Information Technology Services at The University of Iowa

Archive for June, 2010

Spaces available in computational science summer courses

Friday, June 11th, 2010

Want to learn how to use graphics processors for scientific computing? Scale your parallel code to tens of thousands of CPU cores? Deal with enormous data sets? Then check out the 2010 summer program offered by the Virtual School of Computational Science and Engineering (VSCSE).

During VSCSE summer school, attendees learn new techniques for applying high-performance computing systems to their work or research. Courses are held in a state-of-the-art classroom equipped with live, high-definition, two-way videoconferencing technology that provides a high-quality learning experience. Course participants apply the techniques learned in hands-on lab sessions, assisted by skilled teaching assistants who work one-on-one and in small groups to answer questions and solve problems posed during the sessions. The VSCSE 2010 program will be run at 21 academic and research institutions across the country, including the University of Iowa.

ITS-Research Services is pleased to be collaborating with the VSCSE in providing classroom space (instructors will be remote) at the UI. This summer’s VSCSE courses at the UI are:

These courses are aimed at practical aspects of computational science that often fall between the cracks, as computer science departments focus on what computer scientists need to know, and domain science and engineering departments focus on the applications of computer science to those disciplines.

The VSCSE is an educational initiative of the Blue Waters Project with a goal of preparing the current and next generation of scientists and engineers to use leading-edge computer systems. Blue Waters is a joint effort of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, its National Center for Supercomputing Applications, IBM, and the Great Lakes Consortium for Petascale Computation, of which the UI is a member. When Blue Waters comes online in 2011, it is expected to be the most powerful supercomputer in the world for open scientific research. It will be the first system of its kind to sustain one petaflop performance on a range of science and engineering applications.

Later this summer, a campus shared High Performance Computing (HPC) cluster with approximately 1,600 cores will be established on The University of Iowa campus. Successfully completing courses like the ones offered through the VSCSE can position UI faculty, researchers and student assistants to potentially leverage such a resource.

The University Capitol Centre Conference Center will host the VSCSE classes, but participation is “first-come, first-served” and seating is limited, so register early to reserve your seat. You will be billed $100 per course, which must be paid within two weeks of registration. Lunch each day and a first evening reception will be provided. To enroll go to:

Accepted participants can take online short courses on MPI, OpenMP, and CUDA that are designed to help meet course prerequisites at no additional cost.

Participants are required to provide their own laptops. The ITS Rental service offers short-term laptop rentals for UI departments needing equipment for conferences, travel and other purposes. For more information about this service and to reserve equipment, please visit:

If you have further questions after visiting the registration website, please contact

IPv6 deployment set for July 15

Tuesday, June 8th, 2010

Version 6 of the Internet Protocol, or IPv6, will be enabled on the University of Iowa campus network at 9 a.m. on Thursday, July 15.

IPv6 will make available far more Internet address space than the current addressing standard, IPv4. At current usage rates, global IPv4 address space is expected to be exhausted in 2012.

At the University of Iowa, IPv6 is being deployed in parallel with IPv4. The two protocols will run side-by-side for at least several years, allowing time for devices and applications to add IPv6 functionality before IPv4 is disabled. Most devices that connect to the Internet will use both IPv4 and IPv6 during the transition. There is currently no date set for disabling IPv4; however, as IPv4 addresses grow increasingly scarce, it is likely that new networks, as well as new devices on existing networks, will be forced to utilize only IPv6 at some point.

The core of the campus network at Iowa has been using IPv6 for well over a year, including external connectivity (via Internet2). The University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics and the College of Engineering are responsible for networking within their respective facilities. IT staff for those organizations will determine and announce their own IPv6 deployment plans.

The ITS Help Desk website features introductory IPv6 information at

Consult your departmental or college IT support staff about what IPv6 means for your part of the campus network.