In November of last year, Cornell University in partnership with Purdue University received a National Science Foundation grant to establish The MathWorks MATLAB on the TeraGrid as an experimental computing resource. MATLAB was already an important tool for many TeraGrid users, but as a parallel resource it could provide even greater opportunities all in a familiar environment. Thus, the MATLAB on the TeraGrid initiative was deployed at SC09 to provide MATLAB computational services to remote desktop users with complex data analysis needs. This week, Nicole Hemsoth, editor of our sister publication, HPC in the Cloud, presented an overview of the project as it is about to reach its one-year milestone.
Part of the appeal for researchers is that the computational learning curve is diminished. Access to the 512-core resource does not require understanding of any particular operating system, MPI library, or batch scheduler. By utilizing the Parallel Computing Toolbox and the MATLAB Distributed Computing Server to access the resource via desktops and the TeraGrid science gateways, users who are part of TeraGrid are granted high-performance equipment without some of the common hassles on the programming front they used to encounter on a regular basis. In other words, it is allowing researchers to focus distinctly on their research problems, rather than forcing them to become, by proxy, experts in parallel programming.