On Friday the 7th of October the University hosted a formal launch event for Viper, the University’s first centrally supported High Performance Computing (HPC) facility. Having gone live as a pilot service in June, the formal launch event, saw researchers and senior managers from across the university being joined external guest to learn more about Viper and how it is already contributing to research at the university.
External guests on the day included representatives from other regional universities, the N8, and partners who helped deliver Viper such as Red Oak Consulting and Intel.
Speeches from Dr David Richards, PVC for Research and Enterprise and Graeme Murphy Head of Research and Enterprise ICT Services, highlighted the university’s strategy and ambitions for the HPC service, and detailed the Viper’s journey to live service.
Members of the HPC Steering Group then showcased some of the research that has already been carried out on Viper in the first few months of pilot Service. Dr Dave Lunt told explained how the EvoHull group are using Viper to look at environmental genomics and bioinformatics, and how access to the significant computational resource has given them the opportunity to develop new and novel approaches to their research; to truly experiment and push boundaries.
Dr Nina Dethlefs described how utilising Viper has transformed her research in deep learning and natural language processing, nearly halving computation time. This has already resulted in the submission of two papers and an invitation for her to talk at external events.
Professor Brad Gibson presented some of the work of the E.A. Milne Centre for Astrophysics that Viper has contributed to, while revealing how the centre will partner with KIAS in the ‘Horizon Run’, a simulation of the Universe that is 8000 times larger than anything previously attempted.
Dr David Benoit showed some of the work that he and his colleagues have carried out on Viper, which has resulted in David being the heaviest user of Viper since go live date. Dr Benoit also revealed that the first paper attributable to work carried out on Viper had recently been accepted . Amine catalysis for the organocatalytic diboration of challenging alkenes to be published in Chemistry – A European Journal (2016) is the first of a number of papers to be submitted by Viper users that has been accepted for publication.
The afternoon concluded with tours of Viper and discussions with potential new Viper users.