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SC09 highlights bio-computing, sustainability and 3D Internet

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SC09 is highlighting bio-computing, sustainability and the 3D Internet as thrust areas within its technical programme. The supercomputing conference, held from 14-20 November 2009 in Portland, Oregon, will look closely at ways in which HPC supports these areas.

'We chose these three focus areas for the conference because they are so fundamentally important to human health and the health of our planet, and, in the case of the 3D Internet, to how we share, interact with and understand information,' said Dr Wilfred Pinfold, general chair of the SC09 conference and director, extreme scale programs at Intel. 'The technical programme will show how HPC technologies provide a powerful tool to support work in bio-computing, sustainability and the 3D Internet and will help people make scientific and engineering breakthroughs in these areas.'

The bio-computing focus area will explore research that harnesses the power of HPC to solve problems in the biological sciences, including computational techniques that can be used to understand the behaviours of genes and proteins that can trigger cancers and other serious diseases. Techniques used to organise, access and understand the huge volumes of biological data collected by researchers also will be explored.

'Bio-computing covers a wide range of specialties - bioinformatics, statistics, computational chemistry, artificial intelligence, applied mathematics and more,' said Peg Folta, computing applications and research senior manager at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) and head of the SC09 bio-computing focus area.

The sustainability focus area will examine issues that make headlines every day, including how to maintain environmental quality, how to develop and deploy renewable and clean energy supplies, and how to improve energy efficiency in businesses, data centres and the home.

The 3D Internet focus area will look at ways in which 3D visualisation and immersive environments such as Second Life are changing the way we communicate, share information, educate students and explore scientific problems.