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Daphne Siefert-Herron
Manager of Strategic Initiatives, Pervasive Technology Institute at Indiana University

Last modified: Thursday, November 12, 2009

IU exhibit and workshops look to the future of scientific supercomputing

November 12, 2009

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- How will emerging cloud technologies enhance scientific and medical research in the coming decades? How can meteorological scientists use digital data to visualize and predict future weather patterns? How will chemists, physicists, astronomers and other scientists gain easier access to the powerful new supercomputing resources increasingly required in research?

The "Look to the Future" display and workshops, hosted by the Pervasive Technology Institute (PTI) at Indiana University, will explore these and other questions at this year's Supercomputing Conference (SC), taking place in Portland, Oregon, November 14-19. The SC is the largest event of its kind in the United States, bringing together the top colleges and universities, companies, and organizations within the field of supercomputing.

"This is truly an exceptional year for IU supercomputing," said Craig Stewart, executive director of PTI and associate dean, Research Technologies. "This month, IU unveiled a new state-of-the-art Data Center, which will house the core of the FutureGrid testbed, funded recently by a collaborative award from the National Science Foundation. This joins IU's ongoing projects in areas such as science gateways and data visualization -- all of which will be highlighted in our SC09 display."

The IU booth includes an "Innovation Theatre" where a special musical performance and four mini-workshops will take place during the course of the week-long conference. These events are free to registered conference attendees and do not require pre-registration, though seating is limited.

At the SC09 opening gala, IUPUI Professor of Music Scott Deal will present "Telematic Explorations," original telematic work synthesizing live music, dance, drama, and visual arts with Internet-based interactive processes and performance content. The presentation takes place Monday, November 16, 7 - 9pm.

The schedule for the mini-workshops is as follows:

• "Building Science Gateways and Managing Workflows with Open Grid Computing Environment Toolkit," Marlon Pierce, assistant director, Community Grids Lab, PTI Digital Science Center: Tuesday, November 17, 10am - 12pm

• "Scientific Workflow with Immersive Interfaces for Visualizations," Bill Sherman, senior technology advisor, Advanced Visualization Laboratory, PTI Data to Insight Center: Tuesday, November 17, 2 - 4pm

• "Sustainability, Climate, and the Environment: The Data Tsunami," Beth Plale, director, PTI Data to Insight Center, and Associate Dean for Research, IU School of Informatics and Computing: Wednesday, November 18, 10am - 12pm

• "New Approaches to Scientific Computing: FutureGrid and Cloud Technologies," Geoffrey Fox, director, PTI Digital Science Center, and professor of Informatics and Computer Science: Wednesday, November 18, 2 - 4pm

• "Open MPI Tutorial," Andrew Lumsdaine, director, Open Systems Lab, PTI Digital Science Center, and professor of Computer Science: Thursday, November 19, 10am - 12pm

• "Cyberinfrastructure Software Sustainability and Reusability," Craig Stewart, PTI executive director and associate dean, Research Technologies: Thursday, November 19, 12:30 - 2:30pm

Visitors to the IU exhibit can also engage in several ongoing interactive demonstrations, including:

• GlobalNOC Worldview -- an interactive, 3D, real-time network topology and utilization visualization appliance that can simultaneously display multiple network maps around the world

• FutureGrid -- the NSF-funded testbed that allows the collaborative development and testing of novel approaches to parallel, grid, and cloud computing for scientific research

• IV-Station -- a low-cost, portable virtual-reality display system built from commercial, off-the-shelf components, running open-source virtual reality and visualization software

• In-a-box weather forecasting with LEAD and Trident -- The Linked Environments for Atmospheric Discovery (LEAD) Portal and Trident scientific workflow framework for Windows HPC Server, both powerful tools that execute on-demand weather forecasts, analysis and visualization

For more information on the IU display and mini-workshops at Supercomputing '09, see:

About Pervasive Technology Institute (PTI)

Pervasive Technology Institute at Indiana University ( is a world-class organization dedicated to the development and delivery of innovative information technology to advance research, education, industry, and society. Supported in part by a $15M grant from the Lilly Endowment, Inc., PTI is built upon a spirit of collaboration and brings together researchers and technologists from a range of disciplines and organizations, including the IU School of Informatics and Computing at Bloomington, the IU Maurer School of Law, and University Information Technology Services at Indiana University.