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Celebrating the success of SHARCNET
Laurier researchers and president Dr. Bob Rosehart were in London recently to celebrate the success of one of the most powerful computer networks in North America.
The event, called Power, Partnership, Performance, was held at the University of Western Ontario and drew about 150 participants from Ontario universities and corporations, including Hewlett Packard, Platform Computing, Bell Canada, Nortel Networks, Quadrics Ltd. and the Optical Regional Advanced Network of Ontario.
The get-together was held “to bring together researchers from across Ontario who use SHARCNET,” the powerful computer network consortium of 11 HPC clusters at leading academic institutions across southern Ontario, known formally as the Shared Hierarchical Academic Research Computing Network.
SHARCNET was established in 2001 and has grown to include 11 partner institutions, including Laurier, encompassing 200 national and international research groups. In addition to financing from the universities and corporate partners, SHARCNET is supported by the Canada Foundation for Innovation, Ontario Innovation Trust, and the Ontario Research and Development Challenge Fund.
The work of Laurier researchers Dr. Marek Wartak (physics and computer science) and Dr. Joe Campolieti (financial mathematics) was featured at the event, and posters were also presented by Dr. Stephen Perry (kinesiology and physical education) and Campolieti and their students.
Laurier computer science professor Dr. Ilias Kotsireas and his research assistant, fourth-year honours computer science student Dan Butcher, won an award for their poster, titled “Hadamard matrices and high performance computing.” It was judged one of the two best of the more than 50 posters presented.
For those who don’t know how a poster presentation differs from presenting an academic paper, Kotsireas explains:
“A poster is usually something in progress. You are asking for comments. People will come by and discuss it with you. You hope to attract interest; you are looking for new ideas; you are basically advertising your work.”
As a result of the extensive computations required by his project on Hadamard matrices, Kotsireas has been characterized as a “significant SHARCNET user” and has had a special interview with SHARCNET consultant Doug Roberts of Hewlett Packard to discuss his work and computing needs.
Perry is using SHARCNET to help prevent falls among the elderly. He runs models on the computers that simulate the gait of an older adult who has experienced loss of sensation.
Wartak is studying the modeling, design and simulation of semi-conductor lasers. Modeling in this way can shorten design time and impact positively on costs.
Campolieti, Laurier’s first SHARCNET Chair in Financial Mathematics, uses SHARCNET in his research on computational and analytical problems in the modeling and pricing of complex derivative instruments.
Laurier’s second SHARCNET chair, who is currently at Cornell University and will join us in July, is Dr. Gabriel Moreno-Hagelsieb, who will be bringing his expertise in biocomputing to our Biology program.
In a speech at the SHARCNET event, Laurier president Dr. Bob Rosehart noted that SHARCNET “has had a very real, and very positive impact on our campuses … SHARCNET has helped universities attract and retain first-rate people to Canada. It has allowed us to provide important and exciting opportunities for our existing scholars and researchers.
“SHARCNET has, quite simply, given university researchers in a number of institutions and across a number of different disciplines access to the kind of computing power that many individual institutions could never hope to provide on their own.”
Wilfrid Laurier University