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Supercomputers crucial to predicting future natural disasters, claims tech researcher

HPC conference takes place in Bristol on 11 to 13 April

One of the world's "leading experts" in the use of high-performance computing (HPC) for modelling natural disasters such as earthquakes and tsunamis, will be speaking about his latest research at an international event in Bristol.

The supercomputing conference, hosted by the University of Bristol, will see around 120 scientists from across the world gather to discuss the latest in high-performance computing technology.

Professor Satoshi Matsuoka, head of high-performance computing at the Tokyo Institute of Technology, will deliver a keynote speech about how computational modelling research is being used to help predict and model natural disasters in the wake of the Japan earthquakes.

Simon McIntosh-Smith, senior lecturer in high-performance computing at Bristol University and the conference chair, said, "Cutting-edge scientific research is increasingly reliant on high-performance computing alongside traditional theoretical and experimental approaches.

"The computational tools at our disposal are improving at exponential rates, radically changing the science that's possible."

He said the conference would bring together "the leaders in the next generation of high-performance computing", where technologies developed for 3D games, mobile phones and reprogrammable processors are being used to design future supercomputers. He said future supercomputers would be "capable of performance that will make today's computers look like yesterday's desktop calculators".

Dr Kristzian Flautner, vice president of research and development at ARM, the company which designs chips for Apple's iPhones, iPads and iPods, among other products, will also address the conference.

To date, the University has invested around £10 million in its own HPC facilities.

The event, entitled "The Many-core and Reconfigurable Supercomputing Conference", will take place on 11-13 April.


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