undergrad senior project idea, help

Dean Johnson dtj at uberh4x0r.org
Wed Aug 28 07:52:58 PDT 2002

On Tue, 2002-08-27 at 21:43, Matt Osborne wrote:
> For my project I had the idea of building a beowulf with linux for
> my school. My problem is understanding what applications/uses for the
> school that the beowulf will bring.. I trying to get it together so
> that I can explain to the school what will be the result besides a
> cool machine! thanks Matt

An easy demonstration of clustering technology, easily understandable by
non-geeks, would be running something like pvm-povray to do some groovy
graphics. Show them how you can generate photo-realistic n-times faster
than on a single processor. "This took an hour on 1 cpu, but only 10
minutes on 8 cpu" is a message understandable by my grandmother.

Another example that is a little more complex and will glaze over even
the most hearty viewer, would be to run some molecular dynamics codes
like NAMD (from UIUC) and then make pretty pictures with VMD (also from
UIUC). There are plenty of example molecules, so you don't really have
to get into that. NAMD shows very nice scaling on clusters, so you can
generate a nice graph that will show the value of clustering.


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