Wilfred Pinfold (an Intel colleague and general chair of Supercomputing 2009) announced to the Supercomputing 2008 conference attendees plans to create a new virtual world called “ScienceSim.” Supported by Intel and the conference committee, this collaboration aims to use these immersive, connected environments to further cutting edge scientific research.
Primarily, we want to create a new tool that uses the unique features of virtual environments to facilitate education, collaboration, and understanding. The output of many supercomputing applications — from astronomical simulations to medical models — is complex and often highly visual. Creating a persistent, standardized environment where these models can reside will make it easier to share and explore these data sets with other researchers. Also, for educators, ScienceSim will provide an interactive 3-D environment that can be used to explain complex concepts such as gravity in a highly intuitive manner.
In addition, this world will provide an opportunity to innovate in these connected visual computing environments. Today’s virtual worlds are hindered by application scalability, computing, storage, and networking performance. The high performance computing systems that Intel and others deploy to host ScienceSim will become test beds themselves for system-level innovation. Also, because the world is based on the OpenSim open source world simulation platform, participants will be able to experiment with enhancements to the engine behind the world.
Written by Justin Rattner. More at the Research@Intel Blog.