Hi, my name is Seán McEntee, and I’m from a coastal town in the east of Ireland called Drogheda. I am 22 years old, and I recently completed a Bachelor’s Degree in Physics & Astrophysics at Trinity College Dublin. I have a strong passion for astronomy and programming, and I feel very privileged to be taking part in the PRACE Summer of High Performance Computing. My project will be based at the CINECA HPC facility in Bologna, and while it is unfortunate that the project could not be conducted on site this year, I still believe that there is much to gain from these two months. Hopefully I will get another opportunity to visit the facility in the near future!
When I’m not coding or scribbling down notes in lectures, the rest of my time mainly revolves around sport and keeping active. I enjoy running, and fortunately I live near the beach, where the views and sounds of the sea help to take my mind away from the aching pain in my legs and keep me going for that last kilometre. I am also fond of hiking, and on the right you can see a photo of me during my ascent to the summit of Carrauntoohil Mountain, the tallest in Ireland.
Lock down has also given me much more down time than usual, and I was finally able to binge watch some of the TV shows that I had missed out on over the years (most notably Game of Thrones and Breaking Bad).
Summer of HPC 2020
I heard about the PRACE Summer of HPC through my Computer Simulation lecturer at Trinity, and I was intrigued straight away. I had some prior exposure to parallel computing during my final year research project, when I ran simulations of supernova explosions interacting with the surrounding circumstellar medium (composed of the mass-loss from the progenitor star that was stripped away by the stellar wind in the years leading up to the explosion). This was a good starting point, but I wanted to learn more.
Fast forward to July, and I was beginning the SoHPC2020 training week, which was run by the team at the Vienna Scientific Cluster. This four-day intensive course gave all students a robust introduction to supercomputer architecture and hardware, software systems for transferring information between computers, and also some good tips regarding blogging and social media outreach. The opportunity to learn these technical skills and meet new people in the process made it a very enjoyable few days.
My Project @ CINECA, Bologna
For the project that I will be working on this summer, entitled “Visualization of supernova explosions in a magnetized inhomogeneous ambient environment”, I will be using the GALILEO system at the CINECA facility in Bologna (shown below). This supercomputer contains 1022 nodes, with 36 cores-per-node. Nodes are individual computers that consist of one or more CPUs (Central Processing Units) together with memory. For comparison, a Personal Computer is considered to be a single node and has a CPU with 4 cores.
In the first part of my project, I will utilize the PLUTO MHD (Magnetohydrodynamics) code to perform some supernova explosion simulations. Then, I will analyze the data of these supernova-supernova remnant simulations using tools such as python and IDL (Interactive Data Language). Supernova remnants are the outcome of supernova explosions. They are extended sources that show a complex morphology and a non-uniform distribution of ejecta. Finally, I will incorporate the data visualization tool Paraview to produce some 3D models and movies of the supernova explosion and the subsequent supernova remnant. I’m really excited to see how these turn out, and I’ll be posting my results in future blog posts!
You can find more information about my project in its official description