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On behalf of the Board of Directors, it is with great regret that we report that Dr. Hugh Couchman, SHARCNET’s Scientific Director, has decided to step down from his position for health reasons. We owe a tremendous gratitude to Hugh, as one of SHARCNET’s founding members, and as a devoted champion for the HPC community.

Hugh exemplifies calm, thoughtful leadership and what can be accomplished through cooperation and researcher engagement. He led SHARCNET through its growth phase, expanding from seven initial partners in 2001, to seventeen academic partners today, making it the largest HPC consortium in Canada. SHARCNET was also the recipient of several large funding awards for both equipment and operations.

Thanks to Hugh’s direction over the past decade, SHARCNET has grown into a mature organization that provides the highest quality services to researchers and their graduate students in order to help create the next generation of researchers in academia, business and industry. Through Hugh’s vision, SHARCNET is highly regarded for the range and breadth of its research support programs and training offerings. As a result, SHARCNET has been the recipient of several awards over the years, recognizing our leadership in HPC and our productivity as an organization.

Hugh has also been pivotal to the growth of HPC in Canada, most notably as one of the authors of the Canadian Long-Range Plan for HPC and as Chair of Compute Canada’s National Initiatives Committee. He has been instrumental in setting the foundations for SHARCNET and HPC in Canada and we hope to continue to build on Hugh’s legacy and vision for the future.

We wish him all the best going forward.

Kevin Hall
Vice President Research and External Partnerships
University of Guelph

Compute Canada (CC) is seeking input from the research community to help shape how research computing is provided to Canadian researchers for the next five years. Independent market research company, Insights West, has been commissioned to conduct a 15-minute survey. Answers to this survey will be used by CC to develop its strategic plan with an aim to improve and extend the services it offers and to satisfy the needs of new communities.

Principal Investigators (PIs) at Canadian academic institutions who require access to High Performance Computing (HPC) resources on Compute Canada systems are invited to submit proposals requesting allocations of CPU time and storage on Compute Canada systems.

This call for proposals is aimed at PIs who require greater than the default usage level on any system. All applicants must complete the online application form at the Compute Canada Database (CCDB) site:

Proposals must be submitted electronically to Compute Canada on or before October 16, 2013 at 3pm (Eastern). UPDATE: THE DEADLINE HAS BEEN EXTENDED TO OCTOBER 21st. However, the application process must have been started before 3:00pm on October 16th.

Now that HPCS is over for another year, please tell us about your conference experience by completing the online survey and help shape future conferences in the HPCS series.

Our stellar array of speakers and contributors have already gone on to make more news:

  • “The Making of the BigBrain – The First Ultra-High Resolution 3D Human Brain Model” – this huge neurology and computing accomplishment, announced at HPCS 2013, has gotten huge press coverage.
  • One of our invited speakers, Brett Goldstein, has gone on to be named the first Fellow in Urban Science at the Harris School of Public Policy at the University of Chicago.

In addition, almost all of the very popular HPCS 2013 tutorials now have their materials posted online. Whether you attended and want a refresher, or you couldn’t attend all the sessions you wanted to, this is an excellent resource to explore.

Matthew Woolhouse, a researcher at the McMaster Institute for Music & the Mind at McMaster University seeks answers in 20 million songs.

Last October, Woolhouse started a five-year project funded by telecommunications giant Nokia. Inside McMaster’s new Digital Music Lab, Woolhouse and his team peer into the company’s closely guarded data and study the music-downloading habits of its mobile-phone users. More …

Planning for HPC Summer School 2013 is underway. This is SHARCNET’s 10th annual, intensive education event. For the third year in a row, Summer School is being jointly run by SHARCNET, SciNet and HPCVL with three offerings (west, central and east). Summer School (west) will be hosted by Western University, May 21 – 24. This four-day Summer School offers courses on a number of selected subjects including:

  • Programming distributed systems using message passing
  • Programming shared memory systems with threads
  • Programming GPGPUs Parallel computing: theory and practice
  • Debugging and profiling
  • Using packages and libraries for scientific and engineering computing
  • Visualization

Training will include both in-class lectures and computer labs with hands-on exercises on programming distributed and shared memory systems, cell systems and GPGPUs. Online registration will be open soon!

We are pleased to announce that registration for SHARCNET Research Day 2013 is now open. The event will take place May 16, 2013 at Sheridan College (Oakville campus). Topics for presentations and posters include, but are not limited to, the following subject areas:

  • Computer science, algorithms and methods
  • Computational finance and statistics
  • Applied mathematics
  • Computational chemistry and biology
  • Computational physics
  • Computational fluid dynamics and engineering
  • Health science
  • Digital humanities

We invite you and your research group to attend SHARCNET Research Day and present your work. The abstract submission deadline is May 2, 2013.

A printable poster is also available for distribution.

SHARCNET is running its annual User Satisfaction Survey to seek feedback from the user community on all aspects of our organization and operations. Users will find the survey within the SHARCNET web portal and are encouraged to respond by June 15th. Everyone who completes the survey will be entered into a draw for a 32GB Pico USB flash drive.

Tell us what you think! Results from the survey help us evaluate our success in meeting users’ HPC needs and improve our services in the future. Summary results from previous surveys are also available via the web portal.