Monday, 11 May 2015

The Department of Science and Technology dealing with the Big Data problem for Sciences, the DIRISA initiative

A bunch of experts from all over the country were invited by the Department of Science and Technology (DST) via the Data Intensive Research Initiative of South Africa (DIRISA).  The event took place at the CSIR International Convention Centre on May 6th.

DIRISA is intended to connect the data intensive scientific community with the thriving cyber-infrastructure in the country. This entails many aspects of data handling and movement across infrastructure within the country and beyond. This events follows the recent signing by the DST via the Centre of High Performance Computing (CHPC) of a memorandum of understanding with the Worldwide LHC Computing Grid (WLCG). The CHPC has officially become a Tier 2. See now South Africa on the map of WLCG sites

The CHPC is a Tier 1 with regards to South Africa. Around this Tier 1, Tier 2 and Tier 3 centres will be formed. DIRISA will play a pivotal role in this process.

Below is the program of the event:

Prof. Loyiso Nongxa, former Vice Chancellor and Principal of Wits, Prof. Diane Wilcox and myself were present at the event from Wits.

It was a very useful exchange of ideas and feedback on different aspects of the need of researches in terms of Big Data needs.

Below is the Dr. Daniel Adams, Director at the DST giving one of the overview talks.

Below is Prof. Colin Wright, known to many ay Wits, giving one of the introductory talks.

Below a couple of pictures of the invited delegates

Conversing with Prof. Colin Wright during one of the breaks.

Splited into groups. Here is the group from sciences.

Conversing with Dr. Happy Sithole, the director of the CHPC. Prof. Loyiso Nongxa at the end of the table.

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