BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition in Dublin, Ireland

At the BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition (BTYSTE), 10-12 January 2013, PRACE with a stand managed by the Irish Centre for High-End Computing (ICHEC) showcased what supercomputers are used for to primary and secondary level students in Dublin, Ireland. At the ICHEC stand in the World of Science & Technology Hall a fully configured live mini “supercomputer” built from Raspberry Pi boards was on display. In addition, HPC introductory sessions and 3D visualisations of climate and weather data were presented while interactive demonstrations were used to showcase the latest in accelerators/coprocessors technology.

JPEG - 66.5 kb
Three students from St. Joseph’s Mercy Secondary School, Navan, Co. Meath, Ireland investigating the Raspberry Pi Cluster

Within the third implementation phase project of PRACE (PRACE-3IP) outreach activities are focused on high school and university students. The latter are targeted in the PRACE Summer of HPC programme (http://summerofhpc.prace-ri.eu) while the PRACE Campus Schools focus on students aged between 15-18 years. These events are key to demystify supercomputers, to describe how they are built and what they are used for. Four Campus schools are planned during the course of the PRACE-3IP project in Slovenia (Nov 2012), Ireland (Jan 2013), Bulgaria (Nov 2013), and the Czech Republic (Jan 2014) though the scale of these events may not be as large as the BTYSTE.

JPEG - 54.2 kb
An example audience during presentations at the stand

Over 45,000 students attended the exhibition with over 200 schools visiting the ICHEC stand to understand the utility of supercomputing. The first zone of the stand displayed an eight-way Raspberry Pi cluster built especially for the event where the inner workings of a parallel machine were visible to the attendees. A parallel version of Conway’s Game of Life was run across the machine to describe the software layer and the performance gains. More details of the cluster can be found here: http://www.ichec.ie/outreach/rpicluster

JPEG - 61.9 kb
Stand at the BTYSTE

Students attended presentations in the second zone where the need for supercomputing and the resources that Europe has to offer in terms of hardware were described. In addition, ICHEC staff presented weather models over Ireland and the UK in 3D as ICHEC runs the national weather forecast for Met Éireann (Irish Meteorological Service).

Within the third zone of the stand live Molecular Dynamics simulations and other interactive demos provided by NVIDIA were run on a NVIDIA K20. While a Sudoku demo, one that searched for 17 clue grids, allowed the direct comparison of the new Intel Xeon Phi and the Intel Sandy Bridge. The demo was first described by ICHEC at the ISC12 event http://www.ichec.ie/conferences/ISC12

More information:

Person E-mail Phone Number Institution
Martin Peters martin.peters _(at)_ ichec.ie +353-1-524-1608 ext. 39 Irish Centre for High-End Computing (ICHEC)
JPEG - 79.9 kb
ICHEC staff that attended the stand at the BTYSTE