NCSA wins Top Supercomputing Achievement and a Best Use of HPC in 2017 HPCwire Editors' Choice Awards

11.14.17 -

The National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA) at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign won Top Supercomputing Achievement and Best Use of HPC in Physical Science in the annual HPCwire Editors' Choice Awards, at the 2017 International Conference for High Performance Computing, Networking, Storage and Analysis (SC17), in Denver, Colorado. SC17 attendees are invited to join NCSA for a special awards presentation at our booth (#1335) on Tuesday, Nov. 14 at 4:00 p.m. MST (presentation at 4:20pm MST) during NCSA's It's Time to Change the World Again Happy Hour.

"NCSA is honored to be recognized for our contributions that are enabling world-changing research and discoveries," said Dr. Williams "Bill" Gropp, director of NCSA. "There's been an explosion in the types of challenges facing the world that can be addressed through data and computing, and NCSA is committed to being a leader in developing solutions to these challenges. Thank you, HPCwire for this recognition."

Editors' Choice Award — Top Supercomputing Achievement: NCSA's Dr. Seid Koric and Dr. Anshul Gupta from IBM T.J. Watson Research Center demonstrated for the first time that multifrontal sparse factorization algorithm with hybrid parallelization can scale efficiently in today’s large-scale computers.

Koric estimates that solving sparse linear equations accounts for 70-80 percent of the time used in many scientific and engineering simulation codes. Using NCSA's Blue Waters supercomputer and the Watson Sparse Matrix Package (WSMP) solver, Koric and his team, Dr. Anshul Gupta of IBM Watson, Dr. Vladmir Puzyrev of the Barcelona Supercomputing Center and Scott Wilkin, deputy director of NCSA, demonstrated that solving finite element problems can be done with direct solvers on HPC systems like Blue Waters. Problems that would normally take days to solve can now be solved in less than a minute, which greatly benefits those who needs to produce results both accurately and very quickly. Read more about their work.

Editors' Choice Award — Best Use of HPC in Physical Sciences: A team led by the Polar Geospatial Center, working with NCSA's Science and Engineering Application Support (SEAS) team used NCSA's Blue Waters supercomputer to produce the first accurate high-resolution (15,000 times the resolution of previous maps) digital elevation data/maps for the entire Arctic, using SETSM, an open source, automated photogrammetry software to process sub-meter imagery on petascale computing enabled by open source parallel scripting software; and Swift, open source workflow package that enabled SETSM to run on NCSA’s Blue Waters supercomputer. This mapping was done by the ArcticDEM project, an NGA-NSF public-private initiative to automatically produce high-resolution, high quality, digital surface models (DSM) of the Arctic to fulfill a White House Arctic Initiative to inform better decision making in the Arctic. Read more about this work.

About HPCwire Readers' and Editors' Choice Awards

The coveted annual HPCwire Readers' and Editors' Choice Awards are determined through a nomination and voting process with the global HPCwire community, as well as selections from the HPCwire editors. The awards are an annual feature of the publication and constitute prestigious recognition from the HPC community. These awards are revealed each year to kick off the annual supercomputing conference, which showcases high performance computing, networking, storage, and data analysis.

"From innovative industry leaders to the end consumer, the HPCwire readership reaches and engages every aspect of the high performance computing community," said Tom Tabor, CEO of Tabor Communications, publisher of HPCwire. "There is undeniable community support signified in receiving this award. Not only from the entire HPC space, but also the amplitude of industries it serves. We proudly recognize these efforts and achievements and gladly allow the voices of our readers to be heard. Our sincere congratulations to all of the winners."

More information on these awards can be found at the HPCwire website or on Twitter through the following hashtag: #HPCwireAwards.

About NCSA

The National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA) at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign provides supercomputing and advanced digital resources for the nation's science enterprise. At NCSA, University of Illinois faculty, staff, students, and collaborators from around the globe use advanced digital resources to address research grand challenges for the benefit of science and society. NCSA has been advancing one third of the Fortune 50® for more than 30 years by bringing industry, researchers, and students together to solve grand challenges at rapid speed and scale.

Media contact

Kristin Williamson
Senior Assistant Director, NCSA
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
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publicaffairs@ncsa.illinois.edu
Office: 217-300-2933
Cell: 217-343-1594

National Science Foundation

Blue Waters is supported by the National Science Foundation through awards ACI-0725070 and ACI-1238993.