(Frequently Asked Questions)

How do I register to participate in the Visualize This! Challenge?

Anyone interested in this competition must register your interest here. If you have any questions, please contact us via email.

Can we work in a team?

Yes, participants can form teams, but a team will be considered as a single entrant and will be eligible to win only one prize.

Is there a limit to how many people can be on a team?

No. There is no limit to the number of people who can be part of your team. It can be as large or as small as you like.

Do all team members need to register their interest?

No. Only one member of the team needs to register your interest in the challenge. Click here to register your interest.

What are the deadlines?

The dataset will be available on Cedar, Graham, Niagara, and Béluga clusters from October 1, with submissions due by midnight Pacific Time on November 30, 2019. Winners will be announced in December.

How will my application be judged?

Submissions will be reviewed by members of the Compute Canada Visualization Team. In general, points will be given for impressive renderings of large-scale data. We would like to see some timing data, showing how long it takes to render your visualization on the cluster and the resources you used. We are interested in seeing:

  • inventive combination of ParaView filters or VisIt operators,
  • if applicable to your dataset: visualizing the 3D multi-scale nature of the data,
  • if applicable to your dataset: clear innovative display of multiple variables.

Given large scale of the data and hence large rendering times, interactive visualizations and/or online presentations are particularly difficult, but are not impossible with more advanced tools such as ParaView Cinema (early pioneering project) and Cinema Science.

Who is eligible to participate?

The competition is open to anyone affiliated with a Canadian post-secondary institution (college or university) or research organization. Participants from all research fields are encouraged to enter. The competition datasets provide a valuable learning opportunity to enhance your visualization skills, no matter what your research area may be.

I have never used WestGrid or Compute Canada resources before. Can I still participate in the Challenge?

Yes. Assuming that you are using your own data, your visualization does not need to be developed or implemented on WestGrid or Compute Canada’s platforms. However, if you would like to use WestGrid or Compute Canada computational resources for your visualization, or if you want to access the default dataset, you can register for a free account here. If you have any questions about getting an account, please email accounts@computecanada.ca. Please note that the default dataset is provided on Cedar, Graham, Niagara, and Béluga clusters for which you need a Compute Canada account.

You don’t need a Compute Canada account if you want to visualize your own dataset on a third-party distributed-memory machine.

I am not affiliated with a Canadian university, post-secondary institution, or research organization. Can I participate in the Challenge?

Yes. If you partner with or join a team of someone who is affiliated with a Canadian university, post-secondary institution or research organization, you can participate in the Visualize This! Challenge.

I don’t live in Canada, but I have a WestGrid or Compute Canada account. Can I participate in the challenge?

Yes. If you have a WestGrid or Compute Canada account and are registered in the Compute Canada DataBase (CCDB), you are eligible to participate in the Visualize This! Challenge, even if you are not living in Canada.

What visualization tools can be used in the competition?

Participants can use any parallel, open-source visualization tool such as ParaView and VisIt. You can also use Javascript/WebGL tools and/or Python visualization libraries if you adapt them to perform distributed rendering on a cluster.

Will any technical support be provided to participants?

If you have a specific technical question, please email us. In general, we expect participants to create their own visualization(s), so technical help will be limited to answering very specific questions.

Who owns the Intellectual Property (IP) rights?

The default dataset for this year’s competition was kindly provided by Joshua Brinkerhoff (UBC Okanagan) and is covered by the usual university copyright policies. Participants own the rights to their visualization, but not to the default dataset, if they choose to use it. By submitting an application to the Visualize This! Challenge, the participant is providing consent for the use, reproduction, publication, transmission and/or broadcasting of his/her name, likeness, and/or prize information, and the solution, without compensation, in any publication or promotion by WestGrid or Compute Canada for the purposes of promoting the competition, the winners, and/or the benefits of visualization to research.

Can I use my own dataset?

Yes, as long as it requires rendering on a distributed-memory machine (parallel HPC cluster).

How do I submit my solution?

Solutions must be submitted via email.

Please follow these instructions when submitting:

  • Submit both your visualization and the workflow, be it a script, a state file, etc. so that we can reproduce your solution.
  • If you have any large files (over 1 MB), do not attach them to the email. Instead, share them with us using any of the popular sharing tools such as Dropbox, Google Drive, WestGrid’s ownCloud, transfer.sh, WeTransfer, or a shared cluster filesystem. With multiple files please pack and compress them into an archive before uploading.

When do I submit my solution?

Participants can submit their solutions at any time during the competition between October 1, 2019 (12:01 am PST) and November 30, 2019 (11:59 pm PST). Late submissions will not be considered.

Can I submit more than once?

Yes. Each submission will be time-stamped and the last submission received before the deadline date/time from each participant will be what is considered the final for submission.