Engineers use supercomputer to create beautiful video

May 12, 2014 by Matt Terry

A group of computing and software students have created some stunning videos using one of the most powerful computers in the world.

The fourth-year students used the Blue Gene/Q , located at the University of Toronto, to generate fractals – never-ending patterns that repeat at different scales.

The shapes are generated with a simple mathematical formula, but create incredibly complex shapes.

"Each pixel in an image is assigned coordinates," says Ned Nedialkov, associate professor in computing and software. "These starting coordinates are then fed into a formula, resulting in new coordinates, which are plugged into the same formula for the next iteration, and so on."

Nedialkov compares the process to zooming in on a digital map.

"Imagine the whole eastern coast of Canada laid out on a map. Then, as you zoom in and get closer, you can see the actually coast line, then the details of the beach, individual stones, pieces of sand, and then every molecule that makes up the sand."

The shapes take billions of computations to create, and without the use of a supercomputer would take months to complete.

The video will load shortly

The exercise helps students learn both about fractals and supercomputers, which are used for a variety of tasks, including .

Explore further: Exploring tessellations beyond Escher

Related Stories

Exploring tessellations beyond Escher

June 16, 2011

(PhysOrg.com) -- By incorporating geometrical concepts into his artwork, M. C. Escher demonstrated the potential beauty that could be achieved by combining mathematics and art. One of Escher's most well-known types of art ...

Formula unlocks secrets of cauliflower's geometry

October 23, 2012

The laws that govern how intricate surface patterns, such as those found in the cauliflower, develop over time have been described, for the first time, by a group of European researchers.

Secret to the perfect pancake is discovered

March 4, 2014

In a collaboration with Meadowhall Shopping Centre, students from the University's Maths Society (SUMS) developed, trialled and tested a formula which enables pancake-lovers across the world to rustle-up pancakes to their ...

Recommended for you

US Navy keeps electromagnetic cannon in its sights

June 25, 2016

The US Navy is quietly pushing ahead with a radical new cannon that one day could transform how wars are fought, even though some Pentagon officials have voiced concerns over its cost and viability.

Flower power—photovoltaic cells replicate rose petals

June 24, 2016

With a surface resembling that of plants, solar cells improve light-harvesting and thus generate more power. Scientists of KIT (Karlsruhe Institute of Technology) reproduced the epidermal cells of rose petals that have particularly ...

New device could unlock information potential of sunlight

June 24, 2016

People rely on sunlight for heat, light, and energy every day, but three Penn State researchers believe we're missing a valuable piece of information that sunlight itself could provide—the dynamic directions of incoming ...

2 comments

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

dirk_bruere
not rated yet May 13, 2014
This would have been news 25 years ago
Writela
not rated yet May 13, 2014
Such a projects are done with students during their homeworks. And they're computed in realtime in webbrowser.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.