The Impact of Australian High Performance Computing in the Coming decade


Joining us in the podcast. Today we have professor shawn smith that director of national computational infrastructure and see i and he's also a professor or computation of nanno matera science and technology at australian national university. Professor smith is also a fellow of the royal australian chemical institute a fellow american is association for the advancement of science a fellow of the institute of chemical engineers and he will be sharing with us the highlights of high performance computing at nci. Thank you professor for joining us in the podcast. Today i thought we kick off by taking a look at the evolution and development in australia. Research backed by high performance computing and data infrastructure which plays a pivotal role in national research. But also have wide ranging economic and social impacts. I'm so for example as you pointed out in your presentation at supercomputing asia Looking at the year two thousand twenty the events challenging for many with the pandemic but particularly so for australia with the bushfire which i thought i very salient. Examples of where policymakers and help provide as neat fayza reliable information to get a sense of what is yet to come to better manage the situation but beyond these examples is also cancer research. Physics et cetera. So for our listeners. Can you tell us more about you know audi australia. Research are backed. By high performance. Computing infrastructure have evolved over the decades. You certainly are one constructive way to approach that question. Jain may be. If if i summarize the way in which australia to tijuana one phones compute facilities have evolved over the past decade which gives a flavor of how that the sick to hebron australia has developed in the major demise signs that have been really key in driving it forwards so we have to tier one facilities in australia One is the australian at the australian national university campus. Here in canberra the other one is the posey supercomputing center in person west australia. So both of these centers were set up in their initial in the current model as it were nearly a decade ago and when nci was stood up in its current form. The australian national university has long long history of computing. But the carrots. Nci was put in place around about twenty eleven two thousand twelve and we build a new data center on campus and put in the previous supercomputing facility which was called ryan now when i was set up with financial input from the federal government. They then we're really looking for a degree of leverage of their investment And so the federal contributions to were helped to facilitate the standing up of the big facility and the big shane And the new data center per se and they contribute a certain amount of our national expenses. But i asked us dan to negotiate the larger part of operating expenses. With am i just stike holders. And in the case of nci. This was done by substantial collaboration with four major organizations. I was the australian national university. Which is our organizational host. It was the csi. Giovanni australia and the bureau of meteorology so the one university into three big government agencies collaborated in a way that allowed to build out and develop and the common thread across those three. Big agencies was really climate weather simulation and geospatial science earth sciences and so for example the the great majority of large-scale climate modeling research is done at nci. And it's done. In collaboration between the bureau of meteorology the csi and the university sector which has some substantial activity also in that mind so nci became if you will the collaborative sandpit that these organizations could actually work together on very large common data sets in degenerate very large data. It's through the simulation work and the the other component of that was with geoscience australia. They are the secretaries for the international agreements which bring labs scout satellite imaging data four alpine out of the globe down to australia and nci was tasked to work with Jason social strata. To figure out how to host is enormous data sets and make them there in available findable so forth and accessible and utilize -able

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