OpenPOWER Academic Group Carries 2016 Momentum to New Year

By Ganesan Narayanasamy, Leader, OpenPOWER Academic Discussion Group

Academia has always been a leader in pushing the boundaries of science and technology, with some of the most brilliant minds in the world focused on how they can improve the tools at their disposal to solve some of the world’s most pressing challenges. That’s why, as the Leader of the OpenPOWER Academic Discussion Group, I believe working with academics in university and research centers to develop and adopt OpenPOWER technology is key to growing the ecosystem. The Academia Group is enabling several academicians to do research and development activities using Power CPUs and systems and this creates very strong ecosystem growth for OpenPOWER-based systems.

2016 was an amazing year for us, as we helped launch new partnerships at academic institutions like in A*CRC in Singapore, IIT Bombay in India, and more. We also assisted them in hosting OpenPOWER workshops where participants learned how OpenPOWER’s collaborative ecosystem is leading the way on a multitude of research areas. Armed with this knowledge, our members helped to spread the OpenPOWER gospel. Most recently, our members were at GTC India 2016 and SC16 to meet with fellow technology leaders and discuss the latest advances around OpenPOWER.

After joining the OpenPOWER Foundation as an academic member in October 2016, the Universidad Nacional de Córdoba in Argentina sent professors Carlos Bederián and Nicolás Wolovick to SC16 in Salt Lake City to learn more about OpenPOWER.

“The SC16 exhibition was a showcase of OpenPOWER systems, where the IBM S822LC for HPC was a remarkable piece of hardware to get to know firsthand. SC16 was also the ideal environment to discuss the balanced and powerful OpenPOWER architecture with qualified technical leaders from Penguin Computing, IBM, and others,” Wolovick explained. “Knowing the people, the hardware, and learning more about the forthcoming access to IBM S822LC for HPC are just a few of the reasons for Universidad Nacional de Córdoba’s active presence in the OpenPOWER Foundation.”

In Asia, representatives from OpenPOWER and Academic Discussion Group member IIT Bombay led discussions at NVIDIA’s GTC India to advance OpenPOWER. Their session, “Getting Started with GPU Computing”, was presented by IIT’s Professor Nataraj Paluri, who discussed the multiple advantages of OpenPOWER for accelerated computing by delivering ecosystem-driven innovation.

As a result of the Academic Discussion Group’s leadership, we were honored to receive HPCWire’s Reader’s Choice Award for Best HPC Collboartion Between Academia and Industry at SC16. Such awards only reaffirm OpenPOWER’s commitment to moving towards world-class systems — both offered by IBM and those built by our OpenPOWER partners that leverage POWER’s open architecture. SASTRA University’s Dr. V.S. Shankar Sriram joined us in receiving the award, and he expounded the benefits of joining OpenPOWER.

“Through the OpenPOWER foundation, we are focused in the projects related to human cognition and deep learning techniques for various life science applications. We have already ported applications like GROMACS onto the Power architecture. We are excited to be part of OpenPOWER, which helps our professors and researchers work as a team with shared objectives, and motivates us to achieve ambitious goals that have relevant impact we can be proud of.”

With such a successful 2016, we’re excited to carry the momentum into the new year! We’ve already got some great events planned, like:

  • CDAC National level Deep learning workshop, March 2017, Bangalore
  • ADG and OpenPOWER user group meeting, May 8th thru 11th, San Jose
  • OpenPOWER Workshop, June 22nd, Germany, More info: https://easychair.org/conferences/?conf=iwoph17
  • ADG and OpenPOWER user group meeting, date TBD, Denver, USA

Want to be even more involved with the OpenPOWER Academic Discussion Group? Then join OpenPOWER as an Academic member. Your membership entitles you to the latest news, event notifications, webcasts, discussions, and more. Learn more about membership and download the Membership Kit, here: https://openpowerfoundation.org/membership/how-to-join/.

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