ANITA2018 and gravitational wave astronomy summer school

Registration forms and meeting information is available at:

The 12th annual ANITA theory workshop will be held on 8th-9th February 2018 at the ARRC building at Curtin University, Perth (WA). It will be preceded by the ANITA science school on 5th-7th February 2018, at the ICRAR Fairway building at UWA, Perth (WA).

The ANITA workshop covers all topics of theoretical and computational astrophysics and is open to all.

The ANITA science school will be focussed on gravitational wave astronomy / science. This includes instrumentation, real time analysis, astrophysical follow-up, and all topics in between. On the third day of the school we will be going to Gingin to see the research activities going on there (this is the Wednesday of that week). The school programme is taking shape nicely, and we have some very interesting sessions lined up by Paul Lasky:
* Kendall Ackley (Monash): Multimessenger Astronomy
* Jade Powell (Swinburne): Astrophysics of LIGO sources
* Stefan Oslowski (Swinburne): Pulsar Timing Arrays
* Rory Smith (Caltech): LIGO Data Analysis and Parameter Inference
* Rob Ward (TBC): How LIGO works (instrumentation)

The programme is still finalising for the school, but you are already able to submit abstracts for the workshop. There are limited numbers for both the school (~30), Ginger trip (~40) and the workshop (~50), so please register soon to avoid disappointment. We will be closing registration on the 24 December (last day of term for most Universities), or when all the spaces are filled.

ASTAC call for proposals deadline extended to 5pm, Monday 18th June

See the following message from ASTAC:

ASTAC set a deadline of 8 June for the latest round of supercomputing proposals. However, the conjunction of this date with the ARC DP rejoinder round, which closes on 14 June with varying local deadlines, was unforeseen and a number of people have requested an extension of the ASTAC deadline. Since there is likely to be a significant overlap between DP and ASTAC applicants we are extending the ASTAC deadline to 5 pm, Monday 18 June.

Astronomy Supercomputer Time Allocation Committee: Call for Proposals – NCI, gSTAR/swinSTAR, Epic, Fornax

Attached is a call for proposals for time on a number of Australian Supercomputer Facilities for Q3-Q4 in 2012. The same information is available on the Astronomy Australia web-site at

We would like to draw your attention to the following key points:

1. The time available for computational astrophysics on internationally competitive facilities has increased markedly over the last year. This is a good time to be working in this area.

2. The GPU facility gSTAR, located at Swinburne, offers users an opportunity for very high performance computational power for appropriately written code.

3. Fornax, the second supercomputer installed as part of the Pawsey Centre project, is also a GPU facility and is now available for general access.

4. The deadline for this current round of proposals is 8 June, 2012 so that there is adequate time to prepare a good proposal.

5. ASTAC is particularly keen to encourage graduate students and early career researchers to become involved in this rapidly developing field, which offers the capacity to perform simulations of numerous astrophysical situations at high resolution and in three dimensions. Advisers are available to assist people in getting started in this area.


gSTAR Supplier Announced

Throughout 2011 Swinburne University is undergoing a phased upgrade of
its HPC facilities which will incorporate gSTAR
– the GPU Supercomputer for Theoretical Astrophysics Research.
gSTAR will operate as a national facility for astronomers with funding
coming from a Commonwealth Government Education Investment Fund (EIF)
grant obtained with the assistance of Astronomy Australia Limited (AAL).

Swinburne has recently signed a contract with Silicon Graphics (SGI) to provide
the first phase of the HPC upgrade. This includes the majority of the compute nodes
that will make up gSTAR. These compute nodes contain approximately 120 nVidia
C2070 and M2090 GPUs, over 600 Intel Westmere CPU-cores and 2400 GB of
CPU memory. The interconnect will be QDR infiniband and there will be 200 TB
of disk storage available for gSTAR users. More GPUs will be added in subsequent

At this stage it is envisaged that the compute capacity will come online in
September. More details on how to obtain an account and time on gSTAR will be
circulated to the community closer to the opening date.

Updated information will be posted on the ANITA news page as it becomes available (

MASSIVE supercomputer is open for general use

VPAC advises the exciting new MASSIVE (Multi-modal Australian ScienceS Imaging and Visualisation Environment) supercomputer is open for general use.

MASSIVE is a collaboration of VPAC, the Australian Synchrotron, CSIRO, and Monash University, and is a component of the NCI Specialised Computational Facilities program. Additional funding was provided through the State Government of Victoria.

MASSIVE includes two 42 node IBM iDataplex systems, each having 84 nVidia M2070 GPUs, 504 Intel Westmere compute cores, and 2 TB of memory. Ten nodes are upgraded to advanced M2070Q GPUs and 192 GB memory each, and can be booked for interactive visualisation. Each system has a high performance GPFS parallel file system. Both Linux and Windows HPC Cluster based services are available. Projects and user accounts sponsored by the collaborating institutions can be applied for on-line at

Priority will be given to:

  • researchers who need MASSIVE’s impressive rendering and visualisation capabilities;
  • members of the characterisation community who will use MASSIVE to reconstruct, analyse and visualise their data;
  • researchers with applications that use GPU acceleration;

Access to MASSIVE is also available Australia-wide through the NCI Merit Allocation Scheme, which opens again in November. To apply for NCI merit access before the next round of merit allocations, please

Further details about MASSIVE are available at and by contacting

For further information on VPAC sponsored access, contact Phil Tannenbaum , VPAC Centre Manager.

VPAC Announce MASSIVE Supercomputer Availability

VPAC is pleased to announce the availability to our Members of the exciting new system known as MASSIVE (Multi-modal Australian ScienceS Imaging and Visualisation Environment) located at the Australian Synchrotron (M1) and Monash University (M2).

MASSIVE is a collaboration between VPAC, the Australian Synchrotron, Monash University, and CSIRO, and is a component of the NCI Specialised Computational Facilities program.

The MASSIVE system consists of of 1,000 CPU-cores and 168 NVIDIA M2070 GPUs and will be open for general use in later March, at a date to be announced. Access can be arranged through your affiliation or collaborations with:

• Victorian University researchers through their VPAC Membership,
• Australian Synchrotron,
• Monash University, and
• NCI Merit Allocation (NCI Specialised Facility in Imaging and Visualisation).

Priority will be given to researchers needing MASSIVE’s impressive rendering and visualisation capabilities, including applications that are enabled to use GPUs (CUDA or OpenGL).

VPAC encourages users to develop and test their applications on the enrico node having dual C2050 GPUs, in preparation for access to MASSIVE. Visit the information page for more information on enrico.

The MASSIVE user environment will reflect VPAC systems, but neither M1 nor M2 will be integrated into VPAC. MASSIVE will have a comprehensive suite of software for imaging and visualisation, and support services in high performance computing, computational imaging, and visualisation. Additional applications that can take advantage of the systems can be requested.

Further details about the project are available at or by contacting

For the complete announcement of this system please visit the news page at

Thinking Inside the Box: Supercomputing @ iVEC

Although it may look like an ordinary shipping container on the outside, iVEC’s new POD (Performance Optimised Data Centre) from Hewlett-Packard will launch iVEC into the top 100 supercomputing centres on the planet.

The supercomputer system is part of the Commonwealth government’s $1.1 billion Super Science Initiative and will result in a massive increase in iVEC’s supercomputing capability, providing a major boost to the resources available to the radioastronomy, nanoscience, geoscience and other leading computational communities.

The POD design incorporates a modified shipping container architecture to create a ‘plug and play’ containerised server cluster that will allow the first phase of the Pawsey Centre project to be online by November 2010, only four months after the acquisition deal was finalised.

This purchase is the first step in creating a world-leading supercomputing architecture to enhance Australia and New Zealand’s bid to host the Square Kilometre Array (SKA).

The supercomputer, part of the $80M Pawsey Centre project, will be located at Murdoch University’s Centre for Comparative Genomics and will complement the $1 million iVEC infrastructure already housed at the Centre.

An energy-efficient 107 Teraflop system (1 Teraflop = One trillion floating point operations per second), the cluster uses HP ProLiant Blade servers with 9,600 cores and 500 terabytes of high performance storage. It will be part of iVEC’s data network, which operates at 10 gigabits per second.

For further information contact iVEC Media Officer, Brad Coleman on 08 6436 8920 or

About iVEC:
iVEC is an unincorporated joint venture of CSIRO and the four public WA universities.  iVEC fosters and promotes scientific and technological innovation through the provision of supercomputing and eResearch services to the research community, commercial organisations and government agencies. In 2009, iVEC was charged with establishing and operating the $80 million Pawsey Centre by the Australian government.

About the Pawsey Centre:
The Pawsey Centre (named after Dr Joseph Pawsey, an Australian pioneer in the field of radio astronomy) was officially launched by Senator Kim Carr, Federal Minister for Innovation, Industry, Science and Research on 27 August 2009. The Centre will be located adjoining CSIRO’s Australian Resources Research Centre in the Technology Park, Perth, Western Australia. As a supercomputing facility, it is expected to be amongst the top 20 supercomputers in the world at the time of its commissioning in 2013.

Massive GPU Supercomputer Announced in Japan

On May 25 2010, HP in partnership with NEC were awarded a contract to build the largest Supercomputer in Japan and Asia Pacific, a supercomputer of 2.4 PetaFlops at the Tokyo Institute of Technology (TiTech). This will be a hybrid CPU/GPU system with over 17,000 CPU cores and 4,200 Nvidia Tesla (fermi) GPGPUs. The combined computing power will be 12 times that of Japan’s current largest supercomputer system that that was recently introduced at the Japan Atomic Energy Agency.

The news is relevant to Australian theoreticians mainly for two reasons:

  1. a scaled down version of this system is a likely candidate for the configuration of the gSTAR CPU/GPU supercomputer that will be available to Australian astrophysicists in 2011;
  2. TiTech have stated that they wish to pursue the spirit of “everyone’s supercomputer” and make their huge computing power available to academic and industry users across the globe.

A press release (Japanese!) on this can be found here, or you may prefer to look here for information on TiTech supercomputing (in English). The new supercomputer is scheduled to be available in late 2010.