Making connections in Japan

4 October, 2011

Car crushed in Tokyo typhoon - credit: Finlay Thompson

Finlay Thompson from Dragonfly travelled to Tokyo in September to attend two conferences hosted by the National Institute of Informatics and meet collaborators in the Parallel GHC project. The visit was also an opportunity to build networks in the high performance computing communities.

Dragonfly has initiated a project called Cloudy Bayes to develop tools for fast Bayesian statistical analysis using processing on the cloud with applications such as Amazon EC, Windows Azure and Wellington-based firm, Green Button. Bayesian statistical analysis is a key tool in Dragonfly’s data analysis toolkit.

The International Conference on Functional Programming and the Commercial Users of Functional Programming conference both focussed on the technical aspects of programming multi-processor machines. Both were held in Tokyo, which continues to experience aftershocks from the magnitude 9 earthquake and tsunami that destroyed parts of Japan’s east coast in March. Finlay also struck some bad weather.

“I met a Kiwi friend for dinner one day and although it was warm, there were high winds and pouring rain. When we came out of the restaurant, a tree outside had been blown over, the police were everywhere and peoples’ umbrellas were getting ripped to shreds. It just seemed like a good Wellington northerly to me,” he says.

“It was also good to meet Dr Kazuhiko Yamamoto from Internet Innovation Japan. He is also a collaborator in Parallel GHC, that is seeking to implement high performance computing algorithms on generic multi-processor machines.”

Travel costs were funded by the Science Promotion Fund of the Ministry of Science and Innovation.