Friday, 5 September 2014

ACAT 2014 Workshop

Today was the conclusion of the 16th international workshop for Advanced Computing and Analysis Techniques (ACAT) in physics research. I am extremely glad to have attended this excellent workshop. It was very well organised and sported a wide variety of topics from new computing hardware and techniques to algorithms and even some physics theory, making a well rounded program. The networking and friend-making opportunities were also great.

My talk was an overview of the research the group at Wits has performed so far, as well as details on my progress and plans for the PCI-Express SoC interconnect. There was also a poster from the University of Cape Town, but unfortunately Josh (the author) was unable to attend the conference. I presented the poster in his stead to much interest from the community.

There were two other talks and a plenary by the Barcelona Supercomputing Center on ARM System on Chips. Several other talks also made passing mention of ARMs potential suitability for scientific computing. All of these presentations were met with positive comments and questions from the audience.

I felt honored several times as the organizers and ACAT founders repeatedly mentioned that they had a South African participant (the first apparently)! Our project also received several mentions in the summaries - enhanced by the South African label.

I look forward to attending the workshop again in 18 months time and I hope next time more South Africans will be fortunate enough to attend. Perhaps with the Square Kilometer Array project surging ahead, we can attract the ACAT workshop to South Africa in a few years?

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