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Students and faculty present work at GPU Tech Conference 2015

Siena at GPU Tech Conference 2015

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

This past week, March 17-20th, Dr. Matt Bellis of the Physics and Astronomy department attended the GPU Tech Conference (GTC15) in San Jose, CA with Garrett Allen and Sal Baisley, both Computer Science majors pursing an education track, to present work done at Siena College. GTC is a conference sponsored by NVIDIA, a world leader in Graphics Processing Units (GPUs). GPUs are primarily used for video games but have been co-opted by many scientists over the past decade to perform numerically-intensive calculations. GTC hosts thousands of programmers and industry folks to discuss the latest developments in GPUs for games, movies, self-driving cars, artificial intelligence, and other scientific endeavors.

Garrett presented a poster of work he did with Dr. Bellis and Lindsay Blake, a Physics major at Siena, titled ``Undergraduate GPU-Enabled Research Through Python". He and Sal took in the conference and attended a number of tutorials about CUDA, the language used to write programs for GPUs. Dr. Bellis gave a talk with his colleague at SLAC (Stanford Linear Accelerator) titled ``Statistics of the Universe: Exa-Calculations and Cosmology's Data Deluge" about how GPUs can tackle some of the analytic challenges in Cosmology, the study of the history and evolution of the Universe.  At the end of the conference, they were able to go to the Computer History Museum to get a different perspective on this exciting technology  As a bonus, they also won the ``Tweet the hashtag" contest run by NVIDIA and won the lastest GPU, the Titan X! This GPU (selling for $1000) was only announced last week and they were the first people to get a hold of one! This cutting edge technology will be used to perform even faster calculations and to benefit both their research and Siena students by giving them access to the latest and greatest technology.

The GPU Tech Conference conference was a unique opportunity to expose Siena students to cutting-edge technology as there were only three other undergraduate institutions presenting at the conference . Congratulations to Sal and Garrett on their accomplishments.