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New series of RCS Seminars under development

21 Jun 2010

Promoting advanced research computing to University researchers

These seminars promote advanced research computing (in its broadest sense) to researchers at The University Of Manchester. The focus is upon cutting edge platforms, tools and techniques available to facilitate research. Talks cover a diverse range of disciplines and include speakers who are using high end computing (HPC, HTC), visualization or grid technologies, and those that could potentially benefit from their use.

If you are interested in giving a seminar or want to suggest a speaker, please contact:

The new series starts with the following three seminars:

  • Libraries for Scientific Computing: an overview and introduction to HSL
    Jonathan Hogg and Mario Arioli
    Numerical Analysis Group, Computational Science & Engineering Department, Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, Chilton, Didcot, Oxfordshire, UK, OX11 0QX

    The talk primarily aims at those who in scientific computation who want to solve their problems more efficiently. It can also be of interest to those involved in providing and running HPC services. We will describe the advantages of using libraries in scientific computing. In particular, we will introduce the HSL mathematical software library and its features. The focus will be on very large sparse linear algebra problems (linear systems and eigenvalues) and on algorithms that take advantage of the sparsity and/or of the structure of the problem. We will illustrate how accuracy and reliability issues are address by HSL. Finally, we will describe the novelty in the library with special emphasis on the multicore implementation of some of the linear systems solvers.

    9 July, 2-3pm, Room 1.10, Kilburn Building, The University of Manchester


  • Development of a generic research management tool
    Simon Collins
    Research Computing Services, Devonshire House, The University of Manchester

    The talk will give an overview of a generic data management tool / infrastructure which is currently being developed by the MaDAM project (a joint JISC and University funded project). The technology is a fairly simple but robust web tool which is a compromise between a LIMS (Laboratory Data Management Systems) and CMS (Content Management Systems). The framework looks at providing management for the full data lifecycle of the research data, from the capture of raw data to archiving. It will provide researchers with an easy way to centrally store, back up, share, tag, disseminate and search research data.

    23 July, 2-3pm, Room 1.10, Kilburn Building, The University of Manchester


  • Trouble with Toolboxes
    Michael Croucher
    Faculty of Engineering & Physical Sciences, The University of Manchester

    MATLAB from The MathWorks is arguably one of the most popular technical computing environments available today. Originally designed back in the late 70s as a user-friendly interface to linear algebra libraries, today\'s MATLAB has functionality in almost every area of technical computing including optimisation, statistics, curve fitting, image processing and symbolic algebra.

    However, much of this extra functionality is not included in the standard MATLAB application. Instead The MathWorks have released over 90 different add-on products called Toolboxes that add to the functionality of the base-product and each toolbox costs extra.

    The University of Manchester has a network based license for MATLAB along with a subset of the toolboxes which is made available to every member of the University. We have a large number of licenses for MATLAB itself and a smaller number of licenses for various specialized toolboxes.

    Recently demand for some of these toolboxes has surged and this has led to a shortage of toolbox licenses which can prevent people from working effectively. In this talk I will discuss several technical solutions to this issue that can help researchers save both time and money.

    6 August, 2-3pm, Room 1.10, Kilburn Building, The University of Manchester

An up-to-date list of seminars can be found online at: