Interview: PRACE Scientific Conference at ISC’12 to Showcase European HPC

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The European PRACE Research Infrastructure announced an award this week of 120 million core hours on the new CRAY XE6 Hermit supercomputer at HLRS. With their PRACE Scientific Conference 2012 coming up at ISC’12, I caught up with Maria Ramalho to learn more about what else PRACE has in store for HPC.

insideHPC: The European Commission has doubled its investment in HPC as it wants the E.U. to be exascale competent by 2020. Does PRACE have an operational plan to help administering this effort?

Maria Ramalho: The European Commission has published a Communication for review by the European Parliament and the Council. In this Communication the EC proposes a doubling of the investment in HPC. This has therefore not been agreed nor decided on yet. PRACE is mentioned in the Communication, but does not have a plan of action yet as – again – the Communication is still a proposal.

insideHPC: In conjunction with ISC’12, the PRACE Scientific Conference 2012 will be held on Sunday, June 17. What are the goals of the program and who will be the keynote speakers?

Maria Ramalho: The goal is to highlight advances in large scale simulation and key results obtained by the top European scientists, with support of PRACE, the Partnership for Advanced Computing in Europe. The European Commission and PRACE director Dr. Maria Ramalho will present their visions for HPC in Europe. The programme will include a short meeting of the User Forum which will provide an excellent opportunity for users and prospective users to exchanges ideas and experiences

The keynote speakers are:

  • Paolo Carloni, German Research School for Simulation Sciences GmbH
    • Excess proton at water/hydrophobic interfaces: A Car-Parrinello MD study.


  • Bing Liu, Max-Planck-Institut für Eisenforschung
    • A dislocation dynamics study of dislocation cell formation and interaction between a low angle grain boundary and an in-coming dislocation.


  • Jeremie Bec, Observatoire de la Côte d’Azur
    • Droplet growth by coalescence in turbulent clouds: kinetics, fluctuations, and universality.


  • Yves Ineichen, Paul Scherrer Institut, PRACE Award Winner
    • A Fast and Scalable Low Dimensional Solver for Charged Particle Dynamics in Large Particle Accelerators.

insideHPC: PRACE now has at least four production systems online as computational resources: JUGENE, CURIE, HERMIT, and FERMI. What kinds of supercomputers are next on the horizon?

Maria Ramalho:As announced in spring 2012, we will add the SuperMuc, provided by GCS/LRZ, which is an IBM I DataPlex system. The new Spanish system, successor of MareNostrum of BSC is yet to come during 2012/2013.

insideHPC: Does PRACE have any Summer School activities planned for 2012?

Maria Ramalho: We have two Summer School programs in 2012:

  • PRACE Summer School on Code Optimisation for Multi-Core and Intel MIC Architecture, Lugano (CH), June 21-23, 2012
    • PRACE is pleased to announce the Summer School on Code Optimisation for Multi-Core and Intel Many Integrated Core (MIC) architecture at the Swiss National Supercomputing Centre in Lugano, Switzerland. In this three day intensive event participants will focus on programming and tuning techniques for modern multi- and many-core processors with a particular focus on the Intel® Many Integrated Core architecture..Please Read more
  • EU-U.S. Summer School
    • The U.S. National Science Foundation’s Extreme Science and Engineering Discovery Environment (XSEDE) project and the European Union Seventh Framework Program’s Partnership for Advanced Computing in Europe (PRACE) are pleased to announce the third International Summer School on High Performance Computing (HPC) Challenges in Computational Sciences, June 24-28, 2012, in Dublin, Ireland.
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insideHPC: What will PRACE be showcasing at their ISC’12 exhibit?

Maria Ramalho: In ISC´12 PRACE will be exhibiting its Tier-0 infrastructure of Peta-scale systems. PRACE is proudly announcing the PRACE Award winner of 2012 and The Most Innovative Industrial HPC Application in Europe.