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[Tutorial - PC]
Supercomputing is performing computational science on high-performance computers.
This statement introduces two questions: what is computational science, and what are
Computational science is a discipline in which a scientific problem,
be it one of biology, physics, geology, medicine, engineering, or any other field, is modeled
by one or more mathematical equations. These equations are typically so computationally intensive that it
might take human beings years to solve the problem by traditional pencil and paper methods.
Thus, these equations must be solved by a computer, where the work can be accomplished in
relatively little time. Similarly, the output can be so complex that it must also
be interpreted by a computer. Often this means displaying the output in some type of graphical format.
As you can see, computational sciece isn't just computer programming, but it
includes any general area of science along with math and computer science.
The definition of a high-performance computer (or a supercomputer), changes daily
since computers are continually getting stronger and faster. Therefore, a high-performance computer
could simply be considered to be one of the "best" at the current time.
For Challenge participants, you have direct access to a high-performance
computer, and the ability to gain access to another if your project
demonstrates the need for more computing power.
The first of these machines is named "mode". It is
a PC with two Intel(R) Xeon(TM) CPU 3.20GHz processors and runs the Red Hat
distribution of the Linux operating system. Note that, from a user point of
view, Unix and Linux are relatively indistinguishable.
Another machine is the mauve machine which is a 256 node Shared Memory
Processor machine. However, it takes special programming techniques to utilize
all of the power that mauve has. Furthermore, the Challenge only grants computer
accounts on mauve to those teams who display the need to have access for so
much computing power. E-mail
if you realize that mode is not powerful enough to run your program.
You may access these machines from your home or school computer by using an