Research highlights the future of energy-aware high-performance computing
Leipzig, June 18, 2014. As reported in Inside HPC.
With energy costs a growing concern for High Performance Computing, Allinea Software will demonstrate its vision of a greener future with a preview of new tool extensions for application energy usage optimization at this year's International Supercomputing Conference (ISC'14) in Leipzig.
With larger numbers of data centers consuming over 1MW of power or having electricity bills topping $1M, energy is focussing the minds of the system sponsors and managers, says David Lecomber, CEO of Allinea Software.
Allinea Software worked with application performance experts at the University of Warwick to investigate novel energy and power measuring techniques for scientific application workloads.
Energy usage data is increasingly available at the system level, and our research also explored proxies for energy such as hardware counters to see where they could give deeper insight, said Professor Stephen Jarvis of University of Warwick’s HPC Performance Analysis Group.
The research supported the view that in many cases applications can reduce energy costs without adversely impacting actual run time.
Improving the green credentials of hardware and data centers is vital, and progress is good, but applications must also play their part. Energy optimization is a natural fit for our performance tools, adds Lecomber.
With the variety of workloads that HPC centers have, a ‘one size fits all’ strategy is a costly error – and so Allinea Performance Reports will provide information for application users and system managers to enable them to tune system and application parameters such as CPU frequency for optimal energy use for each application.
Our developer-centric tool, Allinea MAP, will allow scientific code developers to focus energy optimization down into the source code – making changes to the application to drive faster performance and lower energy consumption at the same time.
This research has been supported by the Technology Strategy Board's Emerging Technologies Energy Efficient Computing Programme.
On May 21 2014, our Division of Theory and Foundations, jointly with DIMAP, organized DIMAP Algorithms Day 2014. The goal of the event was to bring together the UK community of researchers and graduate students interested in the study of Algorithms, Data Structures, and Complexity.
The event had an outstanding list of invited speakers from the leading academic institutions and research labs (Alexandr Andoni (Microsoft Research Silicon Valley), Graham Cormode (Warwick), Edith Elkind (Oxford), Leszek Gąsieniec (Liverpool), Aleksander Mądry (EPFL)) presenting the recent advances in Algorithms and its applications, and attracted over 60 participants from over the UK and from abroad.
This week Warwick University Department of Computer Science hosted the first LEGO® Engineering Conference to feature the 3rd generation of its MINDSTORMS® robots. The event was designed to bring educators together to share experiences about how to get students engaged in computing, science, technology, engineering and maths.
Chris Rogers, Professor at Tufts University in Boston and Co-Director of the Center for Engineering Education and Outreach, is the founder of LEGO Engineering conferences. We were delighted that Chris could attend the event and give a keynote highlighting student innovation and creativity from schools around the world, reflecting on what made it possible. Chris also ran a hand-on workshop looking at applications of the data logging capabilities of the EV3.
Two other hands-on workshops also ran, one on Lego Robotics provided by John Pinkney from Warwickshire LA and one on Teaching Maths with Robots provided by Garry Redrup and Sue Johnston-Wilder.
The day also included presentations by the Institution of Engineering and Technology’s Schools Programme, which is responsible for managing FIRST® LEGO® League in the UK. Dr Nicky Hughes also talked about how RoboCupJnr contests are particularly good for getting girls engaged. Other talks covered LEGO® Therapy used for children in the autistic spectrum, and a presentation about Technocamps, an exciting project that provides free workshops to young people on programming, robotics, game design, app development and much more.
The conference received support from Computing At School, the IET Coventry And Warwickshire Network, LEGO® Education, and OCR.
Academics in the Department of Computer Science recently contributed to the success of the BCS Coventry Computing and ICT Teacher's Conference. The event, organised by Computing at School (CAS), focused on the future of Computer Science education in UK schools and how universities can support schools in delivering effective taught programmes.
Matthew Leeke, Assistant Professor in the Department of Computer Science, delivered a characteristically animated opening keynote. With reference to ongoing research, Matt described a number of key challenges that motivate the development of smart cities, relating these to the changing landscape of Computer Science and ICT in the UK. Matt was also a member of a panel session for teachers and education professionals, focusing on issues such as industrial engagement and inclusiveness in Computer Science.
Claire Rocks, Teaching and Outreach Fellow in the Department of Computer Science, later facilitated a specialist workshop on robotics and a speed networking event that brought together educators and industrials. These sessions complemented a sensor-focused workshop provided by Margaret Low, Principal Teaching Fellow in the Warwick Manufacturing Group, to demonstrate the commitment of universities in the West Midlands enriching UK Computer Science and ICT curricula.
Congratulations to our staff member Dr Marcin Jurdziński, for winning the best paper award at the main European conference in Theoretical Computer Science ICALP 2013 (Track B), for the paper Reachability in Two-Clock Timed Automata is PSPACE-complete he co-authored with Dr John Fearnley (a Warwick PhD, currently at the University of Liverpool).
John and Marcin's paper is one of six Warwick papers accepted for presentation at ICALP. Moreover, two of the 2007 Warwick BSc Computer Science graduates have papers at ICALP 2013 (John Fearnley and Dominic Orchard). Congratulations are in place for all Warwick authors at ICALP!
Philip How, a recent graduate in MEng Computer Science, has returned to the United Kingdom after developing and leading a successful workshop at Scratch@MIT 2012. As well as marking the end of his undergraduate degree, Philip's role in this exceptionally popular event represents the culmination of a long-standing involvement with Warwick Technology Volunteers, a dedicated groups of technically minded students and staff members who make a significant contribution to the local community through involvement with schools.
Scratch@MIT is the biennial conference where educators, researchers and developers gather on the MIT campus in Cambridge, Massachusetts to share their experiences and imagine the possibilities of Scratch. The workshop that Philip led, entitled Sensing Our World, involved participants building a variety of sensors, ranging from simple sensors that relied on the conductivity of pencil tracks to working touchpads made from CD cases.
On his involvment, Philip is quick to acknowledge the contributions of those around him, noting that "The staff and students contributing to Warwick Technology Volunteers are fantastic. We couldn't have hoped to achieve what we have without the hard work and comittment of the team of staff and students involved, particuler Margaret Low. In my time here she's an fantastic at organising the efforts of students and liasing with local schools".
Wednesday 20th June saw the Department of Computer Science (DCS) host a celebration of the centenary of the birth of Alan Turing, a pioneer in Mathematics who is widely considered to be the founding father of Computer Science.
The event was well attended by both staff and students alike, with many undergraduates making the most of being free from exams. The highlight of the day were the talks, by three academics from DCS.
Martin Campbell-Kelly opened the day talking about the ACE, a computer designed by Turing that was at the heart of the British computer industry. The talk highlighted the relationship between Britain and America in the days before the founding of Computer Science as we know it, and provided an interesting perspective on the part Turing played in the development of the modern computer.
Following this bright start to the day, Sara Kalvala delivered a riveting talk on Turing's last published work - his theory of morphogenesis. Turing's theory provides an insight as to how cells that are identical can divide into the diverse range of cells that make up natural life. Sara also highlighted a recent paper that is thought to prove this theorem, going on to show how the popular press turned it into a theory of how tigers get their stripes!
After lunch, Ben Sach concluded the day with a closer look at Turing's personal life. Beginning with Turing's early life, including his infamous 60 mile cycle to Sherbourne school, Ben's talk followed Turing's life through Cambridge, to Bletchley Park, and finally to Manchester University. This more intimate view of Turing, often told through extracts written by those who knew him best, provided a fitting end to the day of celebration by highlighting Turing's eccentric, yet charming nature.