Tuesday, 24 May 2011

Getting the users story across

As you are no doubt aware, I’m always after interesting pieces of user research to feature in our user case study section of the NGS website. User case studies are ideal introductions to people who have never used the grid before as it can demonstrate what can be done with the resources and what the benefits are.

Whilst the production of user case studies benefits the NGS, they also benefit the researcher featured as quite often the user case studies are picked up by other grid organisations.

This was the case with NGS user Cristiano Sabiu who hit the headlines in iSGTW last month with his user case study on his cosmology research.

Cristiano from the University of Portsmouth used NGS resources to study the distribution of galaxies in the universe by creating 2000 mock universes for comparison to actual galaxy distribution in the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS). By using the NGS he managed to run 20 full scale simulations which required approximately 100,000 cpu hours over the course of a year.

His research was made into a user case study for the NGS website from where it was picked up by International Science Grid This Week (iSGTW) and appeared as their headline article in April. iSGTW is a weekly online publication that provides international coverage of distributed computing and the research it supports. They feature articles on all aspects of distributed computing technology, such as grids and clouds from all research areas and are always on the look out for interesting stories to cover.

The NGS user case studies keep on coming though and the most recent one is on quantum mechanics modelling. Stewart Reed from the University of Leeds used NGS resources to develop new methods of performing accurate computer simulations of quantum mechanical tunnelling.

Stewart explained how "the NGS provides excellent computing resources with which to perform these calculations. The computational capacity available from the NGS allows larger systems to be studied more accurately than are possible with standard workstations”.

To read more about his research, see the quantum mechanics modelling case study.

No comments: