More than just a game

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More than just a game Powered By Docstoc                                                                                                                                            Sport / Features / Money / Comment / News

More than just a game                                                                                                                                             West
Warwick researcher uses gaming knowledge to                                                                                                                       to suffer in
show Xbox chip can be used to model processes                                                                                                                     recession
                                                                                                                                                                  Lucy Faulkner
                                           vinced it could conduct the same       tional Biology and Chemistry, and        predict certain dangerous arrhyth-
Kinjal Tanna                               scientific modelling as the parallel   the GPU can be used by research-         mias (heart conditions) as it is       New research by the University
                                           network PC’s, shaving hundreds of      ers in exactly the same way Scarle       fallible to a problem known as the     of Warwick Institute for Employ-
                                           pounds of the entire process.          envisaged.                               Halting problem.                       ment reveals that the West Mid-
A revolutionary study by the                  After extensive studies, the re-       However, the research is limited         Scarle however, is certain the      lands, Warwick’s own region, is
University of Warwick has dem-             sults of his work have been pub-       in its application, as the study dem-    problem will soon be solved and is     suffering under the recession more
onstrated that scientists attempt-         lished in the journal, Computa-        onstrates that it is impossible to       researching ways around it.            so than any other region.
ing to model a range of various                                                                                                                                      This research also indicates that
computer processes could use the                                                                                                                                  the region will take the longest to
power and capabilities of a spe-                                                                                                                                  recover after the recession.
cific Xbox chip instead.                                                                                                                                             According to the Warwick Insti-
   This would result in a cheaper al-                                                                                                                             tute for Employment Research (IE),
ternative to other forms of parallel                                                                                                                              which has worked in conjunction
processing hardware, and has the                                                                                                                                  with the Cambridge Econometrics,
potential to dramatically increase                                                                                                                                unemployment in the region has be-
efficiency in this field.                                                                                                                                         gun to accelerate at a faster rate than
   Leading the study, was Dr Simon                                                                                                                                the national rate.
Scarle, a researcher in the Univer-                                                                                                                                   In June 2009, the West Midlands
sity of Warwick’s WMG Digital                                                                                                                                     had the highest rate of unemploy-
Laboratory who wished to model                                                                                                                                    ment in the United Kingdom.
the way electrical excitations in the                                                                                                                                The study has used the latest in-
heart move around damaged cardi-                                                                                                                                  formation on the claimant rate to
cal cells. Cells do this in order to in-                                                                                                                          show the current rate of unemploy-
vestigate and predict possible heart                                                                                                                              ment and predict future rates.
attacks.                                                                                                                                                             The IE has argued that the reces-
   Under previous research, simu-                                                                                                                                 sion is not the sole reason for the
lations have used traditional CPU’s                                                                                                                               problems in the West Midlands la-
which normally need to book time                                                                                                                                  bour market but has exacerbated it.
on a specifically dedicated par-                                                                                                                                     The reason why the recession has
rell processing computer or spend                                                                                                                                 affected the region so severely is due
thousands on a parrell network of                                                                                                                                 to the region’s dependence on indus-
PC’s.                                                                                                                                                             tries which have proven to be vul-
   However, Dr Scarle’s new ap-                                                                                                                                   nerable in the struggling economy,
proach was partly based on his pre-                                                                                                                               such as the automotive industry.
vious work experience in the com-                                                                                                                                    The IE’s research not only shows
puter games industry.                                                                                                                                             the current impact on the region,
   His role as a software engineer                                                                                                                                but also indicates the recovery of
at the Warwickshire firm Rare Ltd,                                                                                                                                the West Midlands too.
part of the Microsoft Games Stu-                                                                                                                                     The study indicates that by 2020
dio made him aware of his parallel                                                                                                                                employment in manufacturing will
processing power of the GPU of                                                                                                                                    continue to decline, though not as
the Xbox 360.                                                                                                                                                     severely as in the 2000s, and em-
   Using this chip, Scarle was con-        » Dr Simon Scarle with an Xbox controller                                                                              ployment in construction and non-
                                                                                                                                                                  marketed services will grow.

                                           Balls on campus
                                                                                                                                                                      Over the medium term of the re-
                                                                                                                                                                  cession, unemployment is expected
                                                                                                                                                                  to remain at “relatively high levels”
                                                                                                                                                                  according to the IE, and it is expect-
                                                                                                                                                                  ed that by 2020 the pre-recession
                                                                                                                                                                  levels of employment will not have

                                           Ministerial team visit region to
                                                                                                                                                                  been recovered either.
                                                                                                                                                                     While the study is ongoing and
                                                                                                                                                                  not conclusive, it is clear that the

                                           launch ‘Building Britain’s Future’
                                                                                                                                                                  West Midlands is bearing the brunt
                                                                                                                                                                  of the recession and the region’s
                                                                                                                                                                  economics partners.

                                                                                  “together build a stronger, fairer and      Subsequently, the Big Space
                Ed Balls                   Heather Spurr                          more prosperous country”.
                                                                                     The key priorities of BBF are to
                                                                                  clean up politics and reform our de-
                                                                                                                           hosted a “town meeting”, attended
                                                                                                                           by 150 local government officials,
                                                                                                                           school teachers, community lead-
 Secretary of State for
 Children, Schools and
                                           Warwick hosted a visit by Ed Balls,
                                           the Secretary of State for Children,
                                                                                  mocracy, take Britain out of reces-
                                                                                  sion into recovery, and reform our
                                                                                                                           ers, students and regional employ-
                                                                                                                           ers. Warwick staff also attended.
                                                                                                                                                                         Are you a
              June 2007 – Present
                                           Schools and Families on Monday
                                           20 July.
                                                                                  public services.
                                                                                     The ministers visited youth and
                                                                                                                              Balls used the opportunity in the
                                                                                                                           Big Space to give a speech talking            newsbie?
                                              The University also received his    community centres in the area and        about the government’s priorities
                                           ministerial team whose members         talked to the locals about community     for the future.                             Join the Boar
 Economic Secretary to the                 include Vernon Coaker, Minister of     issues.                                     Round table discussions were
              May 2006 – June 2007
                                           State for Schools and Learners, Iain
                                           Wright, Under-Secretary for 14-19
                                                                                     Following this, Ed Balls and his
                                                                                  ministerial team attended the Sydney
                                                                                                                           also held which concentrated on
                                                                                                                           fundamental elements of the Build-           news team:
                                           Reform and Diana Johnson, Under-       Stringer School sports day held at       ing Britain’s Future document after
                                           Secretary for Schools.                 Warwick’s Westwood sports fields.        which a question and answer ses-
 Member of Parliament for                     The occasion celebrated the re-        Local government contacts at-         sion with the ministers completed
 Normanton                                 gional launch of a new Labour ini-     tended a lunch meeting with the          the visit.
              May 2005 - Present           tiative to help revive the economy.    minister at the International Digital
                                           Building Britain’s Future aims to      Laboratory.

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