Creating grid resources for use in undergraduate coursework

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Title: Creating grid resources for use in undergraduate coursework
Author: Huffman, John; Repasky, Richard; Rinkovsky, Joseph
Abstract: Rendered animations are a significant part of many student and research projects being done at Indiana University. Typically the rendering process is very computationally intensive, but it is allocated minimal computing resources. By creating a Condor pool out of all student computing labs we have created a large scale, homogeneous grid resource dedicated to the single purpose of rendering. By implementing a web portal based interface to submit and monitor rendering jobs the rendering system becomes independent of the end users architecture, OS, and even rendering package being used. This allows for a “learn once, run often” architecture despite the highly complex distributed computational backend. The web interface allows users to submit jobs with the needed parameters, monitor the progress of the job, and display finished frames of the animation. When the job finishes the render system notifies the user and will present a web based preview of the final movie, allowing the user to quickly assess the quality of the rendered results. The modular nature of the render system allows for easy upgrade and additions to the rendering packages offered. New rendering packages can typically be added within 24 hrs, without any changes to the user interface or workflow.
Description: "Creating grid resources for use in undergraduate coursework," Proceedings of the Grid Computing Environments (GCE) workshop. Held at the Reno Convention Center: Reno, Nevada: 11-12 November 2007.
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Date: 2007

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