High-end summer school fosters pan-European scientific cooperation
This week 200 students and experts are meeting at a European summer school for advanced computer architecture in the Italian medieval town of Fiuggi from 10 July to 16 July. The aim is to build up networks and promote international contacts among scientists from both academia and industry, and to disseminate advanced scientific knowledge. Forging stronger ties and building solid cooperation is important for both researchers and industrialists, say the partners of the HIPEAC ('High performance and embedded architecture and compilation') project, which is organising the event. HIPEAC is backed with EUR 4.8 million under the 'Information and communication technologies' (ICT) Theme of the EU's Seventh Framework Programme (FP7). What sets this summer school apart from others is its broad scope, ranging from low level technological issues to sophisticated compilation techniques. So students, regardless if they are at either the entry or advanced level, receive the information to meet their needs.
HIPEAC is stimulating mobility between partners, and coordinating and steering research in several clusters including programming models and operating systems.
In a latest development, the HIPEAC partners, led by Ghent University in Belgium, are sharing scientific knowledge and building cooperation with EU students of high-performance computer architecture in a summer school session. The HIPEAC team says networking is strengthened via scientific conferences, but how does one establish truly close relationships for academic researchers with international experts from industry? Another question to address is how to foster an atmosphere that will not only educate but also stimulate cooperation among scientists from various organisations.
'Living together, eating together, and having fun together is the ultimate way to build close ties,' says Professor Koen De Bosschere of Ghent University, organiser of the HIPEAC ACACES ('Advanced computer architecture and compilation for high-performance and embedded systems') summer school for the last six years. 'The goal of the HIPEAC summer school is to train our next generation and improve the level of research by PhD students. We bring them in contact with top people from around the world — people that you would normally never sit with at the breakfast table.'
While someone cannot force networking, they can create an environment to help it develop organically, according to the HIPEAC partners.
The network brings together leading European universities and top industry players like Spain's Barcelona Supercomputing Center, the Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands, Thales SA in France, the IBM Haifa Research Lab in Israel, and Arm Ltd in the United Kingdom.
For the 2011 summer school agenda, the team has put together 12 courses covering a broad domain of computing systems: architectures for emerging nanotechnologies, secure hardware and software development, system design, and Linux virtualisation. This year's session includes a course dedicated to GPU (graphic processing unit) architectures, the team says.
The teachers are from some of the world's top computer science departments and research labs of major companies. 'In addition to the outstanding courses, the summer school provides a great opportunity for initial collaboration and communication among different groups in Europe, and discussions with leaders from academia and industry from around the world,' explains Dr Bilha Mendelson, senior manager of code optimisation and quality technologies at the IBM Haifa Research Lab and one of the leaders of the HIPEAC network.
The summer school is particularly beneficial for PhD students, who can meet and forge research and networking ties with their peers across Europe. In 2010, a group of students that met at the school collaborated and set up a consortium that answered an FP7 call. The 2011 session, which is dedicated to entrepreneurship, is being held from 10 July to 16 July in the Italian medieval town of Fiuggi. A total of 200 people are registered: 60 are senior experts and 140 are students.
'In the design of modern computer systems one has to be knowledgeable about architecture as well as about the quality of the code, and how to improve it,' De Bosschere says. 'This summer school offers the ideal mix of the two worlds — both at the entry level and at the most advanced level.'