Can you help NASA out in its hour of need? If you know how to program computers then you just might be able to. The agency is asking those that can to take part in the High-Performance Fast Computing Challenge (or HPFCC for short). For those of you who are unaware what this is, it’s essentially a competition that seeks to reward the most competent of programmers who can help speed up the agency’s FUN3D software.
FUN3D is a design software that’s used for solving nonlinear partial differential equations and the competition focuses on inviting programmers to improve the code in an attempt to make it faster and compatible with some of the more advanced supercomputers of the world. It’s being supported by NASA’s partners, HeroX and TopCoder and the end goal is to make the algorithms run anywhere between 10 and 10,000 times faster.
“This challenge is specifically targeted to speed up the CFD portion of our aerospace research,” said Michael Hetle, program executive for NASA’s Transformative Aeronautics Concepts Program (TACP). “Some concepts are just so complex it’s difficult for even the fastest supercomputers to analyze these models in real time. Achieving a speed-up in this software by orders of magnitude hones the edge we need to advance our technology to the next level!”
Doug Rohn, director of TACP, said, “This is the ultimate ‘geek’ dream assignment. Helping NASA speed up its software to help advance our aviation research is a win-win for all. So, if you think you have what it takes, then why not give it a go? Just one thing to note – by speeding up the software, there can’t be any loss in accuracy. It’s also written mostly in Modern Fortran and owned by the U.S. government so beware. However, if none of that has put you off, first and second place winners can bag themselves up to $55,000 and entries are being accepted up until 5 pm ET, June 29. So, what are you waiting for?
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