November 14th, 2013
Amsterdam – famous for its canals, museums, and bicycles – recently hosted the 20th International Conference on Computing in High Energy and Nuclear Physics, otherwise known as CHEP2013. As one might expect, the UK’s GridPP community was strongly represented at this international gathering of over 500 scientists and computing experts. Coming hot on the heels of Higgs and Englert’s Nobel triumph in October, there was much discussion of the vital role computing played in the analysis of data from the Large Hadron Collider. But other themes – such as making the WLCG‘s resources (of which GridPP is the UK’s contribution) available to other fields, and HEP’s role in “Big Data” – also featured heavily in the plethora of talks, posters and panel discussions that made up the five-day event.
The contributions from GridPP members can be found on the CHEP’13 website – all of the talks and materials are available online – and ranged from VomsSnooping to running jobs in the vacuum. Glasgow’s “A Voyage to Arcturus” poster, about their journey to the promised land of Tier 2 site standardisation, won a slot in the Friday’s “lightning talk” section, while Queen Mary’s Chris Walker won KPMG’s “find the iPad” competition*. It wasn’t all work, however – fortunately, Neasan O’Neill – former GridPP Dissemination Officer and now based in Amsterdam as Communications Manager for the European Grid Initiative – was on hand to recommend some good eateries and drinkeries.
All in all, the conference was a great success – the organisers, Nikhef (the Dutch National Institute for Sub-atomic Physics), deserve hearty congratulations on a superbly run event and an impressive venue that lent itself to meeting everyone – Okinawa have a very tough act to follow in 2015!
* GridPP would like to point out that the competition involved writing WiFi signal location-finding algorithms, and not just systematically looking behind the poster boards. Although there were a lot of poster boards.