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Computer News No. 138 Mar.-Apr. 2009

Milestone in HPC and Grid Computing Development -
HKU Joined Pacific Rim Application and Grid Middleware Assembly (PRAGMA) as an Institutional Member

      1. Background of PRAGMA
      2. PRAGMA 16 Workshop
      3. Participation as an Institutional Member of PRAGMA

1. Background of PRAGMA

"Congratulations, and welcome!" - this is the start of a message to Computer Centre from the Chairman of the Steering Committee of the Pacific Rim Application and Grid Middleware Assembly (PRAGMA) on March 29, 2009 to announce that The University of Hong Kong (HKU) has been officially accepted as an institutional member of PRAGMA. 

Established in 2002, PRAGMA is "to establish sustained collaborations and advance the use of grid technologies in applications among a community of investigators working with leading institutions around the Pacific Rim."  At present, there are 35 institutions in PRAGMA(PRAGMA member institutions) and they meet twice a year at PRAGMA Workshops which focus on project sharing activities among investigators.  These projects rely on the use of computer grid and higher performance computing (HPC) technologies which are the enabling factors in carrying out advanced research applications such as Avian Flu Grid. 

Participants are encouraged to join the PRAGMA application working groups (currently there are four: Biosciences, Tele-Science, Resource & Data and Geo-Science).   An annual summary on the collaborative works - "PRAGMA Collaboratie Overview 2008-2009" is available at
http://goc.pragma-grid.net/pragma-doc/overview/2008.pdf.

2. PRAGMA 16 Workshop

In the PRAGMA 16 Workshop just held on March 23-25, 2009 in Korea, Dr P T Ho, Deputy Director and Mr W K Kwan, Senior Computer Officer of Computer Centre presented the application for our institutional membership and was officially accepted as one of the institutional members.  Other University members also participated in the workshop.  Mr W C Cheng and Mr James O P Cheung of the Department of Mechanical Engineering presented the progress of their research team to the Geo-Science working group and Dr C L Wang of the Department of Computer Science and Dr J Chen of the Department of Civil Engineering submitted poster presentations which were displayed at the Workshop.

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3. Participation as an Institutional Member of PRAGMA

We envisage that participation in the PRAGMA will be able to foster the University's collaboration with other leading institutions in the Pacific Rim in regard to Grid and High Performance Computing (HPC) development.  Through participation, we would be able

  • to further strengthen the leadership role of HKU in HPC and Grid computing areas within the tertiary education sector and industries in HK as well as in the nearby Pearl River Delta region as HKU is the only PRAGMA institutional members in HK and in southern China;

  • to  provide a focal contact point for international HPC and Grid computing activities and to coordinate HKU researchers with international research organizations in the HPC and Grid computing activities, especially for multi-disciplinary areas;

  • To bridge CNGRID, EGEE and PRAGMA given that HKU has joined several international Grid organizations including:
     
    • HKU has been one of the CNGRID (China National Grid) grid-points starting from 2005 and is the only grid-point of CNGRID outside mainland China.
    • HKU has set up the EGEE (Enabling Grids for E-sciencE) Grid test bed in 2007 and is one of the site members of TWGRID VO (Taiwan Grid Virtual Organization).  
    • Our joining of PRAGMA enables HKU researchers to collaborate further in the international arenas.

A mailing list pragma-news@hkusua.hku.hk has been set up and University members interested in staying tune on the PRAGMA activities and the University's HPC and Grid computing development can send an email to the undersigned for registration to the mailing list.

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