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Virginia Tech promotes high-performance computing and data visualization outreach and education

February 18, 2016

Woman at conference
Alana Romanella at XSEDE15 Conference

Virginia Tech is advancing its portfolio of high-performance computing (HPC) services, and strengthening its commitment to bring the advantages of high-performance computing and visualization to more fields of academic endeavor. 

In cooperation with the National Science Foundation’s Extreme Science and Engineering Discovery Environment (XSEDE), Advanced Research Computing is working to increase Virginia Tech’s research computing capacity, educational opportunities, and interconnectedness with other top-tier HPC universities.

Advanced Research Computing, a unit of the Division of Information Technology, is looking for interested students and faculty to attend XSEDE16 “Diversity, Big Data, and Science at Scale.” The annual XSEDE conference showcases the achievements of those who utilize and support high-performance computing resources and services around the world. 

Assistant Director of Development Alana Romanella is hoping to take up to eight students to Miami, Florida, for the conference in July. 

“These conferences are an integral way to connect students with world-class researchers in a variety of fields from zoology to astronomy," Romanella said. "By exposing students to the cutting edge of HPC-enabled research and the increasing diversity in the field, we are preparing the next generation of HPC professionals.”

At XSEDE15, faculty members Alana Romanella and Srijith Rajamohan, and students Peter Radics, Abby Khanal, and Babak Barazandeh served numerous roles in the organization and leadership of the conference. The team also presented posters, a tutorial, and served as volunteers in the student program. 

Within Advanced Research Computing, Computational Scientist James McClure and Alana Romanella also serve as XSEDE Campus Champions. Campus Champions are dedicated to sharing knowledge on the effective use of high-performance resources, making resource allocations on XSEDE clusters, and promoting grant initiatives. Romanella also serves as a mentor for the new XSEDE Student Champion program.

Advanced Research Computing recently also unveiled its newest high-performance computing (HPC) system, named NewRiver. The 134-node system, designed for specialized workloads, has an aggregate peak computing capacity of 152 TFLOPs (trillions of floating point operations per second) and 33 terabytes (TB) of aggregate memory, and an interlink between its compute and storage nodes with a peak speed of 100 Gigabits/second. This and other supercomputing resources are available to individuals and departments throughout the university.

For more information on Advanced Research Computing services, education programs, and outreach opportunities, visit www.arc.vt.edu, or email Alana Romanella.

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