On June 30, the High-Performance Computing Center Stuttgart took part in the Tag der Wissenschaft (Science Day) at the University of Stuttgart. Welcoming more than 300 visitors, including both children and adults, the event offered the general public an opportunity to experience high-performance computing and to learn about the important role that it is playing in cutting-edge research and technology development.
Although it was a warm, sunny day outside, many visitors stayed cool by touring the HLRS computer room, learning how the center manages the challenge of keeping its supercomputer, Hazel Hen, from overheating. In the CAVE, a 3D virtual reality facility, participants could enjoy the thrills of piloting a driving simulator through city streets or flying a paragliding simulator high above a virtual landscape. HLRS staff also demonstrated visualization applications used for city planning and other research projects.
A highlight of the day was a well-attended lecture by HLRS Director Michael Resch titled "Simulation auf Supercomputern – Wunderwerke der Technik und des Geistes." In the HLRS auditorium Dr. Resch provided a lively introduction to supercomputing as well as its cultural and philosophical context.
The informal atmosphere of the event offered visitors the chance to speak with HLRS staff, who explained basic concepts about supercomputing and about how the center is addressing issues related to sustainability. Children could also participate in a quiz that guided them through the exhibits and collected "Pokemons" explaining in-house research projects on topics related to supercomputing.
The visitors' curiosity and enthusiasm set the tone for the day as they gained a greater appreciation for high-performance computing and HLRS's diverse activities.