Accelerating Science, Engineering, and Productivity
The National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA) at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign has been providing supercomputing and advanced digital resources for the nation's science enterprise for more than 30 years. At NCSA, University of Illinois faculty, staff, students and collaborators from around the globe use advanced digital resources to research grand challenges for the benefit of science and society. NCSA advances industry, including one third of the Fortune 50®, by providing expertise and workforce development, to accelerate their use of advanced computing.
NCSA is home to a vast set of advanced data and computing resources and infrastructure projects including the Blue Waters sustained petascale supercomputer, LSST, XSEDE, the CyberGIS Center for Advanced Digital and Spatial Studies, NCSA Industry, and others.
The Blue Waters sustained petascale supercomputer is one of the most powerful supercomputers in the world, and is the fastest supercomputer on a university campus. Blue Waters uses hundreds of thousands of computational cores to achieve peak performance of more than 13 quadrillion calculations per second. Blue Waters has more memory and faster data storage than any other open system in the world. Scientists and engineers across the country use the computing and data power of Blue Waters to tackle a wide range of challenges. Recent advances that were not possible without thee resources include computationally designing the first set of antibody prototypes to detect the Ebola virus, simulating the HIP capsid, visualizing the formation of the first galaxies and exploding stars, and understanding how the layout of a city can impact supercell thunderstorms. Blue Waters is funded primarily by the National Science Foundation.
Extreme Science and Engineering Discovery Environment (XSEDE)
XSEDE is a cornerstone of the nation's cyberinfrastructure ecosystem. XSEDE accelerates open scientific discovery by enhancing the productivity and capability of researchers, engineers, and students, and broadening their participation in science and engineering. It does so by making advanced computational resources easier to use, integrating existing resources into new, powerful services, and building a community of users and providers. XSEDE is made possible by a 5-year, $110M NSF award executed by NCSA and 18 partner institutions across the nation.
Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST)
NCSA will be the central archive and US data access center for the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST) project, processing, archiving, and serving the terabytes of data that will be collected every night of the decade-long survey. From its mountaintop site in Chile, the LSST will image the entire visible sky every few nights, thus capturing the dynamic universe and opening up the time-domain window in astronomy. The LSST project is uniquely enabled by advances in data science and computing data. The resulting large datasets provided to scientists and the public will have manifold implications for science. Billions of objects in our universe will be detected, cataloged and monitored over time. LSST will allow advances on some of the greatest open questions in modern astronomy and physics, such as the nature of dark energy and dark matter. With a major increase in capability over current facilities, LSST is also likely to make many unexpected discoveries over broad areas of astronomy and physics.
The NCSA Industry program combines a highly experienced technical consulting team with state-of-the-art high performance digital resources to perform grand scale big data calculations which help businesses gain a competitive edge. NCSA Industry works with more than one-third of the Fortune50®, in sectors including manufacturing, oil and gas, finance, retail/wholesale, bio/medical, life sciences, astronomy, agriculture, technology, and more. NCSA Industry's core mission is to help its partners gain a competitive edge through expert use of modern, high-performance digital and human resources. We offer our partners dedicated, non-government high-performance computing resources, including the iForge cluster, a high-tech, mobile consulting team, software/hardware benchmarking and development in production environments, code-performance teams, public-private partner leadership, and blended partner applied research and development.