OzTech: Job support for Victorians; NSW names AI advisors; Researchers get early access to Pawsey supercomputing tools

OzTech Roundup is Computerworld Australia’s weekly look at the world of IT.

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Stone & Chalk helps 2000 Victorian job-seekers

The not-for-profit “technology impact network” Stone & Chalk will offer its working-in-startups course to 2,000 job seekers in the state of Victoria with funding from LaunchVic in a program called Pivott Victoria.

Expected to launch in mid-April 2021, the program will run for 18 months, providing job seekers with practical skills as they go through recruitment process, as well as tips, tricks, and templates to help them identify, apply, and interview for startup roles. Career workshops will take place in Melbourne and will be accessible online for those in other areas.

The program will also offer a skills and jobs-matching portal.

New South Wales government creates AI advisory committee

The New South Wales government has named 11 members of its newly launched Artificial Intelligence Advisory Committee. The members are expected to provide ongoing strategic advice on the use of AI to assist in decision-making and improving service delivery across the NSW government.

Ian Oppermann, the NSW government’s chief data scientist, will chair the committee and will work alongsideTheresa Anderson, a data and AI ethicist at the School of Illinois; Fang Chen,  executive director data science/distinguished professor at UTS Sydney; Lee Hickin, national technology officer at Microsoft Australia; Aurelie Jacquet, chief legal and data ethics officer at Innovations Accelerated; Peter Leonard, principal at Data Synergies and professor of practice at UNSW Business School; Maria Milosavljevic, chief data officer for Services Australia; Edward Santow, a commissioner at the Australian Human Rights Commission; William Simpson Young, chief executive of Gradient Institute; Neil Soderlund, chief executive of Quantium Health & Government; and Martin Stewart-Weeks, principal at Public Purpose.

In August 2019, the New South Wales government announced the ongoing development of a strategy for the use of artificial intelligence technology as well as an AI ethics framework. In December 2019, the state government published an ethics framework.

Pawsey gives researchers early access to supercomputing tools

The Pawsey Centre for Extreme-Scale Readiness (PaCER) program has given access to the first 10 research projects to supercomputing tools and infrastructure, training, and exclusive hackathons focused on high performance computing at scale.

This access will occur before Pawsey’s new supercomputer going live in 2022, when the researchers will be the first to use the supercomputer named Setonix. This follows the $70 million government funding announced in April 2018 and a tender process initiated in November 2019 to replace the existing Magnus and Galaxy supercomputers.

Pawsey had planned to offer access to only five researchers but doubled that given the quality of the applications. Pawsey will cofund a doctoral or postdoctoral position for each project and provide Pawsey expertise to work closely with the research team.

The projects are:

  • The Extreme-Scale Electronic Structure System (EXESS) for predicting the chemistry of nanomaterial interfaces, in the domain of quantum chemistry, headed by Giuseppe Barca.
  • A better molecular-level understanding of flow-induced physical and chemical reactions, in the domains of statistical mechanics and rheology, headed by Debra Bernhardt.
  • Calculation of collisions with molecular targets using the convergent close-coupling method, in the domain of atomic and molecular physics, headed by Igor Bray.
  • Parallel interferometric GPU imaging, in the domain of radio astronomy, headed by Melanie Johnston-Hollitt.
  • Emergent phenomena revealed in subatomic matter, in the domain of nuclear physics, headed by Waseem Kamleh.
  • Massively parallel models of particle suspensions, in the domains of computational fluid dynamics, geoscience, and petroleum, headed by Christopher Leonardi.
  • Delivery of a next-generation data storage approach to unlock deep Square Kilometre Array (SKA) and Pathfinder observations, in the domains of radio astronomy and cosmology, headed by Martin Meyer.
  • Exascale simulations for efficient, low-emissions gas turbines, in the domains of computational fluid dynamics, turbulence, and engineering, headed by Richard Sandberg.
  • Searching for new particles from the attoscale to the exascale with the GAMBIT big data inference tool for physics, in the domain of particle physics, headed by Pat Scott.
  • Blazingly fast all-sky radio astronomy pipelines, in the domain of radio astronomy, headed by Marcin Sokolowski.

“Eight of these projects are focused on developing their own code for their research problems, and Pawsey will be working closely with them on software development and optimisation. We aim to build exascale computationally literate communities around the various scientific domains we are supporting,” said Maciej Cytowski, Pawsey’s head of scientific services and cochair of the PaCER Committee.

Copyright © 2021 IDG Communications, Inc.

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