National Computational Infrastructure

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Minister Carr launches NCI facilities

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Senator the Hon Kim Carr, Minister for Innovation, Industry, Science and Research officially opened the NCI climate high-performance computing centre on Wednesday 31 July.

Joined by ANU Vice-Chancellor Professor Ian Young, BoM CEO Dr Rob Vertessy and Director of the ARC Centre of Excellence for Climate System Science Professor Andy Pitman, Minister Carr said the solutions to the big problems faced by Australia depended on scientists having the advanced digital tools to carry out their ground breaking work.

“This leap in computing power will give our researchers insights and solutions to problems at a rate far quicker than previously possible,” he said, “It keeps Australia at the forefront of global innovation and opens up new horizons for science and research.

“You could say that we in the climate science community have a need for speed,” Vertessy stated. “The simple fact is that supercomputer capacity is a major determinant of our success in this field, but it’s always been a struggle to secure access to it.”

“Advanced computational methods form an increasingly essential component of high-impact research, in many cases underpinning discoveries that cannot be achieved by other means,” he said.

Predicting extreme weather, which Australia frequently experiences, required millions of lines of code and complex information to be processed in an instant, said Pitman.

“You cannot do that on your home computer, you need a seriously large system in order to do that kind of processing,” he said. “And fortunately we now have one of those.”

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