Operate a supercomputer from your phone

Boffins at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), collaborating with staff at the Texas Advanced Computing Center (TACC), have created an application which will allow them to run a supercomputer from their smart phones.

The team managed to use their Android smartphones to carry out a series of expensive high-fidelity simulations on the Ranger supercomputer. It appears they used the phones like a dumb but mobile terminal.

The supercomputer was told to generate a small “reduced model” which was transferred to a Google Android smart phone.

The boffins were able to solve problems on the phone and visualise the results instantly.

David Knezevic, a post-doctoral associate in mechanical engineering at MIT said that once you’ve created a reduced model, you can do all the computations on a phone.

At the centre of the idea is a reduction algorithm which simplifies the complexities of large-scale physical simulations. Knezevic’s system tells a user the range of possible solutions, and provide a metric of whether an answer is accurate or not. The error bounds are based on mathematical theory developed at MIT over a number of years.