• Extraordinary Impact

    The National Center for Supercomputing Applications leads the nation in computational and data analysis, transforming scientific and industrial research across the broadest range of disciplines.

  • Extraordinary Vision

    The National Center for Supercomputing Applications leads the nation in computational and data analysis, transforming scientific and industrial research across the broadest range of disciplines.

NCSA at SC14

Visit booth #1621 at SC14 to learn more about big data, big computing, and big research at NCSA. Meet staff, see demos, and get the latest on the Blue Waters supercomputer, our collaborations with industry, the National Data Service, expanding the impact of your research through documentaries, and more.

Who We Are

The National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA) accelerates discovery and innovation through expertise in high-performance computing, data, software, and interdisciplinary research.

Coding Illini

NCSA staff and Illinois computer science students will compete in the Intel Parallel Universe Coding Challenge. Cheer them on using the tag #CodingIllini through Twitter!

Their first match will be against SC3 (Latin America) Tuesday, Nov. 18 at 4 p.m.

Job Fair

NCSA will be at the Student Job/Opportunity Fair from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Wednesday, November 19. Talk to an NCSA recruiter about current professional openings and graduate fellowship opportunities!


Contact Trish Barker, 217-390-3593.

NCSA Tweets


NCSA #HPCmatters video

NCSA wins the SC14 #HPCmatters Video Challenge for the category "Most Likes/Views"!

Coloring Fun!

NCSA coloring book

Everyone can learn about research, computing and data with the new NCSA coloring book!


NCSA will have a variety of demos in the booth.


SAGE2, browser-based, next-generation SAGE middleware, enables teams of users to manage complex data in a room covered with displays, as if the room were one seamless canvas. SAGE2 is being developed by the Laboratory for Advanced Visualization & Applications at University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa and the Electronic Visualization Laboratory at University of Illinois at Chicago.

Time shown: continuous

See also
BoF: Scalable Adaptive Graphics Environment (SAGE) for Global Collaboration
Nov. 18, 12:15pm-1:15pm, Room 393-94-95

Blue Waters Workload

Wondering what science and engineering work runs on the Blue Waters supercomputer? Stop by for an interactive demo depicting these extreme-scale workloads. Chat with NCSA experts on workload visualization and system monitoring/analysis.

Times shown:

  • Monday, Nov. 17, 7-9 pm
  • Tuesday, Nov. 18, 1-4 pm
  • Wednesday, Nov. 19, 10 am to noon; 1-6 pm
  • Thursday, Nov. 20, 10-11 am

National Data Service Labs

NDS Labs is designed to be an environment where individuals and communities can collaborate around exploring data, enabling access to data, and providing credit for that data. We'll show how to find data, upload your own, and then how to act on that data through interactive or non-interactive tools.

Time shown:

  • Monday, Nov. 17, 7-9 pm
  • Tuesday, Nov. 18, 3-4 pm
  • Wednesday, Nov. 19, 10-11 am

Materials Data Facility

The Materials Data Facility provides a means for materials scientists to share and publish their data and link it to associated literature. Suitable for both laboratory and computational data products, it is designed to scale to very large datasets and collections. MDF is a pilot project of the National Data Service Consortium as part of the Materials Genome Initiative and is developed through a collaboration between Globus Project, NCSA and the University of Illinois, SDSC, and TACC.

Time shown:

  • Monday, Nov. 17, 7-9 pm
  • Tuesday, Nov. 18, 10-11 am; 1-2 pm; 4-5 pm
  • Wednesday, Nov. 19, 10-11 am; 2-3 pm; 5-6 pm
  • Thursday, Nov. 20, Noon to 1 pm; 2-3 pm
See also
BoF: From Big Data to the Long Tail: Publishing Computational Data
Nov. 18, 5:30pm-7pm, Room 286-87

Security Office Hours

Join Adam Slagell and Jim Basney in the NCSA booth for an informal discussion of cybersecurity at NCSA, including the activities of the Bro Network Security Monitor and CILogon federated identity management projects.

Times available:

  • Wednesday, Nov. 19, 3-4 pm
  • Thursday, Nov. 20, 1-2 pm

Visit Booth #1621 at SC14 to Find Out More About these Visualizations!

Technical Program


Second Workshop on Sustainable Software for Science: Practice and Experiences (WSSSPE 2) — 9am-5:30pm

AUTHORS: Gabrielle D. Allen, Daniel S. Katz, Karen Cranston, Neil Chue Hong, Manish Parashar, David Proctor, Matthew Turk, Colin C. Venters, Nancy Wilkins-Diehr


Practical Fault Tolerance on Today's Supercomputing Systems — 1:30pm-5pm

AUTHORS: Kathryn Mohror, Nathan DeBardeleben, Eric Roman, Laxmikant Kale


Parallel Programming with Charm++ — 8:30am-noon

AUTHORS: Laxmikant Kale, Michael Robson, Nikhil Jain


Advanced MPI Programming — 8:30am-5pm

AUTHORS: Pavan Balaji, William Gropp, Torsten Hoefler, Rajeev Thakur


Python in HPC — 8:30am-5pm

AUTHORS: Andy Terrel, Matt Knepley, Kurt Smith, Matthew Turk


5th Annual Energy Efficient HPC Working Group Workshop — 9am-5:30pm

AUTHORS: Natalie Bates, Stephen Poole, John Shalf, Herbert Huber, Thomas Durbin, et al.


Effective HPC Visualization and Data Analysis using VisIt — 1:30pm-5pm

AUTHORS: Cyrus Harrison, Jean M. Favre, Brad Whitlock, David Pugmire, Rob Sisneros



Blue Waters Project Director Bill Kramer guest speaking at the Seagate HPC User Group Meeting at the New Orleans Downtown Marriott at the Convention Center.


Mapping to Irregular Torus Topologies and Other Techniques for Petascale Biomolecular Simulation — 11am-11:30am

AUTHORS: James C. Phillips, Yanhua Sun, Nikhil Jain, Eric J. Bohm, Laxmikant V. Kale


A Decade of GPU Impact at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA) — 1:30pm-2pm

NCSA Director Ed Seidel to speak at NVIDIA's GPU Technology Theater in NVIDIA's booth, #1727.


HPC Productivity or Performance: Choose One — 3:30pm-5pm

PANELISTS: William Harrod, Michael Heroux, Robert Wisnieski, William Gropp, Thomas Sterling, Satoshi Matsuoka


Maximizing Throughput on a Dragonfly Network — 4pm-4:30pm

AUTHORS: Nikhil Jain, Abhinav Bhatele, Xiang Ni, Nicholas J. Wright, Laxmikant V. Kale


BoF: From Big Data to the Long Tail: Publishing Computational Data — 5:30pm-7pm

SPEAKERS: Raymond Plante, Beth Plale, Robert Pennington


SC14 Analyst Crossfire — 10:30am-11:15am

PANELISTS: Addison Snell, Bill Kramer, Gilad Shainer, Sumit Gupta


A Curmudgeon's View of High Performance Computing — 10:30am-11:15am



BoF: SC Community Town Hall — 12:15pm-1:15pm

SPEAKER: William Gropp


Using Supercomputers to Discover the 100 Trillion Bacteria Living Within Each of Us — 3:30pm-4:15pm

SESSION CHAIR: William Kramer


Parallel Programming with Migratable Objects: Charm++ in Practice — 4:30pm-5pm

AUTHORS: Bilge Acun, Abhishek Gupta, Nikhil Jain, Akhil Langer, Harshitha Menon, Eric Mikida, Xiang Ni, Michael Robson, Yanhua Sun, Ehsan Totoni, Lukasz Wesolowski, Laxmikant Kale


BoF: Developing the HPC Workforce of the Future — 5:30pm-7pm

SPEAKERS: Roscoe Giles, Barbara Chapman, Scott Lathrop


BoF: Monitoring Large-Scale HPC Systems: Issues and Approaches — 5:30pm-7pm

SPEAKERS: Jim Brandt, Michael Showerman, Michael Mason


Maximizing Throughput of Overprovisioned HPC Data Centers Under a Strict Power Budget — 10:30am-11am

AUTHORS: Osman Sarood, Akhil Langer, Abhishek Gupta, Laxmikant Kale


Impactful Science using Blue Waters' Kepler Based Computing Resources — Noon-12:20pm

Blue Waters Project Director Bill Kramer to speak at NVIDIA's GPU Technology Theater in NVIDIA's booth, #1727.


BoF: Charm++: Adaptive and Asynchronous Parallel Programming — 12:15pm-1:15pm

SPEAKERS: Laxmikant Kale, Eric Bohm


BoF: Managing High-Performance Computing Centers: Communicating the Value of HPC — 12:15pm-1:15pm

SPEAKERS: Nicholas Berente, John King, Daniel Reed


BoF: The Open Community Runtime (OCR) Framework for Extreme Scale Systems — 12:15pm-1:15pm

SPEAKERS: Vivek Sarkar, Barbara Chapman, William Gropp


Optimizing Data Locality for Fork/Join Programs Using Constrained Work Stealing — 2pm-2:30pm

AUTHORS: Jonathan Lifflander, Sriram Krishnamoorthy, Laxmikant Kale


Advancing On-line HPC Learning — 8:30m-noon

SPEAKER: Scott Lathrop


Workshop on Best Practices for HPC Training — 8:30am-noon

AUTHORS: Fernanda Foertter, Rebecca Hartman-Baker, Richard Gerber, Nia Alexandrov, Barbara Chapman, Kjiersten Fagnan, Scott Lathrop, Henry Neeman, Maria-Ribera Sancho, Robert Whitten

Visit Booth #1621 at SC14 to Find Out More About these Visualizations!

About NCSA

Accelerating Science, Engineering, and Productivity

The National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA) was founded in 1986 to provide the nation’s scientists and engineers with the supercomputing resources and expertise needed for scientific and engineering breakthroughs. Since that time NCSA has enabled researchers around the nation to help fight pandemics, improve weather forecasts, design new materials, and explore the universe.

NCSA is the home to the Blue Waters petascale computing system, which sustained performance of 1 quadrillion (or 1 million billion) arithmetic operations per second on a range of real applications and manages and analyzes truly massive amounts of data (millions of billions of bytes).

NCSA staff also lead and contribute in many ways to the National Science Foundation's Extreme Science and Engineering Discovery Environment (XSEDE), a nationwide virtual organization that provides digital resources, support, and expertise to help scientists, engineers, and scholars.

In its more than 25 years of collaboration with industry, NCSA has worked with more than one-third of the Fortune50®—enabling them to use advanced computing technology to improve existing products and design new products. These companies span a number of sectors, including manufacturing, oil & gas, biomedical & life sciences, finance, and agriculture. Current partners include Boeing, BP, Caterpillar, John Deere, Dow, ExxonMobil, GE, Procter & Gamble, Rolls-Royce, and John Zink, as well as many smaller companies and technology vendors.

As part of its industrial program, NCSA deployed iforge, a high-performance computer designed to address the most pressing problems faced by NCSA’s industry partners. Industry partners can also scale up to run their codes on the Blue Waters supercomputer.

NCSA is also at the forefront of data-intensive research

  • NCSA and its collaborators provide a data management framework for the Dark Energy Survey, which is using the world’s largest digital camera to undertake the largest galaxy survey ever attempted. Scientists at NCSA use the framework to process, calibrate, and archive the massive amounts of data—quadrillions of bytes over the lifetime of the survey—that will be collected for the DES.
  • NCSA is embarking on a $10 million effort, dubbed Brown Dog, to develop software to manage and make sense of vast amounts of digital data. While technology has made it easy for everyone to create and share vast amounts of digital data—including images, video, and audio—searching, sorting, accessing and understanding that data is very challenging. Among the major issues: lack of metadata (the data about the data that describe when and how and by whom is was produced) and difficulty accessing data in outdated formats. The NCSA team will develop services to make the contents of uncurated data collections accessible.
  • The Large Synoptic Survey Telescope will use an 8.4-meter telescope and 3-gigapixel camera to produce a wide-field astronomical survey of the universe that tracks its changes over time. In addition to probing the mysteries of dark energy and dark matter, LSST is designed to detect exploding supernovae, potentially hazardous near-Earth asteroids, and distant Kuiper Belt Objects. LSST will collect tens of terabytes of data every night, which will be processed, calibrated, and archived by NCSA.

To learn more about NCSA visit www.ncsa.illinois.edu.

Visit Booth #1621 at SC14 to Find Out More About these Visualizations!

About Blue Waters

Accelerating Science, Engineering, and Productivity

How do viruses spread destruction throughout your body? Why do some storms produce tornadoes and others do not? How you can prepare for earthquakes and the destruction that they cause?

The Blue Waters supercomputer at NCSA is designed to address these and many other pressing problems.

Blue Waters is a truly extraordinary computer:

  • Nearly 27,000 compute nodes and more than 4,000 NVIDIA Kepler GPU accelerators. If you could multiply two numbers together every second, it would take you 32 million years to do what Blue Waters does each second.
  • More than 1.5 petabytes of memory, enough to store 300 million images from your digital camera.
  • More than 25 petabytes of disk storage, enough to store all of the printed documents in all of the world’s libraries.
  • Up to 500 petabytes of tape storage, enough to store 10 percent of all of the words spoken in the existence of humankind.

Blue Waters, which is based on advanced technologies from Cray, Inc., was funded by a major grant from the National Science Foundation with supplemental funding from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and the state of Illinois. The project is led by William T.C. Kramer.

Computing Resources for All

Scientists, engineers, educators, and companies from across the United States use Blue Waters to better understand viruses, space weather, and hurricanes, among many other projects.

  • At least 80 percent of the capacity of Blue Waters is available to scientists and engineers across the country through the National Science Foundation's Petascale Computing Resource Allocation program.
  • Up to 7 percent of Blue Waters is available to faculty, staff and students at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
  • Researchers at institutions in the Great Lakes Consortium for Petascale Computation can apply annually for time on Blue Waters.
  • Blue Waters is available to educators and students for classes, workshops, and special projects.
  • Companies can also apply to use Blue Waters for their advanced modeling and simulation needs.

Graduate Fellowships

Applications are now being accepted for the Blue Waters Graduate Fellowships, which will provide selected PhD students with a year of support, including a $38,000 stipend, up to $12,000 in tuition allowance, a 100,000 node-hour allocation on Blue Waters, and funds to support travel to a Blue Waters-sponsored symposium. Preference will be given to candidates engaged in a multidisciplinary research project that combines disciplines such as computer science, applied mathematics, and computational science applications.

Applications must be submitted by February 2014. For complete eligibility and application details and to apply online, go to https://bluewaters.ncsa.illinois.edu/fellowships.

Visit Booth #1621 at SC14 to Find Out More About these Visualizations!