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Press Releases

SHARCNET is pleased to release its latest newsletter issue in a completely online format. We have included a number of articles which highlight SHARCNET services and the exciting research projects we support. Upcoming key events are also noted, including Research Day which will be held on May 7, 2014 at Perimeter Institute.

Continue to check the SHARCNET website for information on upcoming events and activities, or watch for our monthly community update which is emailed to our general mailing list and posted on our web portal.

We would love to hear from you! If you have an interesting news item or research story for SHARCNET to highlight, please contact

Compute Canada (CC) is undertaking an extensive consultation process to develop a strategic plan to direct its activities over the next five years, 2014 – 2019. There are many ways to participate in this national consultation. Starting December 4, CC will be having a series of Town Hall meetings across Canada, in person and online, with a presentation and group discussions. Also, CC will provide an executive summary and an overview of a draft strategic plan that you can review before the Town Hall Meetings. To review the schedule of Town Hall and online consultation sessions, or for more information on the overall consultation and strategic planning processes, click here.

Dr. Michael A. Bauer has been named SHARCNET’s Interim Scientific Director.

Dr. Bauer is a long-standing, respected member of the HPC community, who has participated on numerous committees committed to the strategic evolution of the HPC landscape. He is one of the founding members of SHARCNET and has served as its Associate Director for a number of years. As a member of the SHARCNET management team, Dr. Bauer has played a key role in strategic planning and decision making, driving initiatives around engaging industry and student outreach.

Dr. Bauer is a Professor of Computer Science at The University of Western Ontario, where he has also held several administrative positions, including Chair of the Computer Science Department and Associate Vice-President, Information Technology Services. Dr. Bauer is also an active researcher working in the areas of distributed and parallel computing, cloud computing and data analytics.

“With his extensive knowledge and leadership experience, and strong ties to both the academic and industry sectors, we have every confidence in his ability to lead SHARCNET through the evolving HPC landscape in Ontario and Canada” says Dan Sinai, Associate Vice President, Research at Western University and SHARCNET’s new Board Chair.

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 …