LUV October Meeting

Oct 6 2009 19:00

The Buzzard Lecture Theatre. Evan Burge Building, Trinity College, Melbourne University Main Campus, Parkville.

LUV poster - October 6Talks:

  • Martin Sevior and Tim Fifield - Using Amazon EC2 for high energy physics
  • Mike Gigante - Adventures of a Storage Startup

After the meeting, come have dinner with us at Maria's Trattoria! 122-124 Peel St.

Read more for full details on the October talks, and detailed info on how to find the Buzzard Lecture Theatre at Trinity College.

Tom Fifield and Martin Sevior - Using Amazon EC2 for high energy physics

The Belle II project to increase the Luminosity of the KEKB collider by a factor 50 will search for Physics beyond the Standard Model through precision measurements and the investigation of rare processes in Flavour Physics. The data rate expected from the experiment is comparable to a current era LHC experiment with commensurate Computing needs. Both Belle the LHC experiments employ extremely large scale distributed computing clusters running Linux. Incorporating commercial cloud computing, such as that provided the Amazon Elastic Computing Cloud (EC2), into the Belle II computing model may provide a lower Total Cost of Ownership for the Belle II computing solution.

To investigate this possibility, we have deployed the complete Belle Monte-Carlo simulation chain on EC2  to benchmark the cost and performance of the service. This presentation will describe how we used Scientific Linux to test this as well as the bottlenecks and costs of large-scale Monte-Carlo production on EC2.

Tom Fifield is a software engineer who does far too much sysadmin work. For the past few years he's been dabbling in large scale distributed  computing with the experimental particle physics group at the university of melbourne (after inadvertently getting into a distro war in the  interview!). After gaining experience in grid computing working to  support ATLAS at the LHC, he is now applying the knowledge to new  scientific endeavours (eg Belle II) and investigating cloud based solutions.

Martin Sevior obtained his Ph.D. in the field of Nuclear Astro-Physics from the University of Melbourne in 1984. In 1985 he worked at the TRIUMF cyclotron accelerator in Vancouver, Canada. In 1993 he returned to the University of Melbourne and is now working in the field of Experimental Particle Physics. He performs experiments with the world's highest intensity and energy particle accelerators in Japan and at CERN in Switzerland. His employs these to investigate the cause of the Universal Matter-AntiMatter asymmetry (at the KEK lab in Japan) and the origin of mass at the Large Hadron Collider at CERN in Switzerland. Both experiments probe conditions that last existed less than 1 billionth of a second after the Big Bang. Last year, the Belle experiment was cited cited as providing the crucial evidence that led to the awarding of the 2008 Nobel Prize to Nambu, Koboyashi and Maskawa.

Martin has published over 350 papers in refereed Journals and has supervised 12 Ph.D. students to completion.

He leads the Distributed Computing group for the Belle II experiment which aims to increase the data taking rate over the original Belle experiment by a factor of 50.

Since 2006 then Martin has made numerous contributions to the debate surrounding energy issues relating to Nuclear Power. These include scientific journal articles, presentations to conferences and forums, online discussions, opinion pieces to newspapers and many broadcast media interviews.

Finally Martin is a core developer of the Free Software Word Processor, AbiWord and last year described the peer-to-peer collaboration feature, AbiCollab, developed for AbiWord and OLPC Write at 2008 at the March 2008 LUV meeting.

Mike Gigante - Adventures of a Storage Startup

EvoStor is a 1 year old Silicon Valley, Venture Capitol funded startup with all the product/software development based
in Melbourne. There are 23 staff in the Melbourne team.

Mike will cover some of the generic and specific storage problems that led to the companies sucessful funding, discuss
at a high level the architecture of the solution, and some of the challenges of being a valley startup in Melbourne.

The Buzzard Lecture Theatre, Evan Burge Building, Trinity College Main Campus Parkville Melways Map: 2B C5

Notes: Trinity College's Main Campus is located off Royal Parade. The Evan Burge Building is located near the Tennis Courts. See our Map of Trinity College. Additional maps of Trinity and the surrounding area (including its relation to the city) can be found at

Parking can be found along or near Royal Parade, Grattan Street, Swanston Street and College Crescent. Parking within Trinity College is unfortunately only available to staff.

For those coming via Public Transport, the number 19 tram (North Coburg - City) passes by the main entrance of Trinity College (Get off at Morrah St, Stop 12). This tram departs from the Elizabeth Street tram terminus (Flinders Street end) and goes past Melbourne Central Timetables can be found on-line at:

Before and/or after each meeting those who are interested are welcome to join other members for dinner. We are open to suggestions for a good place to eat near our venue. Maria's on Peel Street in North Melbourne is currently the most popular place to eat after meetings.

LUV would like to acknowledge Red Hat for their help in obtaining the Buzzard Lecture Theatre venue and VPAC for hosting!

LUV-main-October.pdf1.73 MB


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