FZ HPC at Fest der Wissenschaft

FZ HPC presents modeling and simulation in high performance computing to the public during the three-day Fest der Wissenschaft (Science Festival) as part of the 350th anniversary of the University of Innsbruck.
Cluster Coffer

The Science Festival, part of the 350th anniversary festivities of the University of Innsbruck, allows people from all around to catch a glimpse into the day-to-day research and education offered by the various departments and research groups. Among them, the FZ HPC also presents its work in high performance computing, discussing how HPC can help us to better understand our world.

Space Weather Simulation on Cluster CofferFor this purpose, a miniature version of a supercomputer is presented, namely the "Cluster Coffer". Assembled by a PhD student of the Department of Computer Science, Alexander Hirsch, it serves as a showcase for demonstrating both the capabilities and complexities of parallel computers. In order to demonstrate the type of applications running on such hardware systems, the Cluster Coffer performs a space weather simulation. This simulation computes the trajectories of solar wind particles coming from our Sun and how they interact with electromagnetic fields as emanated by the Earth. However, instead of simply simulating particles coming from our Sun, the public is actively involved in the simulation, as their motions are captured through a webcam and provided as input to the simulation. In return, the particles position and velocity are visualized live in 3D.

The demonstration was a great success, with hundreds of curious people engaged in lively discussions and interacting with the simulation, and the exhibit covered in television and radio broadcasts.

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