Promoting Hemispheric Advancement Through Collaborative Research

By Tiffany Trader

October 23, 2012

The Organization of American States (OAS) has been called the UN of the Americas and it is involved in everything from food security to supercomputing. It is the prime political forum of the western hemisphere and the world’s oldest regional organization. The group’s origins date back to the First International Conference of American States, held in Washington, DC, from October 1889 to April 1890. That meeting established the International Union of American Republics. This inter-American system would eventually become the OAS in 1948.

OAS logoToday the OAS is comprised of 34 independent states of the Americas and as Article 1 of their charter states, works toward establishing “an order of peace and justice, to promote their solidarity, to strengthen their collaboration, and to defend their sovereignty, their territorial integrity, and their independence.” The organization operates under the four pillars of human rights, democracy, multi-dimensional security and integral development.

The OAS works with policy and tries to foster a better quality of life for the citizens of its member countries by promoting sustainability and horizontal collaboration. Operating under the integral development arm of the OAS is the Office of Science, Technology and Innovation, which is also guided by four main pillars: innovation, human resources, quality infrastructure, and technological development.

The Office of Science, Technology and Innovation has many partners, public and private, including government, science and technology councils, universities and national centers. All these stakeholders bring their resources to the table along with a commitment to collaborative research.

To learn more about these important endeavors, and more specifically about OAS’s involvement with the research community, we recently sat down with Mr. Jorge Duran, the Director of the OAS Office of Science, Technology and Innovation. The opportunity presented itself in September, when Duran and a few of his colleagues from the Institute for Computing in Humanities, Arts and Social Science (I-CHASS), including executive director Kevin Franklin, met in San Diego to visit with Calit2 at the University of California San Diego, the San Diego Supercomputer Center and National University.

Jorge DuranThe OAS and partner organization I-CHASS jointly administer the Advanced Research and Technology Collaboratory for the Americas, ARTCA, an interdisciplinary, inter-institutional and international research and education endeavor. As part of its mission, ARTCA “deploys advanced Internet Communications Technology (ICT) to transcend the intellectual, institutional, and financial barriers that can impede collaborative work.”

Although ARTCA was initially based in Costa Rica, the OAS Office of Science, Technology and Innovation was asked to host the program in 2010. As Duran explained, ARTCA was a great fit for the group and tied into three of the its main pillars: innovation, technological development and human resources.

OAS-ARTCA is also a main partner in the Hemispheric Scalable Research Challenge (H-SRC), which is set to debut early next year. The challenge encourages humanities-based research projects to explore the possibilities offered by advanced computational resources.

In 2009, I-CHASS launched a successful competition to donate a million CPU hours for initiatives in areas of humanities, arts and social sciences. Now, along with OAS-ARTCA and the Office of Science, Technology and Innovation of the OAS, I-CHASS is preparing to announce a second expanded round, under the H-SRC banner, to extend beyond the US borders. With the assistance of OAS-ARTCA, I-CHASS will be able to offer additional resources beyond just CPU time. The availability of diversified services should open up the competition to more varied interests and workloads. When the official call goes out in the first quarter of 2013, researchers throughout the Americas will be encouraged to apply by submitting their research proposals to I-CHASS and OAS-ARTCA. The NCSA and partner institutes are allocating between 25,000 and 500,000 CPU hours per project, and awards may also include access to visualization tools and other expertise.

Next >> Horizontal Cooperation

More and more, OAS is implementing a concept called horizontal cooperation. While countries like America and Canada are at the forefront of development, countries such as Mexico, Argentina, Brazil and Chile, as emerging economies, are showing strong growth. “There are less monies flowing from developed economies, so the developing nations have gotten together to share best practices among themselves, to where they are less dependent on foreign aid from developed economies and increasingly interdependent amongst themselves,” said Duran. As an example of horizontal cooperation, he cited the Red Clara organization, which aims to connect Latin America’s academic computer networks.

As it did with ARTCA, OAS is in the process of signing a cooperation agreement with Red Clara, the Latin American Cooperation of Advanced Networks. The project began with a grant from the European community, but that funding has since dried up, and now the local countries are stepping up to the plate. As Duran explains, they are aware of the benefits in connecting people with high-speed networks, especially for research and supercomputing applications.

Earlier this month I-CHASS was awarded $99,986 in NSF funding to support the Pan-American Advanced Studies Institute (PASI), taking place in July 2013, in Guatemala. Partner groups include the Extreme Science and Engineering Discovery Environment (XSEDE); the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA); the Advanced Visualization Lab (AVL); the Advanced Research and Technology Collaboratory for the Americas (ARTCA); the Latin American Cooperation of Advanced Networks (RedClara); and the Organization of American States (OAS).

“The objective of the PASI is to introduce young researchers across the Americas to methods in CBD [computation-based discovery] and demonstrate how it can support research involving large and or highly complex data sets generated to study large scale problems,” reported Jorge Duran in an official statement.

Another upcoming event that Duran highlighted is the Radical Innovation Summit, scheduled for next Spring in Washington, DC. The two-day summit – a collaboration between I-CHASS, the NCSA and OAS-ARTCA – will bring together representatives from Latin America, the Caribbean and the US to explore topics related to radical innovation and learning in a digital age. Last week, I-CHASS announced that it had also received NSF funding for the event.

Duran believes education and engineering are keys to creating regional independence and sustainability. “Latin America needs more engineers that can transform concepts into reality,” he stated. There are a lot of social scientists, but there’s a shortage of engineers. He mentions one university as a typical example: it graduated a thousand psychologists and only 300 engineers. Addressing this imbalance is a flagship OAS program called Engineering for the Americas. The initiative has three main aims: to improve the quality of engineering education, especially in Latin American and the Caribbean, to expand accreditation of these programs internationally and thereby increase mobility of people, and to work with the private sector and industry on job creation.

At the high-level, the OAS meets every three years for the Summit of the Americas. Leaders from all member states come together to determine new policies and objectives. The most recent event, the sixth Summit of the Americas, was held in Cartagena, Colombia, April 14-15, 2012. The central theme was “Connecting the Americas: Partners for Prosperity.” The event generated mandates to “establish hemisphere-wide road, rail, and electrical networks” and promote research and education.

“The way we work,” said Duran, “is we translate those political mandates into policies and we also translate them into concrete actions, into projects. The OAS does not embark on or undertake major projects, major infrastructure or sectoral projects; we work with countries or governments at their behest on issues that have previously been identified and try to help them in these areas, on policy or pilot projects that can then be replicated in other nations or be scaled up.

“These efforts are made to empower the regions to be more competitive at the global level. Micro-, small- and medium-sized businesses are the lifeblood of the economy and we have strong programs to integrate technology and facilitate technological applications for them so that they can become more efficient and compete in the global economy.”

Subscribe to HPCwire's Weekly Update!

Be the most informed person in the room! Stay ahead of the tech trends with industy updates delivered to you every week!

UCSD, AIST Forge Tighter Alliance with AI-Focused MOU

January 18, 2018

The rich history of collaboration between UC San Diego and AIST in Japan is getting richer. The organizations entered into a five-year memorandum of understanding on January 10. The MOU represents the continuation of a 1 Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

New Blueprint for Converging HPC, Big Data

January 18, 2018

After five annual workshops on Big Data and Extreme-Scale Computing (BDEC), a group of international HPC heavyweights including Jack Dongarra (University of Tennessee), Satoshi Matsuoka (Tokyo Institute of Technology), Read more…

By John Russell

Researchers Measure Impact of ‘Meltdown’ and ‘Spectre’ Patches on HPC Workloads

January 17, 2018

Computer scientists from the Center for Computational Research, State University of New York (SUNY), University at Buffalo have examined the effect of Meltdown and Spectre security updates on the performance of popular H Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

HPE Extreme Performance Solutions

HPE and NREL Take Steps to Create a Sustainable, Energy-Efficient Data Center with an H2 Fuel Cell

As enterprises attempt to manage rising volumes of data, unplanned data center outages are becoming more common and more expensive. As the cost of downtime rises, enterprises lose out on productivity and valuable competitive advantage without access to their critical data. Read more…

Fostering Lustre Advancement Through Development and Contributions

January 17, 2018

Six months after organizational changes at Intel's High Performance Data (HPDD) division, most in the Lustre community have shed any initial apprehension around the potential changes that could affect or disrupt Lustre Read more…

By Carlos Aoki Thomaz

UCSD, AIST Forge Tighter Alliance with AI-Focused MOU

January 18, 2018

The rich history of collaboration between UC San Diego and AIST in Japan is getting richer. The organizations entered into a five-year memorandum of understandi Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

New Blueprint for Converging HPC, Big Data

January 18, 2018

After five annual workshops on Big Data and Extreme-Scale Computing (BDEC), a group of international HPC heavyweights including Jack Dongarra (University of Te Read more…

By John Russell

Researchers Measure Impact of ‘Meltdown’ and ‘Spectre’ Patches on HPC Workloads

January 17, 2018

Computer scientists from the Center for Computational Research, State University of New York (SUNY), University at Buffalo have examined the effect of Meltdown Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Fostering Lustre Advancement Through Development and Contributions

January 17, 2018

Six months after organizational changes at Intel's High Performance Data (HPDD) division, most in the Lustre community have shed any initial apprehension aroun Read more…

By Carlos Aoki Thomaz

When the Chips Are Down

January 11, 2018

In the last article, "The High Stakes Semiconductor Game that Drives HPC Diversity," I alluded to the challenges facing the semiconductor industry and how that may impact the evolution of HPC systems over the next few years. I thought I’d lift the covers a little and look at some of the commercial challenges that impact the component technology we use in HPC. Read more…

By Dairsie Latimer

How Meltdown and Spectre Patches Will Affect HPC Workloads

January 10, 2018

There have been claims that the fixes for the Meltdown and Spectre security vulnerabilities, named the KPTI (aka KAISER) patches, are going to affect applicatio Read more…

By Rosemary Francis

Momentum Builds for US Exascale

January 9, 2018

2018 looks to be a great year for the U.S. exascale program. The last several months of 2017 revealed a number of important developments that help put the U.S. Read more…

By Alex R. Larzelere

ANL’s Rick Stevens on CANDLE, ARM, Quantum, and More

January 8, 2018

Late last year HPCwire caught up with Rick Stevens, associate laboratory director for computing, environment and life Sciences at Argonne National Laboratory, f Read more…

By John Russell

Inventor Claims to Have Solved Floating Point Error Problem

January 17, 2018

"The decades-old floating point error problem has been solved," proclaims a press release from inventor Alan Jorgensen. The computer scientist has filed for and Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

US Coalesces Plans for First Exascale Supercomputer: Aurora in 2021

September 27, 2017

At the Advanced Scientific Computing Advisory Committee (ASCAC) meeting, in Arlington, Va., yesterday (Sept. 26), it was revealed that the "Aurora" supercompute Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Japan Unveils Quantum Neural Network

November 22, 2017

The U.S. and China are leading the race toward productive quantum computing, but it's early enough that ultimate leadership is still something of an open questi Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

AMD Showcases Growing Portfolio of EPYC and Radeon-based Systems at SC17

November 13, 2017

AMD’s charge back into HPC and the datacenter is on full display at SC17. Having launched the EPYC processor line in June along with its MI25 GPU the focus he Read more…

By John Russell

Nvidia Responds to Google TPU Benchmarking

April 10, 2017

Nvidia highlights strengths of its newest GPU silicon in response to Google's report on the performance and energy advantages of its custom tensor processor. Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

IBM Begins Power9 Rollout with Backing from DOE, Google

December 6, 2017

After over a year of buildup, IBM is unveiling its first Power9 system based on the same architecture as the Department of Energy CORAL supercomputers, Summit a Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Fast Forward: Five HPC Predictions for 2018

December 21, 2017

What’s on your list of high (and low) lights for 2017? Volta 100’s arrival on the heels of the P100? Appearance, albeit late in the year, of IBM’s Power9? Read more…

By John Russell

Chip Flaws ‘Meltdown’ and ‘Spectre’ Loom Large

January 4, 2018

The HPC and wider tech community have been abuzz this week over the discovery of critical design flaws that impact virtually all contemporary microprocessors. T Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Leading Solution Providers

Perspective: What Really Happened at SC17?

November 22, 2017

SC is over. Now comes the myriad of follow-ups. Inboxes are filled with templated emails from vendors and other exhibitors hoping to win a place in the post-SC thinking of booth visitors. Attendees of tutorials, workshops and other technical sessions will be inundated with requests for feedback. Read more…

By Andrew Jones

Tensors Come of Age: Why the AI Revolution Will Help HPC

November 13, 2017

Thirty years ago, parallel computing was coming of age. A bitter battle began between stalwart vector computing supporters and advocates of various approaches to parallel computing. IBM skeptic Alan Karp, reacting to announcements of nCUBE’s 1024-microprocessor system and Thinking Machines’ 65,536-element array, made a public $100 wager that no one could get a parallel speedup of over 200 on real HPC workloads. Read more…

By John Gustafson & Lenore Mullin

Delays, Smoke, Records & Markets – A Candid Conversation with Cray CEO Peter Ungaro

October 5, 2017

Earlier this month, Tom Tabor, publisher of HPCwire and I had a very personal conversation with Cray CEO Peter Ungaro. Cray has been on something of a Cinderell Read more…

By Tiffany Trader & Tom Tabor

Flipping the Flops and Reading the Top500 Tea Leaves

November 13, 2017

The 50th edition of the Top500 list, the biannual publication of the world’s fastest supercomputers based on public Linpack benchmarking results, was released Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

How Meltdown and Spectre Patches Will Affect HPC Workloads

January 10, 2018

There have been claims that the fixes for the Meltdown and Spectre security vulnerabilities, named the KPTI (aka KAISER) patches, are going to affect applicatio Read more…

By Rosemary Francis

GlobalFoundries, Ayar Labs Team Up to Commercialize Optical I/O

December 4, 2017

GlobalFoundries (GF) and Ayar Labs, a startup focused on using light, instead of electricity, to transfer data between chips, today announced they've entered in Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

HPC Chips – A Veritable Smorgasbord?

October 10, 2017

For the first time since AMD's ill-fated launch of Bulldozer the answer to the question, 'Which CPU will be in my next HPC system?' doesn't have to be 'Whichever variety of Intel Xeon E5 they are selling when we procure'. Read more…

By Dairsie Latimer

Nvidia, Partners Announce Several V100 Servers

September 27, 2017

Here come the Volta 100-based servers. Nvidia today announced an impressive line-up of servers from major partners – Dell EMC, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, IBM Read more…

By John Russell

  • arrow
  • Click Here for More Headlines
  • arrow
Share This