News in brief - June 2017
13 Jun 2017



June issue: Big data and data science; NLAFET project  meeting; and Computational Chemistry Group




Workshop on 'Big Data and Data Science' hosted by the Hartree Centre at the Daresbury Lab site – Tony Hey

On May 4th, the Hartree Centre hosted a workshop on a topic of central importance to both scientific research and industry namely, Big Data and Data Science.  The event included talks from two US visitors – Professor Geoffrey Fox from Indiana University who looked in detail at the open source Apache Big Data Stack of data science technologies which is widely used by industry; and Arjun binary-1695476__340.jpgShankar from Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), who is responsible for leading the development of CADES – Computing and Data Environment for Science. He discussed the functional services provided by CADES including 'birthright access' for ORNL researchers for prototyping. Other speakers were from Microsoft, Atos  and IBM  who talked about cloud services for big data problems, HPC as a service and new ideas for cognitive computing. The day ended with the Hartree Centre's Roger Downing who looked forward to the digital transformation of the UK economy. All in all, it was an exciting day and provided a chance to gain an overview of the frontiers of Big Data and Data Science technologies and applications.

NLAFET Project Meeting.jpg

The NLAFET Team in the Computational Mathematics Group in the Scientific Computing Department hosted an NLAFET Project meeting at RAL on 22 and 23 May 2017. – Iain Duff

The NLAFET Project is a Horizon 2020 FET Project that is designing, developing, and producing numerical linear algebra software for sparse and dense matrices that scales to extreme scale computing.  One end product of this collaboration will be an open access software library.

The main focus of the meeting was to prepare for the mid-term review meeting in Brussels in June and to update each other on the progress at the four partner sites. The main role of STFC in this consortium is to build on the established expertise of the Computational Mathematics Group on the direct solution of sparse linear equations and to produce task-based codes for the solution of positive definite and indefinite symmetric equations and unsymmetric systems on a wide range of heterogeneous parallel computers. 

The Computational Chemistry Group (CCG), which supports research in UK universities primarily through scientific collaboration and software development, has had several recent events and achievements.

·         The CCG  was part of four successful Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council  grants that will bring 10 FTE effort in the next three years to SCD. Three of these are e-Infrastructure grants to CCP5, HEC-MCC and UKCOMES. The fourth is a responsive mode research grant.

·         They were a part of a large international proposal to Horizon 2020 that could bring 8 FTE effort for the next three years to SCD. The proposal is for a Virtual Materials Market Place (ViMMP), a platform similar in spirit to ebay, airbnb or Amazon, but for scientific applications and multiscale modelling research enablement

·         The group demonstrated their work  to HRH Prince Andrew, the Duke of York, at the official opening of the new Hartree Centre building on 31 May.​​​

·         CCG has also successfully run three  training courses and workshops during April and May. They were attended by over 60 people from national and international universities.


Contact: O'Sullivan, Marion (STFC,RAL,SC)