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Photos: SFU launches Canada’s most powerful academic supercomputer, Cedar

April 21, 2017
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By Tia O’Grady

SFU, in partnership with Compute Canada and regional partner WestGrid, has launched its supercomputer, known as Cedar, at the new SFU Data Centre on the Burnaby Campus. This advanced research computing (ARC) system is the most powerful academic supercomputer in Canada, and will serve many of Canada’s world-class researchers working in diverse fields. Cedar places SFU in the world’s top 100 supercomputer installations.

Cedar’s own computational power is greater than the 50 aging legacy systems that currently make up the national platform. It is one of four new Canadian supercomputing and data centre sites being deployed by Compute Canada.

Here’s a look at some of the highlights from the launch event:

SFU President Andrew Petter welcomes guests to the launch of Cedar.

Joy Johnson, SFU’s vice-president of research and international, describes how the SFU Data Centre and supercomputer, Cedar, will provide students and researchers opportunities to work with cutting-edge technology.

Guy Levesque, the Canada Foundation for Innovation’s (CFI) vice-president of programs and performance, speaks about CFI’s history and its involvement in making Cedar and the new data centre possible.

Mark Dietrich, Compute Canada’s president and chief executive officer, describes how this partnership supports world-class researchers and Canadian innovators across the country.

Officially “turning on” supercomputer, Cedar (l-r): Joy Johnson, SFU’s vice-president of research and international, Guy Levesque, the Canada Foundation for Innovation’s (CFI) vice-president of programs and performance, Andrew Petter, president of SFU, and Mark Dietrich, Compute Canada’s president and chief executive officer.

Celebrating the launch of Cedar (l-r): President Andrew Petter, Robert Wolkow, University of Alberta professor of science and physics, Fiona Brinkman, professor of molecular biology and biochemistry at SFU, Dugan O’Neil, SFU physics professor and chief science officer of Compute Canada, Guy Levesque, the Canada Foundation for Innovation’s (CFI) vice-president of programs and performance, Mark Dietrich, Compute Canada’s president and chief executive officer, Elder Margaret, member of SFU’s Aboriginal Elder Program, Joy Johnson, SFU’s vice-president of research and international, Mark Roman, SFU’s chief information officer.

A tour inside the SFU Data Centre. Supercomputer, Cedar (displayed here) is the most powerful academic supercomputer in Canada, and will support researchers across the nation.

Fiona Brinkman, professor of molecular biology and biochemistry at SFU, shares what the development of Cedar means to her specific research.

Standing proud in front of Cedar (l-r): Dugan O’Neil, SFU physics professor and chief science officer of Compute Canada, Martin Siegert, SFU director of research computing, Mark Dietrich, Compute Canada’s president and chief executive officer, Cecile Lacombe, BC Ministry of Technology, Innovation & Citizens’ Services’ director of research and knowledge development Greg Newby, Compute Canada’s chief technology officer, Lindsay Sill, WestGrid’s executive director, Guy Levesque, the Canada Foundation for Innovation’s (CFI) vice-president of programs and performance, Norbert Haunerland, SFU’s associate vice-president, research, and Mark Roman, SFU’s chief information officer.

Photos by Greg Ehlers, SFU Creative Studio