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Internal News - 10 March 2009

Roadshow to help researchers learn more about resources available via the national computer grid

The University is hosting a roadshow for academic researchers interested in finding out more about the National Grid Services (NGS) on Wednesday 15 April.

The NGS is a robust, reliable and trusted service providing electronic access to the full range of computation and data based research facilities required by UK researchers.

The roadshow will include a series of short presentations which will explain how to join the NGS to gain access to the resources on offer, how to run scenarios, and the types of training on offer to be able to fully use the NGS. Current NGS users will also demonstrate the impact that the service has had on their research and how its resources can be used effectively within a real research environment.

David Mullings, Software Licensing Manager in BUCs, explains:

"This roadshow is an excellent opportunity for those who want to know more about computational and data grid resources available via the NGS. NGS offers a free of charge, one-stop-shop from an academic's desktop computer to the vast array of NGS applications, scientific software packages, and data storage resources".

NGS is already being used by academics in Pharmacy & Pharmacology and Computer Science, and the roadshow aims to attract researchers from other disciplines, in particular social scientists.

The event includes two NGS user presentations. Andrew Turner of the University of Leeds will explain how he is using census and other population data with the Modelling and Simulation for e-Social Science (MoSeS) software available via NGS to take public service planning and population modelling a step further than is traditionally possible. By developing national demographic simulations of births, deaths, marriages and people movements on a year by year basis, the scenario based forecasting approach will allow social scientists to examine possible effects of environmental change and better plan for the likely effects of an ageing population.

Andrew said: "To study trends and scenario extremes, thousands of runs would be needed. If we had 100 million people and 8 bytes per attribute that is over 2TB of data per run. To start with I'll be satisfied with running through the entire thing twice, the second time just taking a few button clicks and a bit of patience!"

There will be a presentation by Narcis Fernandez-Fuentes also from the University of Leeds on his work into In-silico drug screening, and David Mullings from BUCs will be available to authenticate the required access certificates to the NGS resources for new users.

See Related Links for full roadshow programme.

The event starts at 11.30am on 15 April and concludes with lunch and an exhibition at 2.30pm.

For further information please contact David Mullings on extension 6016. Information about NGS can be found at: