SC07: Coolest demo I saw today

Go to the PSC (Pittsburgh Supercomputer Center) booth. Look at the Wii-steered molecular dynamics. Do some bowling with bucky balls using the Wii.

In 1990, I wanted a VR system, and a data glove to position my atoms for my MD simulations. Vi is not a great user interface to configuration.

In 2007 the folks at PSC did a bang up job (great job) showing what could be done. This isn’t just a cute demo, it has real potential, for people studying specific reaction pathways, or needing to explore CVD, or protein misfolding (their alanine example shows guided folding), or …

Provide enough computing power, and you create an enabling technology. Provide good tools to leverage the power, and you can enable people to do wonderful things. Like this.

It is IMO the best demo of the conference. I should note that this is just the first day, but it impressed me this much. Good job PSC, good job!

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9 thoughts on “SC07: Coolest demo I saw today

  1. Isn’t a “haptic device” at GRAPE booth more imprevvice? You can just feel how hard is it to move Na+ through the protein 🙂

  2. @Alexander:

    I didn’t see the GRAPE booth. Will look today.

    The problem I see with this is the multiple order of magnitude dynamic range nature of the forces involved … that you might experience forces of several orders of magnitude difference, and how do you represent this on a haptic device ? Do you map it to be a logarithmic function?

    Regardless, I will look today, thanks for the pointer!

    If there are other cool things to be seen, and I didn’t talk about them, please, by all means, post it, and I will check the comments here and see if I can get there.

    Joe

  3. @Joe

    Have you seen “National Center for Data Mining” demo about sharing large datasets across global networks?
    SDSC EVL impressed me with “visualization table” – but i’m not vizualization person, it’s easy to impress me. Not about molecules, but you can easily imagine that also.

    I should visit PSC, of course…

    Regards, Alexander.

  4. Hey, I’m one of the guys who coded the demo. I interfaced the wii-mote to the software. I’m glad you liked our demo.

  5. @Jordan:

    Very good work! I left yesterday, and did not see anything better at the show.

    Is the Wiimote->VMD connection either OSS or licensable? I would love to get this to show to people on our workstations/clusters.

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