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Principal Investigators (PIs) at Canadian academic institutions who require access to High Performance Computing (HPC) resources on Compute Canada systems are hereby invited to submit proposals requesting allocations of CPU time and storage on Compute Canada systems. Allocations will be valid for one year, beginning January 2013. This call for proposals is aimed at PIs who require greater than the default usage level on any system. PIs who are not sure if their request requires a RAC allocation should contact rac@computecanada.ca prior to submitting a request. Any individual who is eligible to apply to national granting councils for funding is eligible to apply for an allocation. Proposals must be submitted electronically via the CCDB to Compute Canada on or before October 11, 2012 at 3pm (Eastern). Please note the online form for this year’s application has changed from last year.

Please login and review the form well in advance of the submission date. A proposal is not required in order to get access to Compute Canada systems. Any Canadian academic researcher may obtain the “default usage level” on any Compute Canada system at any time by registering with the CCDB and then requesting accounts at one or more consortia. To read the complete Call For Proposals, please click here.



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 July 15th. Everyone who completes the survey will be entered into a draw for a 32GB Pico USB flash drive.

Your feedback is important to us! Results from the survey assist us in evaluating our success in meeting users’ HPC needs and help us improve our services in the future. Summary results from previous surveys are also available via the web portal.



SHARCNET is thrilled to be part of the Science Studio platform, by providing HPC support and hosting services, to enable researchers to remotely control and run experiments at the Canadian Light Source (CLS).

Led by Principal Investigator, Dr. Michael Bauer, who is also the Associate Director, SHARCNET, this CANARIE-funded project gets a boost through a demonstration by Governor General David Johnston in Brazil. See the full CANARIE press release for details.



Western University announced the formation of a new Ontario-based multi-million dollar research and development computing network today with its partners, the Governments of Canada and Ontario, IBM (NYSE: IBM) and the University of Toronto.

One of the primary nodes for the newly formed Southern Ontario Smart Computing and Innovation Platform (SOSCIP) is Western’s Shared Hierarchical Academic Research Computing NETwork (SHARCNET). A part of Compute Canada, SHARCNET is a high performance computing consortium delivering game-changing research and innovation to the world.

The computing infrastructure of Western, IBM and its university partners -- with a combined expertise in high performance and cloud computing -- will form a research platform unlike any other in Canada.

High performance computing refers to the use of supercomputers and computer clusters to solve advanced computational problems while cloud computing is the delivery of computing services via shared resources, software, and information over a network.

“One of the things this contribution from IBM gives Western is a tremendous start in addressing some very substantial problems in regards to dealing with large-scale data,” says Western computer sciences professor Michael Bauer, who also serves as SHARCNET’s Associate Director. “In many, many circumstances, data will become the core problem of the next decade, not in terms of generating data but in terms of what do you do with it and how do you actually glean useful information from it.”

Bauer adds Western will not only have a system with which researchers and computer scientists can begin to examine this core problem but will also receive significant software contributions from IBM, which are necessary to extract this kind of information on a large-scale.

“Western played a leading role in establishing SHARCNET, Canada’s largest high-performance computing consortium, and we are excited to take the next step by using cloud computing to manage the staggering volume of digital data society creates on a daily basis,” says Western President Amit Chakma. “From neuroscience to our environment and industrial applications, supercomputing holds tremendous promise for helping us make complex research decisions more quickly, while mining data for better answers.”

Western’s new IBM-fueled computing system will provide excellent opportunities for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to explore the applicability of cloud computing and to address many of their computational problems.

“For the financial industry, cloud technology is ideal for solving complex latency sensitive problems on large streaming data sets in real time,” says Ben Bittrolff, Chief Financial Officer at London-based Cyborg Trading Systems. “Western joining forces with IBM on this major initiative is excellent news for all businesses, no matter the size, in Ontario, across Canada and undoubtedly around the world.” More info



Principal Investigators (PIs) at Canadian academic institutions who require access to more than the default allocation of 10 Core Years on Compute Canada’s large shared memory system, Hungabee, are invited to submit proposals requesting allocations of CPU time to Compute Canada.

In addition to offering access to Hungabee with 2048 cores and 16 TB of shared memory, Compute Canada offers applications-enabling assistance from HPC experts at the regional consortia.

The deadline for submitting applications is April 16, 2012 at 3pm EDT. More info



Principal Investigators (PIs) in the fields of Humanities and Social Sciences at Canadian academic institutions who require access to High Performance Computing (HPC) resources on Compute Canada systems are hereby invited to submit proposals requesting allocations of CPU time and storage to the Compute Canada National Resource Allocation Committee (NRAC). Please note that Compute Canada does not charge any access fee for use of the resources nor is there a fee for user support. These resources may be accessed independent of the location of the equipment or the researcher thanks to CANARIE’s national high performance network and the provincial ORANs.

The intent of this program is to permit access to a level of computational resources that would be hard to achieve through informal access to shared resources. For more modest requirements or testing purposes, access is available immediately to most systems and certainly to the SuperMicro system.

The deadline for submitting applications is April 24, 2012 at 3pm EDT. More info



(February 23, 2012 – Ottawa) – Compute Canada, Canada’s national platform of High Performance Computing (HPC) resources and partners, today announced grants of nearly $80 million worth of state-of-the-art computing, storage, and support resources allocated to 159 leading edge Canadian research projects across the country.

Compute Canada’s distributed resources represent close to two petaFLOPs of compute power, which is equal to two quadrillion calculations per second, and more than 20 petabytes of storage, equivalent to more than 400 million four-drawer filing cabinets filled with text. These competitively-awarded grants will allocate nearly 725 million processor-hours and eight petabytes of storage to the projects over the next year. Researchers will also have direct access to more than 40 Compute Canada programming and technical experts who are critical to enabling the efficient use of these state-of-the-art HPC systems.

“The scope and scale of today’s research investigations demand an incredible amount of computational power,” said Compute Canada Executive Director, Susan Baldwin. “Compute Canada responds to that need by delivering the essential tools and resources Canadian researchers need to respond to today’s big data challenges, propel ground-breaking discoveries, and develop new industrial applications or commercial opportunities.”

Each year Compute Canada accepts requests from researchers across the country whose projects require cutting-edge computing resources, storage, and expertise. The projects – which range from aerospace design and climate modeling to medical imaging and nanotechnology -- produce results and breakthroughs that in many cases simply wouldn’t be possible without Compute Canada’s resources.

“I’ve always been a champion of HPC because it enables us to perform the kind of complex, large-scale calculations that are essential for verifying our ideas and uncovering new findings,” says André Bandrauk, a University of Sherbrooke Professor of Theoretical Chemistry and Canada Research Chair in Computational Chemistry & Molecular Photonics. “These resources are critical for driving advancements in Canadian research as well as enabling Canadian researchers to compete on the international stage.”

The partner institutions and resource centres that comprise Compute Canada are hubs of interdisciplinary computational research, connected from coast to coast by the high-speed national CANARIE network and regional advanced networks. Together, these distributed computing facilities work collaboratively to provide the expertise and resources necessary to give Canada’s researchers and innovators access to these world-class technologies.

Compute Canada’s resources are granted based on scientific merit and computational need. In addition to the competitively-allocated grants for above-average computing requirements, all Canadian researchers have access to significant default allocations of computational resources and support expertise. For more information on Compute Canada, its regional consortia, and its distributed resources, visit the Compute Canada website: www.computecanada.org. More info



We are happy to announce that registration for SHARCNET Research Day 2012 is now open. The event will take place May 23, 2012 at the University of Guelph. 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

The abstract submission deadline is May 6, 2012.

A special issue of the Journal of Computational Science, which aims to be an international publication of novel research across all scientific disciplines, will be organized. Participants are invited to submit papers to be considered for publications. Please note that submission to the special issue is optional and is not required for participation or giving a presentation at Research Day. The deadline for paper submission is expected to be approximately three months after Research Day and will be announced later.

A printable poster is available for distribution.