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77 Square Feet of Science

When SLAC scientists join forces with Stanford University personnel at the 2007 International Conference for High Performance Computing, Networking, Storage and Analysis (SC07), they'll arrive with an ace up their sleeve. Apple will loan 25 cinema display screens—measuring 30-inches each—that will be arranged to create one giant screen 11 feet wide and 7 feet tall. But tall isn't the right word because the screen will lie on the floor, covered by a Plexiglas shield, allowing visitors to walk directly over it.

"The idea is to show highlight reels to attract people to the booths for more in-depth information," said project leader Alf Wachsmann from SLAC's Scientific Computing and Computing Services (SCCS) Group.

The screen synchronization system was demonstrated in the Computing Building last Thursday to a group of SC07 presenters. The demonstration highlighted movies and images already prepared by SLAC and Stanford presenters. Although the demo only used four screens, exhibiting already impressive results, the system still requires more work.

"We're still working on synchronizing the screens to display movies," said SCCS Systems Software Engineer Yemi Adesanya. "We're also working to increase the frame rate without making the movies jerky. It's all a part of ironing out the bumps."

SLAC's presentations will highlight how computing is used at the lab to achieve scientific goals in photon science, particle physics and particle astrophysics. Meanwhile, at the same booth, Stanford University will present a broad range of research areas including simulations of how blood flows through the body. The movies utilizing the large screen will include visualizations of electron wave effects traveling down the International Linear Collider and a slide show of a molecule depicted with progressing levels of resolution.

"Hopefully this demonstration gave the presenters a feel of what the set-up can do visually and physically," said Adesanya. "It should help them prepare their materials so it looks the best it can."

To visit SLAC and Stanford's booth, head out to Reno, Nevada, for SC07, which takes place between November 10th and 16th.

Ken Kingery, SLAC Today, September 17, 2007

Above image: SLAC Systems Software Developer Yemi Adesanya demonstrates four screens acting as one. The actual set-up at SC07 will use 25 screens.