Category Archives: ARC News

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Dr. Polys has been honored with an invitation to speak at an upcoming ISO-IEC meeting in Seoul, South Korea, Jan 21-25.  Dr. Polys will be presenting on X3D/HL7 medical graphics and informatics work. Specifically, ARC’s innovations with the international interactive 3D standards X3D,  H-ANIM, and HL7  FHIR and Mixed and Augmented Reality (MAR) are converging to improve health outcomes across domains and conditions. The presentations and schedule are available here ; the Web3D twitter feed is here.

ARC Goes Deep at SIGGRAPH 2018


The VT Center for HCI posted this NEWS story and the international Web3D Consortium posted all of Dr. Polys’ presentations HERE,


  • Immersive Visualisation for Research, Science and Art
  • Cartographic Visualization (Carto) BoF
  • Scaling Up 3D Medical Applications for People Everywhere
  • WebVR Evolution for a Larger Web
  • Design Printing and Scanning: Web3D Makers Making More!

PEARC 2018

VT Biochemistry  had a strong showing, presenting their results on using immersive visualization in VT’s Visionarium Hypercube to engage and teach students (paper & presentation here).

The Technical Paper was presented and awarded Best Student Paper!

Dr. Srijith Rajamohan ( presented a workshop on ‘Introduction to Machine Learning with TensorFlow and Keras’. The purpose of this workshop was to provide a formal introduction to the mathematical concepts underlying Machine Learning. This was augmented by hands-on examples in the Machine Learning framework TensorFlow and the Deep Learning framework Keras.  The slides for this workshop can be found at .

Alana Romanella ( served on the executive committee as Diversity and Workforce Development Chair and Chair Emeritus for the Student Program.  She focused on promoting inclusivity through increasing individual diversity awareness skills and effective organizational systems that allowed for a more diverse conference.

Interested in joining us next year?

PEARC19, will be located in Chicago from July 28 – August 1, 2019, and will explore the current practice and experience in advanced research computing including modeling, simulation, and data-intensive computing.  A primary focus next year will be on Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence which are proving to be disruptive technologies in a diverse range of scientific fields from materials science to medicine.

Dr. Srijith Rajamohan presenting during his ‘Introduction to Machine Learning with TensorFlow and Keras’ workshop

New ARC Cluster : Huckleberry

ARC released a new cluster named Huckleberry in late 2017. The Huckleberry system, accessed at, was installed with deep learning applications in mind. To this end, it consists of 14 IBM “Minsky” S822LC nodes and NVIDIA’s proprietary NVLink interconnect network. This system enables highly parallel and highly distributed workloads. IBM unveiled its deep learning AI toolkit called PowerAI alongside the launch of Minsky nodes that leverage CPUs linked to Power CPUs with NVLink making it possible to have high speed high performance computing. PowerAI is available under /opt/DL in Huckleberry.

Each compute node on Huckleberry (i.e. IBM “Minsky” nodes) consists of :

  • Two IBM Power8 with 10 cores, 8 threads per core and memory bandwidth 115gb/s per socket
  • Four NVIDIA P100 GPUs advertised to have 21 teraFLOPS of 16-bit floating-point performance ideal for deep learning applications deliver high performance, massive parallelism
  • NVIDIA’s NVLink technology which provides high bandwidth data transfers between CPUs and GPUs; an improvement over PCI-Express
  • Mellanox EDR Infiniband (100 GB/s) interconnect used to connect compute nodes

The PowerAI toolkit contains Caffe, TensorFlow etc. which are optimized for the Power servers. IBM provides support for it as well.

While the rest of the clusters make use of the PBS batch systems, Huckleberry makes use of the Slurm batch system using the command sbatch.

Individuals may request a Huckleberry account.  Instructors can get set up class accounts for Huckleberry as well.

Winged Insect – Visual Communications Design

The “Wing It” exhibit (both actual and virtual) just won a 2018 SEGD Global Design Merit award!!

The Winged Insect Exhibition is designed by students in Environmental Design and New Media course. Students created multiple virtual versions of The Winged Insects exhibition before holding the exhibition in the actual space. The 3D designs were developed with tools like Sketchup, Maya, and Blender to produce ISO-IEC standard X3D.  The X3D version of the Exhibition allows for multi-stakeholder and multi-platform design presentations through Web3D and Immersive Hyper Cube experience.
Through the X3D version of Winged Insects exhibition in the Hyper Cube students experienced multiple prototypes and changed their design in the virtual space. This is the final design of The Winged Insects exhibition in the Cowgill Hall at Virginia Tech.

P100 GPU Nodes added to NewRiver

ARC is happy to announce the addition of 39 new GPU nodes to the NewRiver cluster. Each of these nodes is equipped with two Intel Xeon E5-2680v4 (Broadwell) 2.4GHz GPU (28 cores/node in all), 512 GB memory, and two NVIDIA P100 GPUs. Each GPU is capable of up to 4.7 TeraFLOPS of double-precision performance, so including CPU and GPU these nodes add over 400 TFLOPS of peak double-precision throughput to ARC’s resources.
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