• Subscribe

Image of the Week - Supercomputing between the lines

Image of the Week - Supercomputing between the lines


photo
Left: This is just one of many images you'll find inside the Supercomputing Coloring Book. Image courtesy of NCSA.
Right: According to the Supercomputing Coloring Book, researchers use supercomputers to simulate the folding and unfolding of proteins - like this tryptophan cage protein - in an effort to understand how folding errors can cause diseases. Image copyright Carlos Simmerling, 2006.

Supercomputers are far from child's toys, but that doesn't mean children can't appreciate them.

That's just one of many reasons why the National Center for Supercomputing Applications put together their Supercomputing Coloring Book.

"I think it does a few things well," said Bill Bell, division director of public affairs at NCSA. "It grabs your attention. It communicates that just because the concepts are complicated doesn't mean they have to be intimidating. And it introduces people to something they might not have considered before."

The idea for the coloring book was originally conceived by Tricia Barker, senior media communications specialist at NCSA.

Originally, they hoped to reach two different distinct audiences: the hundreds of students who tour NCSA every year, and the people who visit NCSA's booths at conferences, grabbing the offered swag to take home to their children. Coloring books aren't always for kids, of course.

"Some adults certainly don't get it," Bell said. "But, in many cases, we get a grin and a 'Can I take two?'"

Distributing the coloring books to kids is part of the fun. They ask "questions that really get at the nitty-gritty of things," according to Bell. "Questions that really get at the nitty-gritty of things: Why isn't there a monitor for the supercomputer? Why can't scientists do this with their computer at home? What happens if a black hole comes by Earth? Did you know I'm studying Taekwondo?"

Over 2000 copies of this version have been distributed, as well as several hundred downloaded; NCSA hopes to have a new version ready to distribute for the USA Science Festival in October.

You can download a PDF of the coloring book by clicking on this link.

-Miriam Boon, iSGTW

Join the conversation

Do you have story ideas or something to contribute? Let us know!

Copyright © 2019 Science Node ™  |  Privacy Notice  |  Sitemap

Disclaimer: While Science Node ™ does its best to provide complete and up-to-date information, it does not warrant that the information is error-free and disclaims all liability with respect to results from the use of the information.

Republish

We encourage you to republish this article online and in print, it’s free under our creative commons attribution license, but please follow some simple guidelines:
  1. You have to credit our authors.
  2. You have to credit ScienceNode.org — where possible include our logo with a link back to the original article.
  3. You can simply run the first few lines of the article and then add: “Read the full article on ScienceNode.org” containing a link back to the original article.
  4. The easiest way to get the article on your site is to embed the code below.