MEPhI-JINR workshop "Computing for the NICA megaproject"

On 12 December 2023, a MEPhI-JINR workshop on computing for the NICA megaproject took place at NRNU MEPhI. The major focus of the meeting was the discussion of issues related to approaches to the acquisition, storage, modeling and physics analysis of data from the BM@N, MPD and SPD international experiments of the NICA megaproject. Special attention was paid to training specialists and engaging MEPhI students and postgraduates to solve the tasks of the NICA megaproject. The participants of collaborations at NICA from the JINR Laboratories (MLIT, VBLHEP, DLNP) and MEPhI delivered talks at the meeting.

NRNU MEPhI Vice-Rector N.S. Barbashina welcomed the participants of the meeting, especially emphasizing the importance of cooperation between MEPhI and JINR. The meeting was opened by the report of NRNU MEPhI Associate Professor A.V. Taranenko, which was devoted to the active participation of MEPhI specialists, postgraduates and students in all three experiments, BM@N, MPD and SPD, at NICA. In the next talk, MLIT Director S.V. Shmatov presented information on the activities of the Meshcheryakov Laboratory of Information Technologies and on IT solutions for the NICA megaproject created on the basis of the resources of the JINR MLIT Multifunctional Information and Computing Complex. MLIT Scientific Leader V.V. Korenkov dedicated his report to the history of the creation, development and current state of distributed computing in high-energy physics. The experience accumulated at MLIT in this area will certainly be in demand when creating computing for the experiments at NICA. O.V. Rogachevsky, K.V. Gertsenberger and A.S. Zhemchugov, software coordinators of the MPD, BM@N and SPD experiments, respectively, provided an overview of software systems and complexes for modeling, obtaining and processing experimental data at the NICA complex, as well as presented tasks in which MEPhI specialists, postgraduates and students could participate. The talk by MLIT Researcher I.S. Pelevanyuk evoked great interest among the audience. It considered data processing and generation in the heterogeneous distributed computing environment under the management of the DIRAC platform, which integrates the computing resources and data storage resources of MLIT, VBLHEP, MEPhI and a number of other Institutes participating in collaborations at NICA. At present, all three experiments at NICA use DIRAC to solve their tasks. The final reports at the meeting were devoted to the training of specialists to solve the tasks of the NICA megaproject. Thus, MLIT Researcher O.I. Streltsova introduced the meeting participants to the experience of training specialists in the field of parallel programming, creating machine and deep learning algorithms, as well as elaborating IT services using the ML/DL/HPC ecosystem of the HybriLIT platform. In his report, MEPhI Associate Professor E.Yu. Soldatov presented a new master’s degree program of NRNU MEPhI “Software Engineering and Data Analysis for High Energy Physics”, combining nuclear physics and information technology to train interdisciplinary specialists.

After the talks there was held a general discussion, as a result of which it was decided to establish a permanent MEPhI-JINR Council for consolidating the efforts of the organizations to cope with problems facing the participants of the collaborations of the experiments at the NICA complex, as well as for solving personnel training issues.

The workshop brought together over 50 participants from NRNU MEPhI and JINR, including 18 students and postgraduates. The meeting was held in a constructive working atmosphere, which contributed to a favorable discussion in finding solutions to the challenges related to the implementation of the scientific program at the NICA complex.

Photo of participants of the MEPhI-JINR workshop “Computing for the NICA megaproject”