The HPC Asia 2009 keynote speech, given by Dr. Peter Arzberger, gives us deep understanding into Dr. Arzberger’s vision for the successful integration of HPC with cross-cultural and international collaboration. He also describes the beginnings of the PRAGMA institute he started several years and currently chairs along with its organizational structure. Dr. Arzberger’s goes on to give us his insight into how to better educate students of science so that they will be better prepared to do research in the global science community.
Part1| Part2 | Part3 | Part4 | Part5 | Part6 | Part7 | Part8 [PDF Download] [Video]
Part 3: Current Work in Taiwan and PRAGMA’s Beginnings
I borrowed this next set of slides from Fang Pang Lin. In Taiwan, there is a great deal of interest in this kind of technology. And what they have done in collaboration with others, is to put out this sensor network, or flood grid if you will, that is able to monitor the water as it rises during flood season. They have been able to couple that with other types of real-time images and GIS settings and with that execute real-time video from the reservoirs. And they’ve been able to do simulations. So again it’s a pipeline of data analysis that shows a simulation of what might happen in a flood. But what’s really exciting is that they were able to use aspects of this technology, this flood grid, to help understand and prevent flood damage and loss of life using this particular technology. It was used in this county last July. And to do that they also developed a video teleconferencing software called Co-Life which is a way of communicating with video, audio, and shared whiteboard. And this has been used very successfully as a model of how we can actually use these technologies.
So let me pause there and sort-of go back to where we are in the outline. It’s driven by societal needs and we’re looking at technology that is very much data driven and we’re looking at the synthesis and how HPC can begin to address some of it. But there’s another side to this and that is the collaboration side and the communication side and that’s what I want to talk about for the rest of this talk.
So a couple years ago, the National Science Foundation (NSF) released a report about what is the future discovery and community research. And they identified clearly HPC, data visualization, and workforce development. Interestingly, they also focused on virtual organizations. It’s where you can work across organizations, distances, and cultures and really work together to solve the problems that are paramount and especially the ones that I mentioned in the beginning of the talk.
Many of you in the audience know Bill Chang. He is an officer at NSF. He asked me many years ago when we were in San Diego….. We’re sitting on the Pacific Rim….. We’re sitting in a high performance computing center……. There are many more of those centers around Pacific Rim. We should do something with that like create collaborations and share the information that we have. He was very persistent. He asked in 1998. Not much happened. He asked again in 1999. Not much happened. And he asked again in 2000. And finally by the year 2001 there was enough effort within the community to sustain collaboration because it had changed its views on doing international collaboration. And it was then that with the help of many of you in this room, that we launched a project called the Pacific Rim Applications and Grid Middleware (PRAGMA) project that was really a practical framework for collaborating. And it has grown from 13 institutions to more than 30 right now. And it’s really focused on strengthening and developing consistent collaborations and also on working with teams of scientists to advance grid technologies and we’re really focusing on the Pacific Rim.
Each year we also release a brochure that talks about what we’ve accomplished over the last year. And you can see some of the examples here like streaming videos of coral reefs from Kenting which is located about an hour south of here. Also, how we bridge different grid technologies. How we integrate software that has been developed in various parts of the Pacific Rim. Also, how do we create the next-generation of students that overlies the people infrastructure that we have t PRAGMA and really extending our community through training of students?