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Friday, 08 June 2018

ICN2 workshop on high performance computing in nanoresearch

Last week the HPCnano workshop was organised here at the ICN2. Bringing together young researchers from across the disciplines, it aimed to provide introductory knowledge on how high performance computing  can be harnessed to solve a range of complex problems.

Last week some thirty young researchers came to the ICN2 to attend the High Performance Computing for Next Generation Nanomaterials and Nanodevice Engineering (HPCnano) workshop. As one of five such workshops sponsored by the Spanish Supercomputing Network (RES), the aim was to raise awareness of what supercomputing technologies can do for research, this time aimed at those working in nanomaterials, molecular electronics and nanodevices. Organised by Dr José Hugo García, PhD student Marc Vila and their group leader ICREA Prof. Stephan Roche, all from the ICN2 Theoretical and Computational Nanoscience Group, the event in essence constituted an opportunity for HPC experts, ambassadors and service providers to come face-to-face with future users and explore some key ideas.

HPC resources can be leveraged to perform advanced calculations of the kind that would take a standard computer several thousands of years. As such they comprise a cross-cutting technology that can and already is being used to accelerate and deepen research in many fields. As part of the workshop, experts from around Europe gave talks on the current role of HPC in their respective fields, with an emphasis on how a problem must be reframed in order to effectively leverage the full cutting-edge potential of supercomputing.

The ICN2 and other members of BIST are active users of MareNostrum4, the most powerful supercomputer in Spain housed at the Barcelona Supercomputing Center (BSC). Part of the Partnership for Advanced Computing (PRACE) infrastructure, a second goal of this workshop was to strengthen ties with this European initiative.