The Supercomputing Center of Galicia (CESGA) and Appentra Solutions have organized the first edition of the GPU Hackathon at CESGA, Santiago de Compostela, from May 29 to June 1.
The event was attended by physicists, mathematicians and engineers of universities and institutions with research projects related to scientific simulation applications. The main objective was to accelerate the execution of their applications by preparing the code for parallelization and parallel programming in GPU later.
The first day of the event was devoted to a series of talks on Methods and Technologies for the Acceleration of Applications. The following days were intensive working days for the six selected teams that came from universities such as Málaga, Vigo, and A Coruña. The projects addressed topic such as tsunami prediction, underwater acoustics predictions, real-time prediction of near surface refractivity to a study on the recruitment of sardines.
Specialist mentors from Appentra and CESGA were at the disposal of the teams to guide and teach them the necessary methodology. Participating teams have been able to obtain a new accelerated version or at least have an idea of where to focus so that the implementation of their codes can be accelerated.
The atmosphere was one of enthusiasm and eagerness to learn; the desire for collaboration was also another of the strengths of this Hackathon.
According to the attendees, “ Reaching this level of work on our own it would have taken weeks of work and here we have achieved it in a couple of days.“ said Ernesto Guerrero, an applied Mathematician.
“I have been able to increase the speed of the application noticeably, from 40 minutes to just 200-300 seconds. […] I would like to do again (the Hackathon). “ said Ruben Nocelo, a Telecommunications Engineer.
“We have learnt a lot of theory, and have been introduced to some very useful tools which we didn’t know. We have also learnt how to work, not only with our current code, but with any new code we might face in the future.” said Sergio Ortega, an applied Mathematician.
The organizers were also satisfied with the work done by everyone:
Manuel Arenaz, CEO of Appentra and co-organizer of the Hackathon said “What we all want is to look for impact; the very interesting real-world use cases that have been presented here can better explain what we do and what our reason for being is, as researchers.”
The Director of the CESGA, Javier Garcia Tobío, showed his satisfaction with the event, and his wish to make a second edition: “As managers of a high performance computing infrastructure, which is at the service of the research community, listening to researchers who have the codes, through which issues really important for the welfare of this society are resolved, has left a really positive impression. What has brought us here, the optimization of those codes that can provide results in an efficient way, that is to say, with less cost, less use of possible resources of software computation, less hours of people, etc., this experience is highly interesting. […] What I want to say to Appentra is that these experiences must continue, as well as our close relationship in something that unites us, that high performance computing must be of service to society through you, the researchers who have the codes “
The idea is that from now on a collaborative relationship will be maintained in order to create success stories to be published in the coming months. Now we are waiting for the second edition to be confirmed so that many other scientists and engineers can improve and move forward with their projects.