Sophie’s World, Chapter 1
Time flies. We are already in the middle of the PRACE Summer Of HPC Computing programme and it seems like yesterday when we first arrived for the training week in Germany. So here is a quick recap of our full days at this programme!
The first week in Germany was 10 hours of High Performance Computing (HPC) knowledge, great German food, little sleep and amazing people. We had the chance to revise and learn more about parallel architectures, algorithms design, MPI, OpenMP, Cuda and also vizualization techniques. So much knowledge every day of all those different technologies that are used in HPC. We also had the chance to see from really close the Supercomputers and have our programs run there!
And of course, all these hard work required a break. We had many lovely nights all the participants together with the highlight being the Go-karting excursion – a true German experience. It was a great week, and as Tomi said, “it’s crazy we have the whole Europe in one room ” – plus our Indian friend Anurag.
Our HPC experience continued for Marco and me in the sunny Barcelona at the Barcelona Supercomputing Center (BSC-CNS) . The Barcelona Supercomputing Center is one of the most important scientific institutions, specialises on High Performance Computing (HPC) and Big Data. We got to know our mentors and learned about COMPSs software that has developed here. COMPSs is a very powerful programming model and runtime that aims at parallelizing sequential applications written in sequential programming languages. It’s a very easy tool to use, friendly for not experienced programmers and all you need to do is choose which parts of your code want to run in parallel . Definitely the easiest way to parallelize your code!
So that week we got our hands dirty working with PyCOMPSs (the Python version of COMPSs), getting to know the tool by experimenting, running samples and our own applications.
It was finally time for our project assignment! The scientific visualization group of BSC-CNS had taken part in this year’s Sónar+D music festival and after their success they decided to continue their avocation with music projects. So my project, very briefly, is to analyze the discography from an artist by applying data analysis and clustering techniques. The results we expect to see will describe the music progress of the artist and how his/hers music has changed and developed through the years. And of course it needs to be done fast using parallelism and PyCOMPSs! (More details about the project in the upcoming posts! )
Also that week we visited MareNostrum and saw where our application is running. MareNostrum is a supercomputer in the Barcelona Supercomputing Center, the most powerful in Spain. It is located at an old chapel, in a small park next to the BSC. The supercomputer is used in human genome research, protein research, astrophysical simulations, weather forecasting, geological or geophysical modeling, and the design of new drugs. It is available to the national and international scientific community, offering infrastructure and supercomputing services to local and European scientists, as well as generating knowledge and technology for giving it back to society.
Stay tuned for more!