December 14, 2015 Rotogram: 21

MSU Agriculture and Forestry

George Hopper is dean of the MSU Colleges of Agriculture and Life Sciences, and Forest Resources, and director of the Forest and Wildlife Research Center, and the Experiment Station.

12/21 & 28 Christmas Break – No Meetings


January 4: Starkville Economic Development

Rotarians Steve Langston and Jennifer Gregory bring a Greater Starkville Development Partnership report on economic development in the city. Roy Ruby will introduce them.

For the Record—December 7

Invocation and Pledge:         Ned Browning

Attendance:                                        73.3%

Present — 110 (39 exempt)

Absent — 71 (18 exempt, 12 honorary)

Guests: Visiting Rotarians were Amanda Fontaine and Bill Walker. Member guests were Lori Bruce of John Forde, Dianne Jackson of Gary Jackson, Molly Jackson of Katherine Little and Ricky Woods of Stan Miller. Guests of the club were Stephanie and Sarah Morgan Pellum, Benedetta Trentarossi, RYE student, and Connor Guyton, Starkville Daily News.

Meeting Notes

  • Noting club longevity President Zach reported that Linda Karen Smith has been a member for 23 years and Bobby Crosland has 21 years of service as of December. Overall, Bill Foster boasts 51.9 member years, Billie Ball has 51.4 and Stu Vance has 50.1.
  • Attendance Committee Chair Joe Bumgardner reported that 46 members have met or exceeded the standard of 90 percent-plus attendance for the last quarter. Stu Vance got the lucky draw from the group for a Harvey’s gift certificate.
  • Grant Arinder introduced the Youth Exchange student of the week, Sarah Morgan Pellum, a junior at Starkville Academy. With a 95 grade point average, she is a leader in the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and National Honor Society. She plays basketball, track and tennis.
  • Rotarians will ring the Salvation Army Christmas bell from 9:00 a.m. until 7:00 p.m. on this Sat., Dec. 19, at Kroger.

Rodeo Sponsors Needed

The annual Rotary Classic Rodeo in February is our major fund raising event. Underwriters account for the majority of our earnings.

Members need to be recruiting sponsors for the event. Let the Rodeo Committee know of any prospects.

Between the Lions



Reading Schedule

  • 12/15, 10:30, First Baptist CLC, Katherine Little
  • 12/17, 9:15, Emerson, Carrie-Beth Randall
  • 12/21, 9:00, First Presbyterian, Reader needed


Leadership Election for 2016-2017

Today we vote for club leaders for the program year beginning on July 1, 2016.

The proposed slate of officers is Marc McGee, vice president/president-elect; Greg Bowen, secretary; Corey Ravenhorst, secretary-elect; and, Katherine Little, treasurer. Board of directors nominees are Trish Cunetto, university less than five years; Carey Edwards, city less than five years; Dave Boles, university greater than five years; and Jeff Donald, city greater than five years.

The nominating committee is composed of the three immediate past presidents, Debra Hicks, Brent Fountain and Michelle Amos.

Starkville High Marks Six Football Championships

Rotarian Stan Miller, retired SHS athletic director, introduced first-year football head coach Ricky Woods with the Mississippi Class 6A football championship trophy.

The Yellow Jackets clinched their sixth championship on Dec. 4. Since state playoffs started in 1984, the high school has played in ten championships. Before that, it won many Little Ten titles.

Miller called Woods a legend with seven previous state championships at Ackerman, South Panola, and Peabody, Tenn.

Mississippi is a Leader in Supercomputing

December 7 — Countering the common presumption that Mississippi always is last in the best and first in the worst, Trey Breckenridge briefed us on high performance computing in the state.

“A supercomputer is any computer that is one of the fastest, most powerful computers in the world at any given point in time,” said the director of High Performance Computing at Mississippi State University. “And, it’s interesting to note that a modern smart phone has more computing power than all of NASA in 1969 when we put a man on the moon.”

Emphasizing the qualification of “at any given time,” he showed the Intel Paragon XP/S 140, the fastest computer in the world in 1995. Then, he pulled out his iPhone 6S which has the same power only 20 years later.

“MSU is really well-known in the supercomputing community,” said Breckenridge. “We pioneered the architectural design for today’s supercomputing starting in 1987.”

Supercomputing’s major use is for modeling and simulation of complex problems. Among its applications are astrophysics, molecular modeling, quantum mechanics, national defense (cryptanalysis and nuclear weapons modeling), aerospace and automotive design, oil and gas exploration, financial services, consumer products development, weather forecasting and personalized medicine.

Focusing on an application close to our everyday lives, he explained that weather forecasting now can be pinpointed to as little as a five kilometer area. This allows for finer, more accurate weather outlooks good for as many as ten days in a small area.

In product development, Breckenridge explained the modeling that went into the Pringles chip. Procter and Gamble Corporation was faced with a production line problem — as the cooked chips moved along the conveyor line, they would take flight and scatter. The company used computational models to change the chip’s aerodynamics and the production equipment.

Supercomputing in Mississippi ranks fourth in the nation in aggregate power as of June, 2015. Only California, Tennessee and Texas outrank the state. Since rankings began, the worst the state has done was tenth place.

The Hospitality State is home to two of the five Department of Defense Supercomputing Resource Centers (Vicksburg’s Waterways Experiment Station and the Stennis Space Center on the coast). They account for nearly half of the DoD DSRC supercomputing power with the whole DoD system administered out of Vicksburg.

The state’s only other Top 500 supercomputer is at Mississippi State University. MSU debuted in the rankings in 1996. Today’s system, a Cray CS300-LC, is the 193rd most powerful computer in the world. After an upgrade, it stood at 143 in June; but, to demonstrate the volatility of rankings, it dropped in less than six months.

Shadow, the MSU supercomputer with 76 terabytes of RAM, is capable of 593 TeraFLOPS (Trillion Floating Point Operations Per Second). Translating the unit’s power, Breckenridge said, “If I were to pay you one cent for every calculation, I’d give you the equivalent of 28 Olympic-sized swimming pools filled with $100 bills every second.”

With this unit in sub-tropical Mississippi, the HPC2 has become a pioneer in energy efficiency with the use of direct warm-water cooling.

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