€3.5M funding for research in advanced computing

The University of St Andrews has secured €3.5M from the European Union under the Horizon 2020 programme to study advanced computing.

The RePhrase project, led by St Andrews Professor Kevin Hammond, aims to tackle one of the most pressing problems in computer science: how to produce effective software for emerging “parallel” computer platforms that promise significantly increased performance at significantly reduced cost and energy usage.

The project started on 1 April 2015 and runs for three years; bringing together eight leading academic and industry partners from the UK, Austria, Italy, Spain, Hungary and Israel, including American multinational technology and consulting corporation IBM.

Professor Hammond said: “We will be able to study fundamental issues in software engineering for parallel programming and apply them to real-world problems. The potential academic and commercial impact of this work is immense.”

This latest instalment of EU funding, which will help keep the University at the forefront of software technology, follows on from the successful €4.2 EU ParaPhrase project which brought together academic and industrial experts from across Europe to improve the programmability and performance of modern parallel computing technologies.

Future computers will consist of thousands or even millions of processors, which poses a real problem to traditional programmers. The sheer complexity of these systems means that powerful tools are needed to develop software that runs stably and efficiently while making the most of the ability to process in parallel.

This will help enable “green computing” as well as powering the next generation of software and major industry applications.

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