Computing Services

The department behind IT services at the University of Bath

Hartree Centre Summer Schools 2015 - 15 June-10 July

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📥  High Performance Computing (HPC)

Visualization * Big Data * HPC

The 2015 Hartree Centre Summer Schools will consist of three separate weeks of study - each week focussing on a specific topic. You may attend all three weeks, or pick the week most relevant to your area of study. Each week is limited to 45 registrations.

  • Week 1: 15-19June "Visualization"
    Leaders: Hank Childs (LBL, Oregon) Hamish Carr (Leeds) - Learn the skills necessary to develop applications that enable you to assimilate complex information quickly and easily and discover the latest visualization tools.
  • Week 2: 29 June - 3 July "Big Data"
    Leaders: Nicole Barry (IBM) Chris Williams (IBM) - Learn about the opportunities and challenges that Big Data & Analytics presents including the chance to get hands on.
  • Week 3: 6-10 July "High Performance Computing"
    Leaders: Jack Dongarra (Tennessee) Kirk E. Jordan (IBM) - Learn the skills necessary to develop applications that run on the top 20 machines of theTop500 list, now and in the future.

Target Audience and Pre-Requisites
The Summer Schools are aimed at researchers in academia and industry encountering complex application problems that require significant HPC / Visualization / Big Data resources. Typically the attendee will be nearing completion, or will have already obtained, a PhD (or equivalent) in a scientific or engineering discipline that uses computation as a tool and will have some experience of programming in high level programming language (e.g., Fortran, C, C++). There will be some experience of parallel programming (e.g., MPI, OpenMP, or CUDA) or Visualization or Big Data, an understanding of mathematical and computational methods for the solution of partial differential equations plus an understanding of an application area.

For more information – and to register – please visit


Supercomputing in Engineering a specialist exhibition – 15th/16th April 2015

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📥  High Performance Computing (HPC)

Supercomputing in Engineering 2015 a specialist exhibition held within the Engineering Simulation Show brings together the foremost products and services within the supercomputing field covering HPC, Storage, Cloud and Networking. The exhibition aims to highlight the importance of processing technology specifically within the engineering sector to drive and facilitate the use of engineering simulation software. The show is to be held at the iconic Derby Roundhouse at the centre of the UK’s engineering heritage. Building upon Derby’s reputation as the capital of engineering within the UK, this show delivers an innovative and vibrant experience aimed at attracting the professional technical community across the full range of industrial sectors. Driven by a high-profile, proactive marketing campaign, the event will attract a significant number of visitors, and the highest calibre attendees in the industry. Following the success of last year’s event, the 2015 show will be extended to a two day exhibition and conference with an evening awards ceremony and dinner. Entry to the exhibition as a visitor is free.

For more details visit:


Praise for the SAMIS team

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📥  Computing Services, SAMIS

Changes to the student ID web form have only come into effect in the past couple of weeks but already the SAMIS team have received the positive feedback that it’s making user’s working lives easier. The feedback came from Dr Merilee Hurn, a senior lecturer in Department of Mathematical Sciences. Merilee said:

I wanted to say thank you to whoever has done something to View My Students to make it so much faster (what used to take about 7 minutes - I have over 1000 tutees now takes a minute!)

It is very encouraging to the SAMIS team to know that their updates and changes are having a positive impact directly on the user. We are very pleased to receive this feedback and hope that any future upgrades will also have a positive impact.

Getting connected with corporate Wi-Fi

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📥  Datacentre and Operations

Operations have installed nearly £400,000 of new networking equipment and around 300 new high speed 4x4 MIMO 802.11ac Cisco access points.

The project involved conducting wireless surveys, planning recommendations and optimisations, after which, the new access points could be installed at over 50 corporate locations.

This large scale wireless upgrade identified the need to provide Wi-Fi access across the campus and was both planned and completed within 6 months. It has since received a lot of positive feedback.


"Save the Date" for HPC Symposium 2015 on Thursday 4th June

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📥  High Performance Computing (HPC), Research

Here is a date for your diaries, the University's 4th HPC Symposium will be held on Thursday 4th June 2015.

The main aim of the symposium is to provide a forum for current (and prospective) users of the University's HPC service, aka Aquila and soon to be Balena, and it will be an excellent opportunity to network and exchange ideas with your colleagues.

the Scientific Organising Committee,


Cosmic Ray Detector unit gets the go ahead

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📥  Computing Services

Funding from University Alumni has made it possible to set up some Cosmic Ray Detector units for use as part of the HiSPARC programme. This installation is part of an international detection project that has been set up to detect and collate the results of high energy cosmic ray particle showers. The life of the project is expected to be up to 15 years.

A cross-service working group consisting of colleagues from the Network, Data Centre and Operations, Service Desk, Science Support and Estates teams was established and has put considerable effort into the implementation of this. After going through several options with regards to the placement of this detector grid, the roof of Norwood House was chosen as the most suitable site. The Intel NUC Pro unit acting as the Control PC for this project is now in place, and the necessary network adjustments have been made.

The installation of the detectors on the roof is due to be completed during January (weather permitting), aiming for the system to go live by the end of the month. This is a significant piece of work that provides a fantastic public engagement tool and schools outreach opportunity for the Physics department.

For further information, please visit:

HiSPARC website or the  Physics Outreach website.


Audio Visual upgrade

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📥  Computing Services

This year sees the start of the centrally funded GTA Rolling Refurbishment Programme. In conjunction with the Estates Department, AV are running a large project to upgrade and replace the teaching technology in 8W over the coming summer. This will mean an update to the existing technology, which will include conversion from analogue to digital images, a move to full HD, new interfaces to be able to plug laptops in, and a standardised lectern across the level 2 rooms. We are also intending to build in some ability for the rooms to be able to expand at a future date to participate in processes such as lecture capture.

The Estates part of the project will mean redecoration of the rooms – including carpeting and paintwork, and some furniture.

The full extent of the programme will be agreed in the near future, but it is the first year of an intended 10 year programme of refreshment and rebuilding.


SAMIS - Upload identification document web form

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📥  Computing Services


The University Compliance team, following a change in UKVI (UK Visas and Immigration) ID checking policy, needed to obtain copies of identity documentation for all current UK and EU students.  Requesting that students send copies of identity documentation via email, which would then be manually checked and uploaded to the SAMIS database, had two obvious drawbacks.  Firstly, it would raise security concerns with students who may not trust email as a safe way to submit personal documentation; secondly, it would require a dedicated member of staff to carry out the time-consuming task of manually checking and uploading each individual document.


In order to remove the drawbacks and make the process as simple and secure as possible, the SAMIS team worked together with the Compliance team to create an automated process whereby students could upload their own identity documentation via a SAMIS web form.

By using SAMIS web as the entry point, security concerns were mitigated as a user name and password are required to log in.  Students are familiar with the SAMIS web interface,  so were able to quickly and securely upload the required documentation.

Identity documents were stored directly into SAMIS against the student record, making the process as lean as possible.

By enabling students to upload their own identity documentation, the workload on the Compliance team was greatly reduced which allowed them to dedicate more time to specialist tasks.


Library are first to use University's new email service

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📥  Communications & Collaboration, Computing Services

Thank you to staff in the Library for being the first pilot group of the University's new email platform, MS Exchange 2013.  For most, this means moving from Thunderbird to MS Outlook 2013 on their desktop and Outlook Web Access (OWA) on other devices and via their web browser.

At the end of January 2015 we will be sending out a survey to the pilot group and will use this feedback to influence the roll-out to the rest of campus.  Roll-out of the new email platform across campus will take place throughout this academic year.

Thank you to the Library for being so accommodating and helpful in this first of many roll-outs of Exchange 2013.

Project Background

The University of Bath has invested in Microsoft Exchange 2013 to deliver a rich email and calendar experience using Microsoft Outlook.  Outlook Web Access (webmail and apps) will provide similar levels of functionality to the Outlook client, mirroring the look and feel of the 2013 suite of applications.

Microsoft Outlook 2013 includes Calendar. The move from Oracle to Outlook Calendar will happen once all staff at the University have moved to MS Exchange for their email so we ask that staff continue to use Oracle Calendaring for any meetings until further notice.

The University will run its Microsoft Exchange service in-house with support provided by Computing Services. Keeping the service in-house will ensure that the University has sufficient control over access to data and security, as well as being able to manage the experience of service users more effectively.

In addition the University plans to introduce a unified communications platform to complement Exchange / Outlook. Microsoft Lync will streamline communications by delivering a range of efficient communication productivity features including; Presence, Instant Messaging, Video and Voice calling as well as Web Conferencing and more.