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!

Glimpses of Today’s Total Solar Eclipse

August 21, 2017

Here are a few arresting images posted by NASA of today’s total solar eclipse. Such astronomical events have always captured our imagination and it’s not hard to understand why such occurrences were often greeted wit Read more…

By John Russell

Tech Giants Outline Battle Plans for Future HPC Market

August 21, 2017

Four companies engaged in a cage fight for leadership in the emerging HPC market of the 2020s are, despite deep differences in some areas, in violent agreement on at least one thing: the power consumption and latency pen Read more…

By Doug Black

Geospatial Data Research Leverages GPUs

August 17, 2017

MapD Technologies, the GPU-accelerated database specialist, said it is working with university researchers on leveraging graphics processors to advance geospatial analytics. The San Francisco-based company is collabor Read more…

By George Leopold

HPE Extreme Performance Solutions

Leveraging Deep Learning for Fraud Detection

Advancements in computing technologies and the expanding use of e-commerce platforms have dramatically increased the risk of fraud for financial services companies and their customers. Read more…

Intel, NERSC and University Partners Launch New Big Data Center

August 17, 2017

A collaboration between the Department of Energy’s National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center (NERSC), Intel and five Intel Parallel Computing Centers (IPCCs) has resulted in a new Big Data Center (BDC) that Read more…

By Linda Barney

Tech Giants Outline Battle Plans for Future HPC Market

August 21, 2017

Four companies engaged in a cage fight for leadership in the emerging HPC market of the 2020s are, despite deep differences in some areas, in violent agreement Read more…

By Doug Black

Microsoft Bolsters Azure With Cloud HPC Deal

August 15, 2017

Microsoft has acquired cloud computing software vendor Cycle Computing in a move designed to bring orchestration tools along with high-end computing access capabilities to the cloud. Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed. Read more…

By George Leopold

HPE Ships Supercomputer to Space Station, Final Destination Mars

August 14, 2017

With a manned mission to Mars on the horizon, the demand for space-based supercomputing is at hand. Today HPE and NASA sent the first off-the-shelf HPC system i Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

AMD EPYC Video Takes Aim at Intel’s Broadwell

August 14, 2017

Let the benchmarking begin. Last week, AMD posted a YouTube video in which one of its EPYC-based systems outperformed a ‘comparable’ Intel Broadwell-based s Read more…

By John Russell

Deep Learning Thrives in Cancer Moonshot

August 8, 2017

The U.S. War on Cancer, certainly a worthy cause, is a collection of programs stretching back more than 40 years and abiding under many banners. The latest is t Read more…

By John Russell

IBM Raises the Bar for Distributed Deep Learning

August 8, 2017

IBM is announcing today an enhancement to its PowerAI software platform aimed at facilitating the practical scaling of AI models on today’s fastest GPUs. Scal Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

IBM Storage Breakthrough Paves Way for 330TB Tape Cartridges

August 3, 2017

IBM announced yesterday a new record for magnetic tape storage that it says will keep tape storage density on a Moore's law-like path far into the next decade. Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

AMD Stuffs a Petaflops of Machine Intelligence into 20-Node Rack

August 1, 2017

With its Radeon “Vega” Instinct datacenter GPUs and EPYC “Naples” server chips entering the market this summer, AMD has positioned itself for a two-head Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

How ‘Knights Mill’ Gets Its Deep Learning Flops

June 22, 2017

Intel, the subject of much speculation regarding the delayed, rewritten or potentially canceled “Aurora” contract (the Argonne Lab part of the CORAL “ Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Nvidia’s Mammoth Volta GPU Aims High for AI, HPC

May 10, 2017

At Nvidia's GPU Technology Conference (GTC17) in San Jose, Calif., this morning, CEO Jensen Huang announced the company's much-anticipated Volta architecture a Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Reinders: “AVX-512 May Be a Hidden Gem” in Intel Xeon Scalable Processors

June 29, 2017

Imagine if we could use vector processing on something other than just floating point problems.  Today, GPUs and CPUs work tirelessly to accelerate algorithms Read more…

By James Reinders

Russian Researchers Claim First Quantum-Safe Blockchain

May 25, 2017

The Russian Quantum Center today announced it has overcome the threat of quantum cryptography by creating the first quantum-safe blockchain, securing cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, along with classified government communications and other sensitive digital transfers. Read more…

By Doug Black

Quantum Bits: D-Wave and VW; Google Quantum Lab; IBM Expands Access

March 21, 2017

For a technology that’s usually characterized as far off and in a distant galaxy, quantum computing has been steadily picking up steam. Just how close real-wo 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

Groq This: New AI Chips to Give GPUs a Run for Deep Learning Money

April 24, 2017

CPUs and GPUs, move over. Thanks to recent revelations surrounding Google’s new Tensor Processing Unit (TPU), the computing world appears to be on the cusp of Read more…

By Alex Woodie

HPC Compiler Company PathScale Seeks Life Raft

March 23, 2017

HPCwire has learned that HPC compiler company PathScale has fallen on difficult times and is asking the community for help or actively seeking a buyer for its a Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Leading Solution Providers

Trump Budget Targets NIH, DOE, and EPA; No Mention of NSF

March 16, 2017

President Trump’s proposed U.S. fiscal 2018 budget issued today sharply cuts science spending while bolstering military spending as he promised during the cam Read more…

By John Russell

Google Debuts TPU v2 and will Add to Google Cloud

May 25, 2017

Not long after stirring attention in the deep learning/AI community by revealing the details of its Tensor Processing Unit (TPU), Google last week announced the Read more…

By John Russell

CPU-based Visualization Positions for Exascale Supercomputing

March 16, 2017

In this contributed perspective piece, Intel’s Jim Jeffers makes the case that CPU-based visualization is now widely adopted and as such is no longer a contrarian view, but is rather an exascale requirement. Read more…

By Jim Jeffers, Principal Engineer and Engineering Leader, Intel

Six Exascale PathForward Vendors Selected; DoE Providing $258M

June 15, 2017

The much-anticipated PathForward awards for hardware R&D in support of the Exascale Computing Project were announced today with six vendors selected – AMD Read more…

By John Russell

Top500 Results: Latest List Trends and What’s in Store

June 19, 2017

Greetings from Frankfurt and the 2017 International Supercomputing Conference where the latest Top500 list has just been revealed. Although there were no major Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

IBM Clears Path to 5nm with Silicon Nanosheets

June 5, 2017

Two years since announcing the industry’s first 7nm node test chip, IBM and its research alliance partners GlobalFoundries and Samsung have developed a proces Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Messina Update: The US Path to Exascale in 16 Slides

April 26, 2017

Paul Messina, director of the U.S. Exascale Computing Project, provided a wide-ranging review of ECP’s evolving plans last week at the HPC User Forum. Read more…

By John Russell

Graphcore Readies Launch of 16nm Colossus-IPU Chip

July 20, 2017

A second $30 million funding round for U.K. AI chip developer Graphcore sets up the company to go to market with its “intelligent processing unit” (IPU) in Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

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