May 2016/Shaban, 1437 Volume 7, Issue No. 8 جامعة الملك عبداهلل للعلوم والتقنية المملكة العربية السعودية،ثول King Abdullah University of Science and Technology Thuwal, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
الروبوت الغواص التابع لجامعة 1000 الملك عبداهلل يحقق غطسة في مياه البحر األحمر Glider transforms knowledge of Red Sea in 1,000 dives Page 6 Celebrating World Intellectual Property Day Page 10 KAUST scientists to attend 2016 Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting Page 12 An artist's mathematical thumbprint Page 14
KAUST-NSF Conference highlights University’s research and collaborations Page 16 At the forefront of programming models Page 18
In brief KAUST entered into the Guinness Book of World Records on October 19, 2015, thanks to the research of Professors Yu Han and Andrea Fratalocchi. The collaborators were recognized for their work on the darkest manmade substanceâ€”a black material made of gold nanoparticles and called "dark chamaleon dimers" that absorbs more than 99% of visible light over the whole visible range. The material KAUST produced is thinner than Vantablack, the previous world record holder. To learn more, visit: http://bit.ly/1rK6Gor. The KAUST Athenaeum on Multiscale Imaging of Large Rock Volumes was held from April 4 to 6. The Upstream Petroleum Engineering Research Center (UPERC) and the Energy Geosystems Group (EGG) brought together a select group of leading academic and industry researchers to develop a cross-disciplinary lexicon of geology, geophysics, petrophysics, reservoir engineering and drilling terms. Visit https://uperc.kaust.edu. sa/event2016/Pages/About.aspx to learn more.
The Beacon Volume 7, Issue No. 8 PUBLISHED BY MARKETING COMMUNICATIONS King Abdullah University of Science and Technology Thuwal, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
The Beacon Staff Managing Editor: Nicholas Demille Arabic Editor: Salah Sindi English Editor: Caitlin Clark Design Lead: Hazim Alradadi Designer: Mahjubeh R. Mashhadi Writers: David Murphy, Meres J. Weche Translator: Adel Alrefaie Photographer: Ginger Lisanti The Beacon is published monthly. ÂŠ King Abdullah University of Science and Technology
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The 2016 Spring Enrichment Program took place from April 22 to 30. This year's theme was "Exploring Innovation." Visit https://enrichment. kaust.edu.sa/schedule/to relive all the action. The Seventh Annual Talent Show was held on April 28 in the Auditorium (bldg. 20). The night was filled was performances from a range of KAUST acts. The judges awarded Professor David Keyes and his quartet top honors for their stirring rendition of Sir Elton John's standard "Your Song."
KAUST signed an agreement on April 26 to allow the Aviation Investigation Bureau (AIB) of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia use its advanced facilities and research expertise in the event of aviation incidents. Justin Mynar, KAUST director of Core Laboratories and major facilities, signed the agreement with AIB Director General Abdulelah Felemban. World IP Day made a big splash on campus. The global day, which was created by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), was observed as part of the Spring Enrichment Program. #WorldIPDay events at KAUST aimed to raise awareness of the importance of intellectual property rights as the cornerstone of innovation. Visit http://www.wipo.int/ip-outreach/en/ipday/ for more information. On May 3, KAUST recognized the 250 staff, faculty, teachers and researchers who reached the fiveyear service milestone and have provided the University with their loyalty and dedication. An event to celebrate their achievements began at 10:45 a.m. in the Auditorium (bldg. 20). Visit http:// thelens.edu.sa for more information.
Research Center (ECRC), with sponsorship from the KAUST Office of Research Services and the KAUST Industrial Collaboration Program. For more information, visit: ecrc.kaust.edu.sa. KAUST authors read original works of poetry at a reading on May 11 in the University Library. The event was sponsored by the Office of the Arts. Visit artsoffice.kaust.edu.sa for more information. Faculty and research scientists are invited to participate in the 2016 Saudi Research Science Institute (SRSI), a summer research internship program for academically talented high school students. SRSI 2016 will run from July 16 to August 27. Prospective mentors must offer suitable five-week projects in the science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields that give the students a chance to experience research at KAUST. For more information, contact email@example.com.
The 2016 KAUST Workshop on Scalable Hierarchical Algorithms for Extreme Computing (SHAXC 2016) was held on May 9 to 11. All talks were held in the Engineering Science Hall (building 9), lecture hall I. SHAXC 2016 was organized by the KAUST Extreme Computing
Accolades Ph.D. student Muhammad Akram Karimimi finalist in Student Paper Competition KAUST Ph.D. student Muhammad Akram Karimimi from the research group of Assistant Professor of Electrical Enginering Atif Shamim has been selected as a finalist in the Student Paper Competition at the International Microwave Symposium to be held in San Francisco, California, in May 2016.
1. Muhammad Akram Karimimi was
selected as a finalist in the Student Paper Competition at the International Microwave Symposium to be held in San Francisco in May 2016. Photo by Nicholas Demille.
2. Taous-Meriem Laleg-Kirati, assistant professor of electrical engineering, and a team of KAUST researchers published a paper in the April 2016 issue of the journal Desalination. File photo. 3. KAUST Associate Professor of
Electrical Engineering Khaled Salama and his team from the Sensors Lab were issued three patents in April. File photo.
"I feel really honored to compete as a finalist for Best Paper Award at the world's best microwave conference," Karimimi said. "The work I will be presenting is being funded by Saudi Aramco's EXPEC Advanced Research Center. In the work, we demonstrated for the first time ever a zeroweight, extremely low-cost and full-range watercut sensor that works seamlessly irrespective of its orientation in an oil well. Compared to watercut sensors already available in the market, we demonstrated a cost reduction of at least 100 times and a weight reduction of more than 1,000 times. We believe in application-oriented research, and we will soon take the lab prototype to field testing after needed modifications." "Only few high-quality papers out of hundreds of submissions from all over the world are selected in the final round of this student paper competition," noted Shamim. "Muhammad Akram's work on pipe conformable sensors for the oil industry being selected as a finalist for the student paper competition is a major achievement. He will be competing with students from top universities around the world, and I hope he wins first prize."
Assistant Professor Taous-Meriem Laleg-Kirati publishes in Desalination Taous-Meriem Laleg-Kirati, KAUST assistant professor of electrical engineering in the University’s Computer, Electrical and Mathematical Science and Engineering (CEMSE) Division, and a team of researchers from CEMSE and the KAUST Water Desalination and Reuse Center (WDRC) published a paper in the April 2016 issue of the journal Desalination. The paper entitled “Dynamic modeling and experimental validation for direct contact membrane distillation (DCMD) process” features Laleg’s research on membrane distillation modeling for desalination. “Water supply is one of the biggest challenges facing many countries, including Saudi Arabia, where desalination is the primary source of fresh water,” Laleg said. “Our objective as a research team is to design sustainable desalination systems to respond to the water demand while reducing cost and energy. For this purpose, we propose to incorporate monitoring and control systems (water supervision and management) to solar-driven water desalination systems. “This includes optimizing the process, developing control strategies for optimal operating for the system and designing algorithms to autonomously detect performance deterioration and systems’ anomalies. “In this study, we developed a mathematical model that describes a solar-driven water desalination system. We also designed software that allows developing algorithms and methods for optimizing, controlling and monitoring the system. This software gives us insight on phenomena that are not accessible by experiments,” she explained.
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Let's get social: 3
Associate Professor Khaled Salama and Sensors Lab team issued three patents Khaled Salama, KAUST associate professor of electrical engineering, and his team from the University's Sensors Lab were issued three patents in April. The first patent was issued for a high voltage charge pump; this work was completed in collaboration with the American University in Cairo (AUC). Originally designed to drive microelectromechanical system (MEMS) gyroscopes, the technology can be applied to a wide array of electronic consumer devices such as computer displays, printers and automotive sensors. The second patent covered work on electrostatic fractional capacitors. “ We had a true success story with the development of fractional capacitors,” Salama said. “Working with Professor Husam Alshareef from the Material Science & Engineering program and Mahmoud Almadhoun from the Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (SABIC) Corporate Research and Innovation Center based at KAUST, we developed the first compact microscale fractional capacitor that can be easily soldered onto a printed circuit board (PCB). With further developments, the capacitor can be enhanced to add more versatility to the electronic gadgets we use in our daily lives.” Salama and team were issued a third patent for a generalized post-processing technique for enhancing the pseudorandomness of digital chaotic oscillators through a nonlinear XORbased operation with rotation and feedback. Pseudorandom number generators (PRNGs) have increasingly become crucial components in communication systems, cryptography and stochastic simulations.
KAUST Research Center accounts to follow:
@UPERC_KAUST - The official Twitter feed of the Upstream Petroleum Engineering Research Center.
@KAUST_ECRC - Stay informed about the latest happenings, research and more at the Extreme Computing Research Center.
@ReefEcologyLab - The Reef Ecology Lab account is teeming with interesting tweets about all things Red Sea.
@SPERC_KAUST - The official Twitter feed of the Solar & Photovoltaics Engineering Research Center at KAUST.
@WDRC_KAUST - Visit the official Twitter account of the Water Desalination and Reuse Center and remember to hit the "follow" button.
@CCRCatKAUST - For all the pyrotechnics of a Hollywood blockbuster, follow the Clean Combustion Research Center.
Glider transforms knowledge of Red Sea in 1,000 dives By Caitlin Clark For KAUST Ph.D. student Nikolaos Zarokanellos from the University’s Red Sea Research Center (RSRC), nothing is more fascinating than studying the unknowns of the world’s oceans. “I grew up in a town about 3 kilometers away from the sea near Patra, Greece, and spent most of my free time at the beach,” he said. “I was fascinated by the fact that despite all the technological advances we have, we’re not able to explore the oceans to the level we want. We made it to the moon, but we are still struggling to explore life in the deepest parts of the oceans and understand marine organisms living there.” Zarokanellos completed his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in marine science at the University of Thessaly in Greece, and then worked for three years at the Hellenic Centre for Marine Research (HCMR), Institute of Oceanography as a marine data manager before coming to KAUST. “HCMR previously closely collaborated with KAUST, so I learned about the University and its great facilities and opportunities while working there. I was especially interested in assisting to start a glider program at KAUST, in which researchers use autonomous underwater robots to understand the physical and biological variability of the Red Sea,” he said.
Studying the Red Sea Burton Jones, KAUST professor of marine science, head of the Saudi Aramco-KAUST Marine Environmental Research Center and Zarokanellos’ Ph.D. supervisor, noted “we want to be able to watch the oceans continuously, but this is difficult because we can’t leave a crew out on a ship for months at a time. We can, however, leave the gliders— small robotic submarines about 2 meters long—in the oceans for long periods of time, giving us a continuous presence there. Watching conditions continuously in both space and time presents a tremendous advantage for us.” Zarokanellos uses the gliders to study the mesoscale eddies of the central Red Sea, focusing on the area of water between KAUST and the Saudi city of Yanbu. Through this work, he and the team in Jones’ Integrated
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Ocean Processes (IOP) lab learn more about how the eddies, or circular currents of water, drive the biology of the region. Zarokanellos also uses glider data to examine the seasonal intrusion of the Gulf of Aden water and how the eddies contribute to the horizontal distribution of this less salty and high-nutrient water mass, which is one of the main sources of nutrients in Red Sea.
Eddies in 3-D “The central Red Sea is characterized by high mesoscale eddy activity, and we monitor eddies located in this area that have a diameter from a few kilometers to 200 kilometers,” explained Zarokanellos. “With our gliders, we are able to understand and capture these eddies in 3-D—not only how big they are horizontally, but also at the vertical scale.” The gliders are equipped with an array of sensors that capture conductivity (salinity), temperature, pressure, chlorophyll, colored dissolved organic matter, backscatter and oxygen. Once in the water, each glider makes a dive to a programmed level approximately every 4 hours, measuring these parameters. Upon returning to the surface, the glider sends the information it has obtained to a satellite, which then transmits this information back to the team back at KAUST. Zarokanellos and his colleagues complement the gathered data with satellite imagery and information acquired from ship-based hydrographic stations located in the Red Sea.
1,000 dives In late November of 2015, the KAUST glider operating on what the IOP team calls the “Yanbu line” extending from KAUST to the middle of the Red Sea to Yanbu completed more than 1,000 dives, staying out in the water for 145 days and covering more than 4,500 kilometers of the Red Sea. Team members recovered the glider from the Red Sea on November 22, bringing it back to KAUST on the same day. “The 1,000th dive of the Yanbu glider is quite a benchmark,” noted Jones. “Up until 2011, there were only
1. Ioannis Georgakakis, a KAUST technical specialist, dives with one of the University's gliders in the Red Sea on November 22, 2015. Photo by Brian Hession. 2. The University's glider that completed 1,000 dives in the Red Sea was retrieved by a team of KAUST staff on November 22, 2015. Photo by Brian Hession.
about 1,500 profiles of temperature and salinity in the Red Sea, and all these were obtained by ships. In contrast, the glider obtains data constantly as it undulates from the surface down to about 1,000 meters. “With help from a second glider we have operating off of the city of Duba on the coast of the northern part of the Red Sea, we’ve obtained almost as many profiles of the Red Sea in a few months as were obtained in 100 years of effort prior to that. This has dramatically transformed the amount of information we have about the Red Sea.” With the data gathered from the Yanbu line glider, Zarokanellos and the team discovered that not only are quasi-permanent anticyclonic eddies present in the Red Sea, but there are also boundary currents and another type of eddy called a cyclonic eddy occurring there. “This is something unique, because until recently, researchers believed we had only quasi-permanent anticyclonic eddies there, but with the gliders, we were able to observe in real-time and capture the variability of the system in time and space. Both types of eddies are very important for the environment because they bring nutrients to the upper layer of the ocean, increasing primary productivity,” he said.
Hoteit’s group in Earth Science and Engineering, where can be assimilated into near real-time ocean modelling and forecasting. To get to this point, it has taken all these ‘pieces’ from all over the University to make this work and sustain operating the gliders and collecting data on a continuous basis.” Jones noted that models produced from glider data are important because they provide short-term forecasts for biological or ecological processes that may contribute to events like algal blooms, coral bleaching and other potentially harmful activities. “The applications of these near-term models are very important to organizations like Saudi Aramco, one of the major supporters of our research,” he said. “The models can be used for managing port operations, for response to and management of oil spills and for the dispersion of microbial contamination from wastewater discharges. “The models are also an important resource for planning installations of power plants, desalination and wastewater facilities, and for the design and placement of marineprotected areas. Moreover, they give us much insight into the fundamental processes driving the physical, chemical and biological processes in the ocean.”
Collaborations in KAUST
More gliders—more information
Both Zarokanellos and Jones noted that the gliders project would not be possible without the assistance of a large team of multitalented individuals from all over the University.
In the future, Jones’ KAUST team hopes to have three to four of the University’s seven gliders in the water at any given time spatially covering almost the whole of the Red Sea while the others are being serviced and prepared for deployment to replace recovered gliders.
“We have the support of the KAUST Coastal and Marine Resources Core Lab (CMOR); we have the IT department helping us with the data streaming and the satellite communication; and we have all our colleagues in IOP who work to pilot the gliders collect and process glider data,” explained Zarokanellos. “The gliders feed their data into a computer infrastructure that we maintain here at the University,” said Jones. “We have our software engineer Sebastian Steinke who makes sure all of the data is processed properly, and then it can be transferred to KAUST Associate Professor Ibrahim
“One of our primary goals is to obtain a year-long time series of observations in three of the four major subdivisions of the Red Sea,” said Jones. “Because access to the Red Sea has historically been very limited, there are still limited long-term observations of the annual cycle of physical, biological and chemical processes. Although the gliders can’t measure all of the variables we’re interested in, their sensors give us data describing key parameters relevant to both the physical and biogeochemical environments of the Red Sea.”
3 In late February 2016, Zarokanellos took the glider data from the Yanbu line to the 2016 Ocean Sciences Meeting in New Orleans, Louisiana (U.S.), one of the world’s most important conferences for discussing and exchanging ideas in marine science. There, he exhibited a poster entitled “Physical and biological response of mesoscale eddies to wintertime forcing in the north central Red Sea (22˚N-25.5˚N).” He hopes to maintain the Yanbu line glider for one year to better understand the seasonal mesoscale eddy variability during the year.
Transforming our knowledge of the Red Sea “I think the greatest asset KAUST brings to our glider research is the people—people drawn from across laboratories, academic divisions and support services,” said Jones. “There are excellent people here at KAUST who have poured themselves and their excitement into this project, and this makes it very easy overall to do our work because people are capable and passionate about what they are doing.”
Scan here to watch a video of Professor Burton Jones discussing the University’s gliders program:
“One of the greatest things about our work is that we’re seeing things happening in the Red Sea that people have not seen before,” he continued. “Processes happening in the regions we’ve been studying are a bit of a surprise to us, and they break some of the dogmas on how the Red Sea works—and that’s part of the excitement. By keeping our gliders out there for a period of time, we can actually see these processes happening and find out how persistent they are and how important they are to the ecosystem. This will transform our understanding of the Red Sea.” “Oceanography is an expensive research field, so the amazing resources and facilities we have here at KAUST are helping to make our plans a reality,” Zarokanellos said. “We are very lucky because we have all the assets and human power here to do great things.”
3. Samer Mahmoud (left), an electronics engineer from the University's Coastal and Marine Resources Core Lab (CMOR), Brian Hession (center), a field specialist from Field & Lab Research Support, and KAUST Ph.D. student Nikolaos Zarokanellos (right) work on analyzing data collected by the KAUST gliders in the Red Sea. Photo courtesy of CMOR. 4. One of the University's gliders in the water in the Red Sea on November 22, 2015. Photo by Brian Hession.
5. KAUST Ph.D. student Nikolaos Zarokanellos (left) and
Burton Jones, KAUST professor of marine science and head of the Saudi Aramco-KAUST Marine Environmental Research Center, work together on studying how eddies drive the biology of the Red Sea. Photo by Steffi (Yue) Guan.
THE BEACON | MAY 2016
الروبوت الغواص التابع لجامعة الملك عبداهلل يحقق 1000غطسة في مياه البحر األحمر يشرح البروفيسور بورتن جونز ،أستاذ علوم البحار في جامعة الملك عبداهلل للعلوم والتقنية ،ورئيس مركز أرامكو-جامعة الملك عبداهلل ألبحاث البيئة البحرية ،وطالب الدكتوراه نيكوالس زاروكانيلوس من جامعة الملك عبداهلل ،أن مراقبة المحيطات ً يعد ً صعبا للغاية .حيث يصعب على الباحثين البقاء على متن السفينة أمرا باستمرار ّ لعدة أشهر في كل مرة يريدون إجراء األبحاث والدراسات .ويقول البروفيسور بورتن ً تقريبا يمكنها البقاء في جونز" :لذلك نستخدم روبوتات غواصة صغيرة بطول مترين المحيطات لفترات طويلة ،وبذلك نكون حاضرين بصورة مستمرة لمتابعة التغيرات في المكان والزمان وهي ميزة هائلة بالنسبة لنا ". واستطاع أحد هذه الروبوتات الغواصة إكمال 1000غطسة في شهر نوفمبر السابق من عام 2015حيث كان فريق مختبر عمليات المحيطات ( )IOPيجري دراساته فيما يسمى "خط ينبع البحري" الممتد من جامعة الملك عبداهلل الى منتصف البحر األحمر ً ً يوما قطع خاللها وصوال الى مدينة ينبع .ومكث هذا الروبوت تحت الماء 145
مسافة 4,500كلم .واستطاع فريق العمل انتشال الروبوت الغواص من البحر األحمر بتاريخ 22نوفمبر 2015وأحضروه الى جامعة الملك عبد اهلل في نفس اليوم. ً فعال رقم ويقول البروفيسور بورتن جونز 1000 " :غطسه لروبوت ينبع الغواص هو قياسي .حيث كانت دراسات الملوحة والحرارة التي تجرى في البحر األحمر حتى عام ،2011تتم عبر السفن .في المقابل ،فإن الروبوت الغواص يحصل على البيانات باستمرار ومن أعماق تصل لحوالي 1000متر تحت الماء". ويصف طالب الدكتوراه نيكوالس أن البيانات التي جمعها الفريق من روبوت خط ينبع البحري ،أظهرت وجود أنواع مختلفة من الدوامات البحرية شبه الدائمة والتيارات المائية في البحر األحمر .ويؤكد الطالب نيكوالس على ذلك بقوله" :لم يكن الباحثون على يقين من وجود هذه الدوامات في البحر األحمر ،ولكننا تأكدنا من ذلك عبر استخدام الروبوتات الغواصة والتي مكنتنا من رصد تقلبات البيئة البحرية في الوقت الحقيقي والتعرف على أنواع مختلفة من الدوامات البحرية والتي تعتبر مهمة ً جدا للبيئة كونها تساهم في رفع إنتاجية البيئة البحرية من خالل جلب المواد المغذية إلى الطبقة العليا من المحيط .ومن الجدير بالذكر أننا قمنا بعمل بعض الدراسات قبالة سواحل مدينة ضباء في الجزء الشمالي من البحر األحمر واستخدمنا
ثان لهذا الغرض .وكانت النتيجة أننا حصلنا على معلومات كثيرة عن روبوت غواص ٍ البحر األحمر في بضعة أشهر تتجاوز ما تم جمعه في 100سنة .وهذا تحول كبيرة في كمية المعلومات لدينا عن البحر األحمر ".
أوجه التعاون في جامعة الملك عبداهلل أكد كل من البروفيسور بورتن جونز والطالب نيكوالس زاروكانيلوس أن مشروع ً ممكنا بدون المساعدة من فريق كبير متعدد المواهب الروبوتات الغواصة لم يكن من جميع أنحاء جامعة الملك عبداهلل .يقول الطالب نيكوالس" :تلقينا دعما كبيراً من مختبر الموارد الساحلية والبحرية ( ،)CMORوقسم تقنية المعلومات في الجامعة ً خصوصا في مجال تدفق البيانات واالتصاالت عبر األقمار الصناعية .باإلضافة الى زمالئنا من فريق مختبر عمليات المحيطات الذين ساعدونا في قيادة الروبوتات الغواصة وجمع البيانات ومعالجتها".
وأضاف البروفيسور بورتن جونز" :تقوم الروبوتات الغواصة بجمع البيانات وإرسالها حاسب آلي لمعالجتها هنا في الجامعة .ويقوم زميلنا مهندس البرمجيات سيباستيان ستينكي بالتأكد من أن عملية معالجة البيانات تتم بشكل صحيح .بعد ذلك يقوم فريق البروفيسور إبراهيم حطيط من قسم هندسة وعلوم األرض بنمذجة بيانات المحيطات في الوقت الحقيقي وقراءة التنبؤات من هذه النماذج" .كما أشار البروفيسور بورتن جونز إلى أن هذه النماذج التي أنتجت من بيانات هذه الروبوتات الغواصة تعطينا فكرة عن التوقعات قصيرة األجل للعمليات البيولوجية أو البيئية التي يمكنها أن تتسبب في بعض من الظواهر الطبيعية الضارة مثل تكاثر الطحالب ،وابيضاض المرجان وغيرها.
تطوير مفهومنا عن البحر األحمر يقول البروفيسور بورتن جونز" :أعتقد أن أعظم دعم تقدمه جامعة الملك عبداهلل ألبحاثنا في مجال الروبوتات الغواصة هو العقول الموهوبة من جميع المختبرات واألقسام األكاديمية في الجامعة .لدينا أفراد متميزون هنا في جامعة الملك عبداهلل شاركونا بحماس وشغف في هذا المشروع ،األمر الذي سهل علينا القيام بعملنا بدرجة كبيرة .وما يميز عملنا في هذا المشروع هو إتاحته الفرصة لنا لمراقبة ظواهر لم تشاهد من قبل في مياه البحر األحمر أو اكتشاف ظواهر أخرى مفاجأة تدحض بعض المعتقدات عن البحر األحمر .وعبر استخدامنا للروبوتات الغواصة سنتمكن مراقبة هذه الظواهر والمتغيرات في البحر عن كثب والتعرف على تأثيراتها على النظام البيئي .وهذا بال شك سيطور مفهومنا عن البحر األحمر". ويقول طالب الدكتوراه نيكوالس زاروكانيلوس" :علم المحيطات هو من الحقول البحثية التي تحتاج الى موارد مكلفة .ولكن مرافق جامعة الملك عبداهلل المتطورة ساعدتنا على تحقيق مشروعنا بكفاءة .فلدينا جميع الموارد والقوة البشرية هنا لتحقيق أشياء عظيمة".
Celebrating World Intellectual Property Day
By Joshua Smith and Caitlin Clark Every year on April 26, the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) leads the world in the celebration of World Intellectual Property (IP) Day to create discussion around the role of intellectual property and how it encourages creativity and innovation. This year, KAUST hosted a World IP Day celebration on April 26 and 27 as part of its Enrichment in the Spring program and in collaboration with the King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology (KACST) and the Saudi Patent Office (SPO). Enrichment in the Spring was held on campus from April 22 to 30. Mark Crowell, KAUST vice president of Innovation and Economic Development, sat down with The Beacon to discuss the University’s innovation ecosystem after the World IP Day events.
The Beacon: How is KAUST redefining technology transfer for the region?
Mark Crowell: KAUST is rethinking technology transfer by committing to an innovation agenda that seeks to create and leverage authentic partnerships, resources and strategies into products and services that benefit society, especially in four areas of global significance: food, water, energy and the environment. This approach puts a strong emphasis on experimenting, collaborating and strengthening human relationships. It focuses on positive risk taking and developing entrepreneurship. It accepts quick failures and realizes how important they can be to develop future successes. It involves a relentless approach to creating value and identifying markets and applications around early stage innovation assets. It is an approach that encourages people to think outside the box and understands that some of the best innovations of all time have been developed through tinkering, exploring and connecting.
The Beacon: What are the unique features of KAUST that are allowing this process to take place?
Mark Crowell: KAUST features outstanding academics,
researchers and students, excellent facilities, strong partnerships with leading industry partners and strategically connected innovation and economic development programs. The University represents a complete ecosystem that is making KAUST a global destination. Dedication to this complete innovation ecosystem, which must be sustained and grown in order to support widespread economic development, is paying off for KAUST.
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The Beacon: Describe this payoff for the University. Mark Crowell: KAUST’s innovation ecosystem has broken new ground in a relatively short period of time. As of February 2016, the KAUST innovation ecosystem has produced 523 disclosures, 341 patent applications, 33 patents, 13 license agreements, 282 industry job placements, 194 industry internships, 36 seed investments, 22 incorporated setups, 38 industry members and $107 million in industry-funded projects. KAUST Innovation has seen a doubling of its invention disclosure rate in the last fiscal year, which is significantly higher than Association of University Technology Managers (AUTM) benchmarking. Academically, KAUST citations in materials science and energy publications match top U.S. and European academic institutions. The University is also committed to developing startups with seed funding. This has now evolved into the KAUST Innovation Fund and Beacon Fund, which aims to grow an innovation and technology community and to attract international investors and venture capitalists to the emerging Saudi technology ecosystem.
The Beacon: What are some words of wisdom you offer to potential entrepreneurs at KAUST?
Mark Crowell: As you walk into the University’s Innovation Cluster, there is a plaque that gives me inspiration every time I see it. It reads “Patience, Persistence, and Perseverance.” The quote is advice to KAUST pioneers back in 2010 from His Excellency Ali I. Naimi, chairman of KAUST’s Board of Trustees. It defines innovation and inspires us to be patient and do better. These words of wisdom recognize that developing innovation, creating a culture of collaboration and making a positive difference in the world are changes that do not happen overnight. These activities require hard work, community building and long-term efforts. There will be missteps along the way, but it is about recovering quickly, learning from these mistakes and moving onward and upward— it is about strengthening teamwork and having creative people working in unison and learning from one another. If these characteristics are adopted by whole communities and ecosystems, anything is possible.
1. Mark Crowell, KAUST vice president of Innovation and Economic Development, speaks at a recent career fair held on the KAUST campus. Photo by Helmy Al Sagaff. 2. The University has seen many innovative developments on campus since 2009. Image courtesy of I&ED.
جامعة الملك عبداهلل تحتفل باليوم العالمي للملكية الفكرية تحتفل المنظمة العالمية للملكية الفكرية ( )WIPOكل عام في السادس والعشرين من أبريل باليوم العالمي للملكية الفكرية ( ،)IPمن أجل إبراز الدور المهم للملكية الفكرية في تشجيع ودعم اإلبداع واالبتكار .وفي هذه السنة شاركت جامعة الملك عبداهلل للعلوم والتقنية في االحتفال باليوم العالمي للملكية الفكرية مع كل من مدينة الملك عبدالعزيز للعلوم والتقنية ( )KACSTومكتب البراءات السعودي ()SPO وذلك كجزء من فعاليات برنامجها لإلثراء في الربيع والذي أقيم في الفترة من -22 30أبريل .2016 التقينا مع مارك كرويل ،نائب الرئيس لالبتكار والتنمية االقتصادية في جامعة الملك ً تزامنا مع اليوم العالمي للملكية عبداهلل للتحدث حول بيئة االبتكار في الجامعة الفكرية.
كيف ترى دور إسهامات جامعة الملك عبداهلل في إعادة تعريف نقل التقنية في المنطقة؟ مارك :تسهم جامعة الملك عبداهلل بصورة كبيرة في دعم االبتكار الذي يسعى إلى بناء وتعزيز الشراكات الفاعلة والموارد واالستراتيجيات لتطوير منتجات وخدمات تعود ً وخصوصا في أربعة مجاالت رئيسية ذات أهمية عالمية وهي بالفائدة على المجتمع، :الغذاء والماء والطاقة والبيئة .ويركز هذا التوجه بصورة كاملة على إجراء التجارب ً فضال عن القدرة والتفاعل واألبحاث وبناء الشراكات وتعزيز العالقات اإلنسانية، وتقبل اإلخفاقات السريعة مع إدراك في مواجهة المخاطر وتطوير ريادة األعمالّ ، أهميتها لتطوير النجاحات في المستقبل .إنه منهج يعتمد في مضمونه على صنع قيمة لالبتكار وتحديد األسواق والتطبيقات المستهدفة في وقت مبكر ،وتشجيع ً بعضا من أفضل االبتكارات الكبيرة تم األفراد على التفكير خارج المألوف ،وتوضيح أن تطويرها من خالل البحث والتواصل المستمر على جميع االتجاهات.
ما هي الميزات الفريدة لجامعة الملك عبداهلل التي تمكنها من تحقيق هذا التوجه؟ مارك :تتميز جامعة الملك عبداهلل باألكاديميين والباحثين والطلبة المتميزين مع مرافق متطورة وحديثة .أضف إلى ذلك شراكاتها القوية مع رواد الصناعة واالبتكار في العالم وبرامجها االستراتيجية لالبتكار والتنمية االقتصادية .وهذا يجعلها بيئة ابتكار متكاملة ووجهة عالمية للباحثين والعلماء ورواد األعمال .إن تفاني جامعة الملك عبداهلل في دعم بيئة ابتكار كاملة بدأ يؤتي ثماره ويجب أن يستمر وينمو من أجل دعم التنمية االقتصادية على نطاق أوسع.
هل لك أن تصف لنا بعض نتائج دعم الجامعة لبيئة االبتكار؟ مارك :حقق النظام البيئي لالبتكار في جامعة الملك عبداهلل نتائج قياسية في فترة ً ً اعتبارا من شهر فبراير عام ،2016ستكون الجامعة نسبيا .فعلى سبيل المثال، قصيرة ً قد أفصحت عن 523براءة اختراع ،وقدمت 341طلبا لبراءات االختراع و 33براءة اختراع .هذا باإلضافة الى توقيع 13اتفاقية ترخيص ،وطرح 282وظيفة صناعية، ً استثمارا لصندوق التمويل التأسيسي ،وعقد شراكات مع و 194تدريب صناعي ،و36 ً عضوا في الصناعة وتمويل مشاريع الصناعة بقيمة 107مليون دوالر. 38 كما ارتفع معدل الكشف عن االختراعات في جامعة الملك عبداهلل في السنة المالية الماضية للضعف ،وهي نسبة أعلى بكثير من قياس رابطة مديري التقنية في الجامعات ( ،)AUTMوأصبحت االستشهادات في منشورات جامعة الملك عبداهلل في مجاالت علوم المواد والطاقة تضاهي المؤسسات األكاديمية الرائدة في الواليات المتحدة وأوروبا. ً أيضا بتطوير الشركات الناشئة من خالل صندوقها جامعة الملك عبداهلل ملتزمة للتمويل التأسيسي ،والذي تطور اآلن إلى صندوق االبتكار وصندوق المنارة في جامعة الملك عبداهلل ،بهدف تنمية مجتمع االبتكار والتقنية وجذب المستثمرين الدوليين وأصحاب رؤوس األموال إلى بيئة التقنية السعودية الناشئة.
هل لديك نصائح توجهها إلى رواد المشاريع المحتملين في جامعة الملك عبداهلل؟ مارك :توجد لوحة في مجمع االبتكار في الجامعة تحمل عبارة رائعة لمعالي األستاذ علي النعيمي ،رئيس مجلس أمناء جامعة الملك عبداهلل ووزير المملكة للبترول والثروة المعدنية في عام 2010وهي" :الصبر والعزيمة والمثابرة ".وكلما قرأتها ً ً خصوصا أنها تجسد معنى االبتكار وتذكرنا بضرورة التحلي بالصبر وبذل إلهاما زادتني األفضل .وتوضح هذه الكلمات الحكيمة أن تطوير االبتكار وبناء ثقافة التعاون وصنع التغيير اإليجابي في العالم ال يحدث بين عشية وضحاها .بل تتطلب العمل الجاد والدؤوب وبناء المجتمع وبذل الجهود على المدى البعيد .ال شك أنه طريق محفوف باإلخفاقات والعثرات ،إال أن الهدف هنا هو معاودة النهوض بسرعة والمحاولة مرة ً أيضا أخرى ،والتعلم من هذه اإلخفاقات ،ثم المضي بعزم نحو التحسن .وهذا يقتضي تقوية العمل الجماعي وجلب المبدعين وأصحاب العقول للعمل ً معا في انسجام والتعلم من بعضهم البعض .فال شيء مستحيل. بقلم كيتلن كالرك و جاشوا سميث ،فريق أخبار الجامعة
KAUST scientists to attend 2016 Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting By Caitlin Clark KAUST Ph.D. students Xiujuan Zhang and Aftab Hussain from the Computer, Electrical and Mathematical Science and Engineering (CEMSE) Division and research scientist Dr. Alberto Casu from the Biological and Environmental Science and Engineering (BESE) Division have been chosen to attend the 66th Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting held from June 26 to July 1 in the German town of Lindau. The Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings have taken place annually since 1951 and bring outstanding scientists of the times together to meet young international scientists. This year, 402 young scientists under 35 years of age from 80 countries who are researching in the field of physics will attend the meeting. Thirty Nobel laureates are scheduled to take part in the meeting to exchange information, network with and inspire the young scientists. The program features lectures, panel discussions, scientific master classes and poster presentation sessions. “The attendance at the Lindau Meetings has steadily become more international as part of the continuous expansion of the
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network of academic partner institutions,” said Burkhard Fricke, professor emeritus for theoretical physics at the University of Kassel (Germany) and coordinator of the 2016 selection process. “This year’s participants represent countries including…the U.S., the U.K., Japan and Germany, as well as developing countries like Bangladesh and Cameroon. 144 academies of science, universities, foundations and researching enterprises were involved in the [candidate] selection process.” Nobel laureates attending the meeting include Japan’s Takaaki Kajita and Arthur B. McDonald from the U.S., who were jointly awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics in 2015 for the discovery of neutrino oscillations. Particle physics will be an important focus area of this year’s meeting. The theme of the meetings is “Educate. Inspire. Connect.” It sums up the commitment of the organizers and attendees—young scientists and Nobel laureates alike—to discuss fascinating areas of science and research, provide scientific food for thought and stimulate debate.
اختيار علماء من جامعة الملك عبداهلل لحضور مؤتمر لينداو للحائزين على جائزة نوبل 2016 تم اختيار طالبة الدكتوراه زياوجوان زانغ والطالبة أفتاب حسين من قسم العلوم والهندسة الحاسوبية والكهربائية والحسابية ( ،)CEMSEوعالم األبحاث الدكتور البرتو كاسو من قسم العلوم والهندسة البيولوجية والبيئية ( )BESEلحضور مؤتمر لينداو السادس والستين للحائزين على جائزة نوبل في الفترة من 26يونيو الى 1يوليو 2016 في مدينة لينداو بألمانيا. ومؤتمر لينداو للحائزين على جائزة نوبل هو مؤتمر سنوي يعقد منذ عام 1951ويشارك به أفضل العلماء المؤثرين في العالم إضافة الى العلماء الشباب من كل الدول. ً ً شابا في مجال الفيزياء تحت عمر 35سنة من 80 عالما وسيشارك في هذا العام 402 دولة. ً عالما من رواد العلماء الحاصلين على جائزة ومن المقرر أن يشارك في المؤتمر ثالثون نوبل لتبادل المعلومات ،والتواصل مع العلماء الشباب وتشجيعهم .وسيضم برنامج ً ومعرضا لملصقات األبحاث. المؤتمر المحاضرات وحلقات النقاش وسيتم التركيز في هذا المؤتمر بصورة رئيسية على فيزياء الجسيمات وستشمل قائمة العلماء المشاركين من الحاصلين على جائزة نوبل للسالم كل من تاكاكي كاجيتا من اليابان وآرثر ماكدونالد من الواليات المتحدة الذين حصال ً معا على جائزة نوبل في الفيزياء في عام 2015بسبب اكتشافهما تذبذب النيوترينو (جسيم أولي بكتلة أصغر كثيرا من كتلة اإللكترون ،وليست له شحنة كهربائية). وسيكون عنوان المؤتمر لهذا العام "التعليم – اإللهام -التواصل" ويلخص ذلك التزام المنظمين والحضور -سواء العلماء الشباب أو الحائزين على جائزة نوبل -لمناقشة مجاالت رائعة في العلوم واألبحاث ،وإثراء الفكر العلمي وطرح النقاشات البناءة.
1. KAUST Research Scientist Dr. Alberto Casu from the Biological and Environmental Science and Engineering (BESE) Division was chosen to attend the 2016 Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting. Photo by Nicholas Demille. 2.
KAUST Ph.D. student Xiujuan Zhang from the Computer, )Electrical and Mathematical Science and Engineering (CEMSE Division has been invited along with two other members of the KAUST scientific community to attend this year's Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting. Photo by Nicholas Demille.
3. KAUST Ph.D. student Aftab Hussain from the Computer,
)Electrical and Mathematical Science and Engineering (CEMSE Division will join attendees at this year's Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting in Lindau, Germany. Photo by Nicholas Demille.
An artist's mathematical thumbprint A novel method can break down sketches into individual strokes and mathematically calculate the frequency of each kind of stroke to identify the sketch’s author. Called stroke authorship recognition (SAR), the technique could prove useful in detecting fraudulent artwork and in assessing the progress of artists-in-training. KAUST researchers used a widely available graphics design software tool to decompose sketches into strokes to form a "dictionary" of basic strokes. Their method takes a sketch, decomposes it to strokes and then identifies the frequency with which various strokes from the dictionary are used. The various frequencies are depicted in a histogram. Because artists use different types of strokes with different frequencies, each histogram is unique to a specific artist. The team commissioned sketches by 10 professional artists specifically for the study. They also asked nine of the artists to imitate the sketches of the tenth to simulate sketch fraud. In an online survey, 2,000 participants were shown some of the sketches and told to whom each belonged. Then they were shown an additional sketch and asked to identify which artist drew it. Answers chosen completely at random give an average accuracy of 10 percent. The survey respondents were able to recognize the correct sketch author with an average accuracy of 29 percent. SAR was able to identify the correct artist with an accuracy of 56 percent. SAR also did much better than 25 experienced artists in recognizing fraudulent from original sketches.
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“The results show that SAR can significantly outperform humans in discriminating sketch style and detecting fraudulent sketches,” said Bernard Ghanem from the University's Visual Computing Center. In addition to detecting art fraud, the method could also be usedto assess the progress of artists-in-training. Artists working in large corporations like the Walt Disney Company are often trained to emulate a specific drawing style. SAR could help trainers assess how well trainees are progressing in emulating the desired drawing style. The team has made SAR’s code openly available to encourage further research they say is needed to improve the method’s accuracy. The team next aims to analyze how artists generate strokes by tracking their hand movements while sketching. “We believe this will provide us with more information about an artist’s sketching style,” Ghanem said.
1. Bernard Ghanem, KAUST assistant professor of electrical engineering, worked with a team from the University to develop a unique stroke authorship recognition (SAR) tool. File photo.
KAUST-NSF Conference highlights University’s research and collaborations
By Caitlin Clark KAUST and the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) jointly organized the third KAUST-NSF Research Conference on Electronic Materials, Devices and Systems for a Sustainable Future held on the University’s campus on March 14 to 16. The event was sponsored by the KAUST Office of Sponsored Research (OSR), the NSF, the KAUST Industry Collaboration Program (KICP) and the University’s Computer, Electrical and Mathematical Science and Engineering (CEMSE) Division. The conference assembled global leading subject matter experts to share their views and research and build a collaborative network with KAUST faculty, the University’s research community and industry partners. Featuring three days of interactive talks, presentations, networking sessions and a poster presentation session, this year’s event also included a Women in Science and Engineering (WISE) session to promote the greater participation of women in the electronics field and a Nex-gen in Science and Engineering (NISE) session with selected conference speakers and students from The KAUST School (TKS).
Diverse speakers enlighten audience Twenty-one key speakers, including three KAUST alumni succeeding in careers in academia and industry; researchers from top-tier international and Saudi universities, including Northwestern University, Stanford University, UCLA, MIT, King Abdulaziz University (KAU) and King Saud University (KSU); speakers from industry, including from the Boeing Company, the Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (SABIC) and IBM; and young “Bright Minds” scholars from world-leading universities gave presentations at the conference. “We assembled the world’s leading researchers and creative young scholars from academia and industry to exchange ideas and foster a collaborative framework for fundamental and applied research in this area,” said Muhammad Mustafa Hussain, KAUST associate professor of electrical engineering and conference organizer. “As this is the third conference co-organized with NSF, we have now established a proven track record with them—this is what NSF sees, and this partnership will continue. “This year we had 217 in-person participants and 43 people participating via the internet. The great turnout makes this year’s conference one of the best, and I felt it was full of enthusiasm,” he continued. “Every year we try to come out with new ideas for the event— we take pride in being tech-savvy at KAUST, so we initiated a lot of web-based participation. We were also excited to have our TKS students work with four of our ‘Bright Minds’ scholars.
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This was a fantastic session and was an amazing opportunity for the students to get to know more about the field of electronics first-hand. "Comments like ‘these talks gave me inspiration and motivation to do well in school’ and ‘each of the talks shared something valuable for young generations to learn more about sustainability associated with advanced technology—the speakers were such huge inspirations’ were really standouts from the TKS students who attended the event.”
Bringing tomorrow to today Hussain also spoke on his own research from the KAUST Integrated Nanotechnology Lab, where he and his team work on making physical electronics interactive, or “live” and free-form: flexible, stretchable and reconfigurable in their physical form. “I believe information for anyone, anywhere at any time is the key for the future,” Hussain said. “We need live, low-cost and democratized electronics—these requirements will shape our engineering-focused research.” Hussain advised electronics students to “go and do things with [their] ideas. If you have an idea, bring it on!” he said. “This is the future of democratized electronics—what we are researching now will bring tomorrow to today.”
Learning from failures— creating breakthroughs U.S. National Academy of Engineering (NAE) member and Stanford University Professor Thomas Kailath discussed major electronics breakthroughs with the KAUST audience, noting that these breakthroughs were made by “geniuses who are revolutionary in electrical engineering. Most of the rest of us must be content with much less, but breakthroughs happen as time goes on.” He advised students not to get discouraged in their research and to “keep plugging away—remember you learn as you go,” he said. “There is power in groups—groups help you learn, and you learn more from each other than you learn from your professors. Go to seminars and conferences—you will learn more. Be alert to opportunities and seize them. Don’t give up too soon and learn from your failures.”
Increasing collaborations in the field Conference speaker Professor Khalid Alsaif from KSU and the Saudi Taqnia Robotics Company noted he was pleased to see the excellent research going on at KAUST.
1. The KAUST-NSF Research Conference on Electronic Materials, Devices and Systems for a Sustainable Future featured a number of world-class speakers for its three days of talks and presentations on the KAUST campus from March 14 to 16. 2. Jhonathan Prieto Rojas, a KAUST master's degree and Ph.D. graduate in electrical engineering, was an alumni speaker at the KAUST-NSF Research Conference. Photo courtesy of Jhonathan Prieto Rojas.
3. Hina Tabassum, a KAUST Ph.D. graduate in electrical
engineering, was an alumni speaker at the KAUST-NSF Research Conference. Photo courtesy of Hina Tabassum.
“We want to strengthen our relationship and create collaborations with KAUST, and we want to hire good students in this field,” he said. “We expect to see KAUST improve the knowledge-based economy of Saudi Arabia.” “Partnerships and new collaborations have organically grown out of this conference in the past, and I can see that happening even more from the third event,” said Hussain. “Collaborations arising from the event are very important for us.”
Poster presentation winners Winners of the conference’s poster presentation session were: Materials session: Arwa T. Kutbee (Physical Science and Engineering Division) Electronics session: Chao Shen and Galo Torres Sevilla (tied winners; Computer, Electrical and Mathematical Science and Engineering Division) Systems session: Ahmad Alammouri (Computer, Electrical and Mathematical Science and Engineering Division)
Alumni speaker spotlight: Jhonathan Prieto Rojas Jhonathan Prieto Rojas completed both his master’s and Ph.D. degrees in electrical engineering at KAUST and currently works as an assistant professor in the Electrical Engineering Department at King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals (KFUPM) in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia. “I participated in all of the previous KAUST-NSF conferences as a student, and it was very fulfilling to be invited to the third conference as a faculty and alumni speaker by Muhammad Mustafa Hussain, my Ph.D. supervisor and mentor,” he said. Prieto Rojas joined KFUPM with the goal of continuing his research into the subjects he focused on during his master’s and Ph.D. studies at KAUST.
Prieto Rojas noted “the conference showcased a large range of well-established researchers along with talented professionals from different locations and fields. Such diversity always makes the conference very interesting and enriching. For all of us, novel and out-of-the-box designs and ideas have the potential to transform current technologies into new and exciting ones for a smarter and more sustainable future.”
Alumni speaker spotlight: Hina Tabassum Hina Tabassum completed her Ph.D. in electrical engineering at KAUST and was supervised by Mohamed-Slim Alouini, professor of electrical engineering. She currently works as a postdoctoral research fellow at the University of Manitoba in Canada. “I was invited to participate in the KAUST-NSF conference, and there I had the opportunity to meet a diverse group of researchers and become familiar with their recent research findings; visit my previous research group and supervisor; explore the potential of international collaboration; and promote women in science and engineering through the conference’s WISE session,” she said. Tabassum outlined fundamental visions for and anticipated requirements of 5G cellular networks in her presentation at the conference; discussed key enabling techniques for 5G networks from the perspective of their benefits and limitations; and presented findings from her current research. “My research experience from KAUST provided me with an indepth understanding of the area of wireless communications, and I am now moving ahead in the same research area with plenty of opportunities for new directions,” she said. “The conference gave me ideas related to various themes in electrical and electronic engineering, and I especially feel the promotion of women in science and engineering at the conference was a crucial step that should be continued in the future.”
“At the conference, I presented some of the work I started during my Ph.D. and that I am currently working on at KFUPM,” he said. “My presentation entitled ‘Stretching the Boundaries of Inorganic Materials’ covered some of the strategies we have used to develop an ultra-stretchable silicon-based platform to implement high-performing electronics. The novelty and great merit of this work consists of the fact that silicon is an intrinsically rigid and fragile material, but we have managed to transform it into a stretchable platform through innovative structural modifications.”
At the forefront of programming models
By David Murphy The University’s Supercomputing Laboratory (KSL), in collaboration with NVIDIA, hosted the third KAUSTNVIDIA workshop entitled “Accelerating Scientific Applications Using GPUs” on February 23. The workshop was held in conjunction with the second KAUST "hackathon" on February 24 and 25 and provided an overview of graphics processing unit (GPU) architecture and high-level programming models while focusing on scientific applications ported to GPUs. KAUST was granted the status of NVIDIA Research Center a few years ago and has since had a strong collaboration with NVIDIA, especially through the University’s Extreme Computing Research Center (ECRC). This year’s event gathered participants from KAUST and throughout the Kingdom, including industry participants from Saudi Aramco, the Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (SABIC) and Naizak, as well as academics from King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology (KACST), King Abdulaziz University, Umm Al-Qura University, King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals (KFUPM), the Saudi Electronic University and Effat University.
The power of computer architecture Professor David Keyes, director of the ECRC, opened this year’s event, which included keynote lectures,
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research highlights and findings, technical sessions and demonstrations and an overview of NVIDIA and its collaborators' efforts in porting scientific and engineering applications to GPUs. In his talk “Preparing for the Grand Convergence,” Keyes quoted Winston Churchill on architecture: “We shape our buildings and afterwards our buildings shape us,” and noted that one generation of programmers needs to adapt their algorithms and software to many generations of computer architecture. Ten participants making up five teams attended the hackathon and brought their scientific applications to port to a GPU accelerator. Two teams of two participants on two different codes from the University’s Clean Combustion Research Center (CCRC) won the event, and at the end of the hackathon, every team was running on GPUs. Some of the teams reported significant performance acceleration on the GPUs. Workshop co-chair Dr. Saber Feki, a computational scientist in the KSL, described the event as “essentially a bring-your-code kind of event, where different teams brought their codes originally running on traditional CPUs to port and accelerate on GPUs with the help of expert mentors from KSL, ECRC and NVIDIA.”
'A success in many different ways' The main takeaway from this year’s event was the continued role KAUST plays at the forefront of the creation and development of programming models for GPUs as an active member of OpenACC. This creativity and enterprise was evident at the hackathon, which resulted in an impressive amount of KAUST-driven real applications and acceleration opportunities on GPUs. This was made possible with the support of KSL, ECRC and NVIDIA experts. Feki described this year’s event as “a success in many different ways—attendance was high at around 87 registered participants and featured quite a diverse selection of participants from the different KAUST divisions. We are getting more and more interest from KAUST researchers and from the Kingdom in general both from academia and industry. The workshop and hackathon will become more important as we prepare the next generations of power-efficient supercomputers at KAUST that may include GPUs in the future.”
1. Participants from the University's second hackathon and third NVIDIA workshop brought their scientific applications to port to a GPU accelerator. Photo courtesy of Saber Feki. 2. Attendees at the University's second hackathon and third NVIDIA workshop listen to lectures from a variety of international experts. Photo courtesy of Saber Feki. 3. Participants at the University's second hackathon
work in teams to bring their scientific applications to port to a GPU accelerator. Photo courtesy of Saber Feki.
My University Ola Kabli Ola Kabli is originally from Madinah, but always wanted to be a part of KAUST since she first heard of the University. “I remember when KAUST started, my father encouraged me to apply for a job here—my family and I felt it would be a good opportunity for me to grow and develop,” Kabli said. “When I received my job offer, I wondered how life would be away from a big city, but once I got here, I was impressed with the facilities, buildings, safety, the schools and the organization of the community.” Kabli works as an electronic resources acquisition coordinator in the University Library, and prior to that worked as an educational consultant at Oxford University Press and as an English teacher. “KAUST is growing so fast, and to be an integrated part of the University, everyone has to be on top of everything in their fields,” she said. “That ‘challenge’ factor is very important for me to help me learn more, achieve my goals and gain more experience. Being at a unique institution like KAUST and being surrounded by science and technology students, researchers and professional staff helps keep me engaged and increases productivity.” Kabli doesn’t just enjoy her work at the University, however. “Here, people from different countries and with different backgrounds are blended together, creating an amazing harmony and a beautiful rhythm. One of my favorite things to do here is to watch the sun set by the sea—at KAUST, it’s very easy to enjoy such a lovely moment in life,” she said.
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Unbeaten KAUST rugby team plays host for April tournament By Simon Bissell Friday, April 22 saw the KAUST Red Sea Rugby Club self-directed group (SDG) host teams from Jeddah, Yanbu and Madinah. Despite the incredibly hot weather, the afternoon was a huge success, with KAUST overcoming all opposition and winning the tournament. The KAUST team had victories against Jeddah (17-0), the Yanbu Sharks (36-0) and the Madinah Warriors (44-7). The team has not lost all season and enjoyed victories over all Saudi teams and also against Bahrain this year. This led to the team being invited to play in the Dubai Sevens in December, which is the biggest rugby tournament in the Gulf region and part of the World Rugby Sevens Series tour event. As well as the adult team enjoying success, the event also saw over 100 children participate in rugby games. The club provided coaching to children from the ages of 4 to 16 over the past year, and children's coaching continues to grow and enjoy success. Children who previously had no experience playing rugby are now learning and developing in a fun and safe environment thanks to the dedication of the coaches from the Red Sea Rugby Club. "It was great to see so many KAUST children enjoying their rugby games, and the event showed just how much rugby has grown in our community since the club's inception two years ago," said Simon Bissell, president of the club and a grade 1 team leader at The KAUST School (TKS). The Red Sea Rugby Club thanks its sponsors Coastline and all the volunteers who helped to make the April 22 event a success.
This month’s submission comes from Niall O’Byrnes, who works in Research Computing as a high performance computing application specialist. O’Byrnes read The Beacon while ice diving in the White Sea just south of Murmansk in northwestern Russia. “I have an innate and personal drive to explore and a deep fascination for experiencing fluid dynamics in extreme places,” O’Byrnes said. “Whether researching massive turbulent sail aerodynamics on computers or diving or sailing in the Arctic, I think all learning comes from an extreme challenge, and I purposely seek out these difficult challenges.” The KAUST diving scene reignited O’Byrnes’ interest in diving, and the training available prepared him for his goal of taking his diving to the coldest liquid water at -2 degrees Celsius and studying the fluid interaction of the ice and the water. “I’ve always been drawn to the Arctic, and when the opportunity presented itself to dive there, I accepted. This was my fourth trip to the Arctic—I’ve previously climbed Denali in Alaska, visited the Aurora Research Center in Svalbard, Norway and sailed to Nordkapp, the most northerly point on mainland Europe,” he said. “Diving in the waters of the White Sea through vivid green layers of hydrogen sulfide with ice overhead felt like nothing less than science fiction.”
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2 1. The KAUST Red Sea Rugby Club self-directed group on the University's pitch at a rugby tournament event on April 22. Photo courtesy of Simon Bissell. 2. Team members from the Red Sea Rugby Club at the event. Photo courtesy of Simon Bissell.