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August 14, 2008

The Week in Review

by John E. West

Here’s a collection of highlights, selected totally subjectively, from this week’s HPC news stream as reported at and HPCwire.

>>10 words and a link

Canada’s biggest super to be iDataPlex system;

Rumor: Sun’s HPC utility may become separate cloud business;

NVIDIA posts $120M loss in Q2, stumbles on bad execution;

NVIDIA announces CUDA U education resource;

MacWorld article puts OpenCL accelerator standard effort in context;

NSF awards $1.5M for petascale active data store;

Ga Tech to lead national visual analytics effort;

HPC at SEG 2008;

Conference: HPC on Wall Street;

>>St. Louis business incubator builds in HPC to give new businesses a head start

Early last month an article got caught in my Google nets from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch – I know, not exactly a tier 1 source for HPC news. But this article caught my eye.

The core idea is that the University of Missouri-St. Louis has opened a business incubator built around HPC services to provide a competitive edge for its tenants.

At the heart of IT Enterprises is a high-performance computing center, or HPC, an efficient and easily expandable network of servers capable of running a continual series of complex analytical jobs. It will be hired out to the incubator’s tenants, UMSL researchers and the community at large.

The center was developed at a cost of $10M, about half from the university and half from private donations. The HPC center includes resources as well as expert consultants, a group of eight faculty members from UMSL with computational expertise, that are available for a fee.

More on the center, and an interview with its chief architect, here.
>>Dakota State Proposing HPC Certificate Program

The Madison Daily Leader reported that Dakota State University has proposed creating a new high performance computing certificate program. The proposal was delivered last week to the South Dakota Board of Regents in Spearfish. The program comes on the heels of DSU receiving approval to create a minor in high performance computing earlier this year.

Cecelia Wittmeyer, vice president for academic affairs, explained:

“This is designed for professionals in the field who want to expand their knowledge in high-performance computing. The certificate is designed for those working in network management or network administration who want to expand their expertise.”

The school confirms the certificate program in this press release.

Kudos to to DSU and South Dakota for creating such a program. As the general workforce in HPC begins to age, it’s becoming more and more evident that we need to spend a significant amount of time formally educating the next generation.


John West is part of the team that summarizes the headlines in HPC news every day at You can contact him at

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