical records is in its infancy, and Ms. Shiu’s sharing of her successful experience at Chiayi Christian Hospital is an invaluable reference for other medical institutions worldwide.

At the end of the activity, participants visited Lukang, a small village just outside Taichoung, Taiwan that, artichetically speaking, has gone unchanged over the last half century, for a cultural tour. They visited famous cultural spots in Lukang such as the Tianhou Temple and Old Street. During the tour, a cultural relics preservation specialistics explained to them the overall concept of the preservation of cultural properties and the reconstruction of communities in the area. The activity came to a perfect close with a beautiful sunset on the Old Street of Lukang.

Group photo in front of Tianhou Temple

Group photo in front of Tianhou Temple

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