Skip to main content

News Archive


Assurance of things not seen

By J. William Bell University of Virginia researchers use TeraGrid resources to simulate the accretion disks that ring black holes and the astrophysical jets they create. To borrow from a biblical description of faith, accretion disks are an assurance of things not seen. Black holes gobble up light and matter, leaving telescopes nothing to detect. … Continued

A kiss to be avoided

Kissing bug. Although the name sounds friendly, the insect is anything but. Officially known as Rhodnius prolixus, this small South American insect and its blood-sucking ways are the focus of much attention from University of Florida chemistry professor Adrian Roitberg and his colleagues, Marcelo A. Martí, Mariano C. Gonzalez Lebrero, and Dario A. Estrin, at … Continued

Unlocking gridlock

At 7:42 a.m. on a bright Monday morning, a man exits the train and heads down the sidewalk, walking briskly to his office in downtown. Out in the suburbs, his wife drives to a dentist appointment while their son’s school bus drops him off for another busy day in second grade, as the garbage truck … Continued

Strong and connected

Ed Seidel, director of the National Science Foundation’s Office of Cyberinfrastructure, has worked with NCSA for almost two decades. He’s been a postdoc and research scientist at the center, a supercomputer user, and a collaborator on various projects. Seidel sat with Access’ J. William Bell to discuss NSF’s vision and the perspective his career has … Continued

Illinois breaks ground on new Petascale Computing Facility

Heavy machinery clanged and dust swirled as the University of Illinois held a groundbreaking ceremony for the $72.5 million Illinois Petascale Computing Facility on Nov. 5, 2008. Work on the 88,000-square-foot building that will house the Blue Waters sustained-petaflop supercomputer is already under way at the corner of Oak Street and St. Mary’s Road in … Continued

Bone builder

By Barbara Jewett Researchers exploit NCSA resources to develop a bone replacement material that uses the body’s own tissues. Imagine not eating solid foods for 12 years because you lost most of your mandible to cancer. Or being a soldier with a grotesquely disfigured face, the result of a roadside bomb that destroyed your maxilla. … Continued

Historic proportions

If history is any guide, Blue Waters will be a unique national asset for scientists around the country. 1 calculation = 1 second In 2007, the National Science Foundation tapped the University of Illinois, its National Center for Supercomputing Applications, IBM, and partners around the country to build Blue Waters. When it comes online in … Continued

The best things constantly change

With the National Science Foundation’s funding of a sustained-petascale computer system, called Blue Waters, the high-performance computing community embraces on new challenges. Access’ Barbara Jewett discussed some of the hardware and software issues with the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign’s Wen-mei Hwu, professor of electrical and computer engineering, and Marc Snir, director of the Illinois … Continued

Global science

Science has no geographical boundaries. That’s why international research teams working together to discover innovative solutions to complex problems of global importance are sharing more easily by using powerful distributed systems of computers, data storage, visualization displays, and instruments at collaborating sites around the globe. The Global Lambda Integrated Facility (GLIF) is one such system. … Continued

Reflecting chemical intuition

University of Illinois researcher Todd Martinez teams with NCSA to speed chemistry simulations and improve the way the results are stored and studied. On data analysis and mining projects, scientists often talk about saving themselves from “drowning in data.” There’s too much for a human to look at, too much for an entire research team … Continued

Blue Waters: Changing the way science is done

Thom Dunning, Director, NCSARob Pennington, Deputy Director, NCSA Until about the middle of the last century, science was really founded on two major premises. One was work in the laboratory, referred to as experiment; the other was work on discovering the underlying principles, theory. With the development of electronic computers in the 1950s, scientists began … Continued

Dark energy project moving forward

The Dark Energy Survey will study the nature of dark energy and cosmic acceleration. The possibility that some cosmic dark energy exists that contributes to the expansion of the universe has been recognized for more than a decade. Although a dark force sounds like something from a science fiction movie, scientists now estimate that dark … Continued

Girls experience astronomy through GEMS program

At the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA), stargazing is going on in broad daylight. For the second consecutive year, the Girls Engaged in Math and Science (GEMS) program at NCSA is partnered with the Department of Astronomy at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign to bring grid-based digital astronomy within reach for about 40 … Continued

Future markets analysis

Participating in the futures market can be a risky business. But a liquidity cost estimator developed by a pair of University of Illinois agricultural economists can help manage the risk. What do you do if you have a problem to solve, but it will take you almost a month to get the results on your … Continued

Strong community engagement strengthens cybersecurity research and development

Randy Butler and Von Welch, Co-directorsNCSA Cybersecurity Directorate Infrastructures around the world—from power grids to financial services to scientific research grids to emergency systems—are dependent on cyberinfrastructure, which itself is an increasingly intricate network of interdependent systems. As this infrastructure become more complex and critical to our everyday lives, so grows the risk from attackers … Continued

Back to top