On April, 23rd, HLRS participated in the Girls´Day 2015, a nationwide open day for girls at age of 10 years and over, funded by the Federal Ministry for Education and Research as well as the Federal Ministry for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth. Goal of the Girls´Day is to get the girls to know professions in technology, sciences, IT and trade. And at HLRS they gained insight into the opportunities and importance of simulation and high performance computing for research and industry
In a first hands-on session the girls modeled, simulated and visualized the airflow around a planes airfoil. By comparing different profiles they learned how the shape of the airfoil influences aerodynamical properties like wind resistance with the objective to improve flight characteristics and to reduce fuel consumption. Even in this simple example they realized how important but time consuming the computation of simulation results can be. Afterwards they met Hornet, the new flagship of HLRS supercomputers with a capability of 3786 TFlops peak performance.
But how can we handle those huge amounts of data? The visualization group at HLRS supports users to visualize their data. In the CAVE the girls could „dive“ into the computer models and simulation results to experience how virtual reality is being used by scientists these days, to gain insight into their simulation results and to create new ideas and solutions.
Most members of the staff at HLRS are developing software for various applications within their fields of research. The pupils had the opportunity to develop a short but helpful program in a programming language commonly used for numerical problems.
To work at HLRS means to be creative and to have fun working on ongoing research. And the girls had fun with driving the HLRS driving simulator through a virtual city, beating the hills of the black forest with the bicycle simulator and taking apart computer mainboards with a screw driver. We hope to have inspired the girls to the fascinating field of high performance computing.