SPRING-SUMMER 2004, Vol. 2, Issue 1

in this issue:

On behalf of the SHARCNET Board of Directors, I would like to congratulate the entire SHARCNET community – researchers, partners, management and staff – on this extraordinary success.

I would like to thank, in particular, members of the grant writing committee, whose words exemplified the strength and vision of the SHARCNET model, and the SHARCNET researcher community, whose innovative work was our proposal’s most compelling feature.

The integration of the Universities of Waterloo, Brock, York and Ontario Institute of Technology represent a tremendous boost to SHARCNET’s leading community, expanding our research and collaborative capabilities, and integrating the research strength and HPC expertise of an additional four institutions.

In addition to these new partners, SHARCNET will soon augment its leading infrastructure to facilitate the undertaking of new, computationally-intensive investigations in a range of disciplines, from Bioinformatics to Financial Mathematics. Groundbreaking research that could previously not be undertaken will now be possible because of SHARCNET.

This enormous success is a testament to the strength and attractiveness of SHARCNET’s distributed model. The sharing of resources and expertise across multiple institutions is key to facilitating research excellence and ensuring the efficient use of valuable HPC resources.

SHARCNET is widely-recognized as a pioneer in distributed HPC environments and will continue, in our next evolution, to support Canadian research excellence with a computational infrastructure which, nationally, is second to none.

Nils O. Petersen, Chair
SHARCNET Board of Directors
Vice-President, Research
The University of Western Ontario


Second to None: SHARCNET receives nearly 20M in funding, to become one of Canada's most powerful HPC centres

ISHARCNET’s recent success with CFI represents half of a very important balance. Through programs like Chairs and Fellowships, and the HPC support services provided by SHARCNET on a daily basis, we have created an invaluable synergy between people and processors.

SHARCNET has strived to create an HPC culture -- a critical mass of persons highly trained in HPC tools and techniques -- in Ontario. We are now realizing that goal. Since 2001, SHARCNET has attracted, trained or otherwise supported hundreds of national and international researchers, and our community is growing daily.

On January 23, we celebrated this success at Power, Partnership, Performance. The half day event, held at UWO, celebrated the research excellence within SHARCNET institutions and the people and partners that have enabled the creation of this leading HPC environment.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank Mr. Paul Tsaparis, President of HP Canada who was the event’s keynote speaker, as well as Dr. Robert Rosehart, President of Wilfrid Laurier University, who spoke on behalf of our consortium members.

During the months of March and April, we continued our focus on the provincial HPC culture with the EXCELerate2004 campaign. EXCELerate, which will be an annual initiative, focuses on SHARCNET’s ability to both accelerate research and support excellence in HPC techniques through workshops, training and research colloquia. The campaign’s final event, the SHARCNET-HP Academic-Industry Forum, alone attracted over 60 participants from both the public and private sectors. The event’s keynote speakers, Mr. Richard Kaufmann from HP and Dr. Mark Poznansky from Robarts Research Institute, did a tremendous job elucidating the realities of technology and innovation, a perfect complement to the day’s dynamic research-focused lectures. The event was an important step in facilitating academic-industrial collaboration, a key SHARCNET mandate.

Our efforts to engage community members continue with the SHARCNET standing committees. Committees are comprised of members of the SHARCNET researcher community, management and staff, and are designed to ensure maximum input into the organization by all stakeholders. We are already deriving a tremendous amount of value from the distinct experiences and expertise of our committee members. The Researcher Outreach committee is exploring ways to increase researcher engagement through the provision of new and enhanced programs and services. The Policies and Procedures committee is discussing strategies to ensure the effective and efficient use of HPC resources, and the Acquisitions and Partnerships committee is preparing for upcoming CFI acquisitions.

Ontario is home to some of the world’s most talented innovators – internationally established experts and emerging research stars. We are proud to recognize many of these individuals as members of the SHARCNET community.

Carmen S. Gicante, P.Eng, MBA
SHARCNET Executive Director




SHARCNET celebrates the 'people' side of HPC


SHARCNET celebrates the ‘people’ side of HPC

On January 23, SHARCNET commemorated its success at Power, Partnership, Performance: a celebration of Canadian research excellence and the people who make it possible.

Over 150 individuals from across the SHARCNET community, both academic and private sector, converged on the Great Hall at The University of Western Ontario to recognize the tremendous contributions that individual researchers and partners have made to the SHARCNET vision.

A keynote address by HP Canada President Paul Tsaparis emphasized the importance of public-private partnerships in achieving shared research and development goals.

“SHARCNET may very well be the most substantial example this country has of the successful melding of commercial, governmental and academic interests,” stated Tsaparis “Together, they – I should say “we” - epitomize the ideal of true collaborative research and stand as the model for building and sustaining tripartite relationships which produce significant mutual benefit.”

SHARCNET’s preeminent research community was highlighted in a comprehensive poster session, featuring innovation in a range of disciplines. Hugh Couchman, SHARCNET Scientific Director, presented two best poster prizes, one to the research group of Dr. Ilias Kotsireas, Wilfrid Laurier University, for Hadamard Matrices and High-Performance Computing, and one to the research group of Dr. Terry Peters, Robarts Research Institute, for High Performance Computing in Surgical Simulation.

The event also presented the opportunity for SHARCNET to thank its founders. Dr. Michale Bauer, Dr. Hugh Couchman, Dr. Allan MacIsaac, Dr. Nils Petersen, Dr. Peter Poole and Dr. Deborah Stacey were all honoured for their role to making the SHARCNET vision a reality.