ORCD Newsletter: November 30, 2023

“Future Energy Center Systems” fall workshop

The Future of Energy

We were recently invited to join a panel at the “Future Energy Center Systems” fall workshop with our colleagues at the MIT Energy Initiative and partners at the MIT Climate and Sustainability Consortium to speak to the challenges of modern datacenter infrastructure for research computing. The workshop included many from assorted industries, academia, and transportation, and we had the chance to talk about data center infrastructure.

Our panel, moderated by Sydney Sroka, Research Scientist at the MIT Climate and Sustainability Consortium, included remarks from Noman Bashir, Computing & Climate Impact Fellow at the MIT Climate and Sustainability Consortium; Adam Belay, Associate Professor in the department of EECS; Pritish Parida, Senior Research Scientist & Technical Lead Sustainable Computing at IBM Research; and our ORCD Executive Director, James Cuff.

There was a lively conversation on the overarching impact of modern high-density computers, particularly in the light of advances and significant power demands of generative AI systems.

The Office of Research Computing and Data continues to be at the very forefront of not only delivering hundreds of thousands of high performance processors for research, but also making sure we do it by making careful decisions on where and how to locate extremely power-dense computing at our flagship hydroelectric, green MGHPCC facility in Holyoke, MA.

(Image courtesy of Glenn Wong, Associate Director for MIT CSAIL Alliances)

Above the Fold

What We’re Reading

  • Those who have been here less than 25 years may enjoy the new WGBH podcast on the Big Dig, featuring MIT colleague Fred Salvucci in its early episodes.
  • Fortran forever - some people get older and yearn for the simpler days of fortran. Others of us have moved on…
  • An elegy for a parking lot
  • Uncensoring art
  • An asteroid with a moon that has a moon

Events Around Campus

  • Film Screening: Hunt for the Wilderpeople: Monday, 12/4, 7-9:30PM, 26-100. Free to the MIT community (please register). This is the first of the 2023-24 Indigenous film screening series, sponsored by the MIT Indigenous community, the UA Student Support and Wellness Committee, the MindHandHeart Innovation Fund, and OGE GradDiversity.
  • Film Screening: The Biggest Obstacle: Tuesday, 12/5, 6-8PM, Bartos Theater (Building E15). Free (please register).
    • The Biggest Obstacle follows the investigations of researcher and disability rights activist Jessica Murray as she examines accessibility in the New York City Transit System over a two-year period wherein she progresses from a vocal activist to a person of actual influence and import in the system, all while under the shadow of her own imminent decline into disability due to multiple sclerosis. Features numerous interviews and ride-alongs with people with a variety of disabilities as they discuss and demonstrate their experiences with the transit system and their activism to fight for their rights. Also includes documentation of numerous protests and an exclusive interview and ride-along with New York Transit President Andy Byford as he discusses the work he did to improve accessibility and his sudden departure from that position in the middle of restructuring the system.
    • There will be a short Q&A with the director following the screening for recent updates on the topic and for audience questions.
    • Access info
      • The space including bathrooms are wheelchair accessible
      • The film is approximately 99 minute long and will be screened with open cautions and audio description
      • Access/accommodation questions and requests (including dietary restrictions) should be sent to Kim Schive SCHK@med.mit.edu