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Power to the people

CSE-Online opens the door to high-performance computing for chemistry researchers, educators, and students. Scientific discovery used to rely on what could be observed under microscopes and through telescopes and what could be learned through experiments in the laboratory. But over the past two decades, computational simulation has emerged as a third powerful technique and is … Continued

Great leaps forward

Petascale computing is on the way, and NCSA will play a key role in enabling scientists and engineers to take full advantage of this increased power. Drawing on years of experience and the expertise of its staff, NCSA will help researchers scale their codes to effectively use tens and hundreds of thousands of processor cores. … Continued

Gimme structure

University of Utah researchers use parallel genetic algorithms to predict crystal structures for a variety of organic substances. NCSA has helped Julio Facelli do his work for years, and that gives him an uncommon perspective on the impact that the center and others like it have had. “I’ve been following [the National Science Foundation-supported centers] … Continued

Enhancing U.S. competitiveness in today’s world

Advances in networking and information technologies underlie most of the 10 flatteners that Thomas Friedman, in his book The World is Flat, asserts have leveled the playing field for 21st Century global, knowledge-based, economic competition. While the world may be flat, its landscape is not without spikes and occasional peaks—technological advances creating powerful spires of … Continued

Getting down to details

By Trish Barker Researchers at Scripps Institution of Oceanography develop fine-scale climate datasets using a novel numerical technique on TeraGrid systems at SDSC and NCSA. Climate research—particularly studies aimed at management of water, energy, forestry, fisheries, or agriculture—requires fine-scale data over long time periods. But it’s nearly impossible to find data from multiple decades that … Continued

Workshop helps graduate students tap into cyberinfrastructure

The National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellows Program provides three years of support to give researchers a boost during the early stages of their careers. On Oct. 17, more than 120 of these young scientists learned about the cyberinfrastructure resources that they can tap into to advance their research thanks to a workshop organized by … Continued

An amazing race

By Kathleen Ricker Six amino acid sequences. Thousands of atoms. Millions of time steps. Could protein researchers using NCSA’s Tungsten solve these protein structures…and test out a theory about how they folded…all in three months? In their folded states, no two protein structures are alike. Typically composed of anywhere from 50 to 300 amino acids, … Continued

Every breath we take

By Trish Barker Researchers at the Illinois State Water Survey and the University of Illinois use NCSA’s systems to simulate how U.S. air quality will be affected by global climate and emission changes. The prevailing scientific view is that emissions from our cars, planes, and the power plants that fuel our nearly infinite array of … Continued

Swirling strengths

Open the door of your house to go outside on a hot summer day and you’ll create a density, or gravity, current. The air outside is hot and therefore lighter than the colder and heavier air conditioned air inside. Two currents develop when the door is open: one of cold air from the house to … Continued

Imaginations unbound in a petascale world

The pursuit of petascale computing is well underway. And while part of that quest will be learning how to exploit these machines for science, engineering, and other research efforts, one thing we do know already: The volume of data produced by petascale simulations will lead to rich and highly detailed visualizations. How will these visualizations … Continued

A common occurrence

A long-term collaboration between astronomers at Northwestern University and NCSA outlines the evolution of binary stars and acts of “stellar cannibalism.” In science fiction, binary stars are often shorthand for the exotic. A pair of suns rising over some alien landscape quickly communicates the foreign and the outlandish. But that reaction just shows our bias … Continued

Ocean forecasting

NCSA’s Advanced Visualization Laboratory (AVL) collaborated with the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI) and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory/Caltech to visualize Regional Ocean Modeling System (ROMS) simulation data. The simulation data visualized here were generated as part of the Autonomous Ocean Sampling Network II program (AOSN II). Fleets of robotic vehicles are enabling the observation … Continued

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