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Home > iSGTW 23 April 2008 > iSGTW Feature - International Summer School on Grid Computing: looking back, one year on

 

Opinion - International Summer School on Grid Computing: looking back, one year on


Thanks to his ISSGC’07 experience, Andrew Jamieson and his colleagues are actively pursuing the possibility of gridifying aspects of their medical research work.
Image courtesy of Andrew Jamieson

Deadlines for the 2008 International Summer School on Grid Computing close on 5 May. Here, former student Andrew Jamieson reflects on his experiences at the 2007 summer school, held in Sweden.

In 2007, with the aid of the Open Science Grid, I attended the International Summer School on Grid Computing in Sweden. Today, just over a year later, I am still involved in grid computing.

My scientific background as a medical physicist researcher involves developing accurate computer-aided diagnosis (CAD) algorithms for breast mass lesions in X-ray mammography, ultra sound and MRI images.

My colleagues and I are interested in using grid computing to push CAD and image analysis to a new level of exploratory power and scientific evaluation. ISSGC’07 provided invaluable insight into the potential of grid computing for this means.

My experience at ISSGC’07 was profoundly worthwhile and eye opening. The quintessential value of the grid school exudes from its environment: a truly diverse and global spattering of intellects and opinions, experiences, perspectives, all stemming from the people it gathers.

Teamwork, personal relations, networking and sharing: these people-powered aspects of the grid summer school experience were a highlight of Andrew Jamieson’s time at ISSGC’07.
Image courtesy of Andrew Jamieson

A grid of human collaboration

This broad incorporation of students, investigators, enthusiasts and professionals from all over the world represents the nature of grid technology itself: we form a distributed and multi-platform network of nodes, separate yet linked by a common desire to achieve feats impossible to tackle alone.

This is a common theme in the emerging global setting of world affairs, not just for the grid community. It is vital to be aware of the greater community, a community that can often comprise as-yet unknown colleagues working towards similar goals. This worldly exchange is a highly fulfilling and rich experience.
  
In the context of ISSGC’07, this theme was apparent in the teamwork experience, perhaps the most challenging, yet rewarding, aspect of the school. The exercises orchestrated for the team objectives and large-scale problem solving—in particular the final challenge—were the most motivating and stimulating activities during the school.

Such an atmosphere of teamwork inculcates a sense of accountability, a desire to contribute and a drive to lead the team towards efficiency and effectiveness. These are important factors in developing a well balanced and productive scientific team of investigators for large scale science or engineering.  

I would like to express my deep gratitude and appreciation to the Open Science Grid and its immense generosity in providing me with complete funding for such an incredible and worthwhile experience. Thank you! Further, I want to extend a special thank you to all the individuals who helped provide access to such an opportunity. And of course I am very grateful to the staff who conducted the school itself. 

- Andrew Jamieson, Medical Physics, University of Chicago

 

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