Somewhere on the web, there is one questionnaire Find your computacy level . It asks you questions like how to make bold letters in Word and what is a file.
However there is no computacy test for XSEDE, which mean Extreme Science and Engineering Discovery Environment. It may come to a surprise that most scientists in the world do not know how to operate supercomputers.
|Edward O Wilson|
Edward Wilson said in WSJ a few month ago that a Great Scientist ≠ Good at Math. Discoveries emerge from ideas, not number-crunching.
But after the idea is generated, there is a lot of number crunching to be done in science
The crowd of people at XSEDE are wise because they are not arrogant, probably not to upset Professor Wilson from Harvard. They know so much more than other mortals, yet they are among most sensitive and insightful humans on this planet.
Our Bosco people attending XSEDE'13 (Derek Weitzel, Lauren Michael, Mats Rynge, Miha Ahronovitz) felt like the unknown Beatles at Ed Sullivan show in1964:
|Derek, Miha, Lauren. Mats Rynge is somewhere outside the picture|
If you have a laptop, we said, - must be a Mac for now. - all you do is download Bosco using a single script command. The script stops and ask you what is the name of the cluster (or supercomputer) you want to connect and password (all knew we meant this is an ssh password), Then you use your laptop to send work both to XSEDE resources (HPC) and Open Science Grid (HTC resources).
This it was too simple. Indeed Bosco is not perfect for any jobs, We do not not support message passing and we excel in embarrassingly parallel jobs. But what fascinated our very knowledgeable visitors was the simplicity we offer, the user experience.
As most work lately is in big data data, why not make XSEDE available to any doctor in San Diego and later in USA to do a personalized genomic comparison for each patient, compared it on one one with hundred of millions of genomes in the data base and have the results back faster than doing a urine test.
We were at XSEDE thanks to the team (Frank Würthwein, Lothar Bauderick, Igor Sfiligoi, Brian Bockelman et al) who did this amazing feat.
Using Bosco, the Compact Muon Solenoid (CMS) was able to process 125TB of collision data. Bosco enabled the seamless integration of the XSEDE resource into the CMS framework.Frank gave us a nice testimonial:
Bosco and glideinWMS provided the crucial "glue" to make job submissions to Gordon possible to process 125TB of CMS data. This accelerated availability of this data for doing science from 6 months to 1 month.This work is not for the light of heart, but using Bosco created a reason for us to be at XSEDE'13
We are here to be part of future solutions that will help XSEDE be used by non-power user scientists and students. We can contribute by lowering the ability threshold, increasing user desire, and creating triggers to actively engage new users. Ask us how!