Collaboration with Industry

Area 3 Collaborative Software Project with Fujitsu Limited, Japan

The Area 3 collaborative software development project with Fujitsu Japan was established in 1989 with the aim of porting and optimizing computational chemistry software on the VP-100. After a highly successful first year, the scope of the project was widened to include mathematical and graphical software.

A sub-project in environmental modelling begun with Fujitsu's Research Centre for Computational Science in 1993 was continued in 1994. The CCM1 climate model from the National Center for Atmospheric Research, USA which was established in 1993 on the Fujitsu AP1000 parallel computer was further optimized and work on Urban Heat Island modelling and visualization commenced. Dr Jay Larson, was appointed as a post-doctoral fellow to participate in this work in conjunction with ANUSF staff and Mr Gavin Michael and other members of the Department of Computer Science.

As well as some porting and optimization activities, work was continued on implementing computational chemistry algorithms and software on the massively parallel AP1000. Porting was continued to establish computational chemistry packages on the new generation VPP500 supercomputer as well as the VP series. Other aspects of the project in 1994 included investigations of the comparative functionality and performance of the current computational chemistry software base as well as visualizations of results in current areas of research. A video tape was produced describing computational chemistry and the Area 3 project at an executive level.

A large number of computational chemistry packages, all of academic interest, and many also of commercial interest, have been completed in this project and form the basis of a comprehensive list of such software available on Fujitsu machines. Several of these packages are in production use at ANU and are also heavily used by external users.

During the year there were many contacts between Fujitsu Japan and ANU relating to this project, including visits by Dr R Gingold and Dr Nobes to Japan and visits to the ANU by Fujitsu staff.

Area 4 Parallel-Vector Mathematics Library Project with Fujitsu Limited, Japan

This project completed its second year and the University and Fujitsu agreed to extend it for a further year. The project is now squarely focussed on researching and developing mathematical library algorithms and code for Fujitsu's new VPP500 supercomputer, effectively the fastest machine in the world.

The Supercomputer Facility is managing this project and four of the staff are actively involved in the work. Academic direction and leadership of the project is under Professor R Brent, CSL, RSISE and Professor M Osborne, Program in Advanced Computation, CMA, SMS.

Three research fellow positions were funded under this project. Dr Andrew Cleary, formerly of Sandia National Laboratories, USA, arrived at the ANU late in 1991 to begin work on the project. Dr Markus Hegland, formerly of ETH, Switzerland joined the project in January 1993. Dr Zbigniew Leyck and Mr David Miron joined the project during the year. These staff are located in the SMS and CSL, RSISE. Dr M Dow, Ms J Jenkinson, Dr M Kahn and Dr D Singleton of the ANUSF have also been actively involved.

The project has excited considerable interest among staff of the School of Mathematical Sciences including Dr S Roberts and Dr D Stewart and Dr Zhou Bing Bing of Computer Science Laboratory, RSISE who have also made contributions to the project.

As with the Area 3 project described above, there is increasing overlap between this project and the Area 2 CAP project centred on the AP1000 involving the Department of Computer Science and the Computer Science Laboratory, RSISE.

One Australia Yacht Design

In 1993, the University entered into an agreement with Sun Microsystems to supply supercomputer resources and support to assist the design by Fluid Thinking Pty Ltd of a challenger for the America's Cup by the One Australia Consortium led by John Bertram. Fluid Thinking are also contracted to do design work for a second Australian challenger by Syd Fischer's syndicate, Australian Challenge. In October, Fluid Thinking moved to San Diego for the race series which starts in early 1995. A dedicated network link to the ANU was installed to aid in the continuation of the design work from the USA. The project is further described in the section Highlights of 1994.


The Facility is a minor partner in a collaborative project that is being established with Ford in Melbourne by the Department of Engineering, FEIT. The collaboration is aimed at improving the quality and manufacturing of automotive components while reducing the cost and weight.

The ANU was a participant in the Warren Centre's year-long project at Sydney University promoting the use of high performance computing by Australian industry. Dr Gingold attended a summary meeting of the project in Sydney on 7 April. He also attended a discussion meeting at the Department of Industry, Science and Technology on this topic led by Professor Greg McCrae of MIT on 5 April.