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Trying new things

by Barbara Jewett Exploring new technologies and dreaming up ways to apply them characterize NCSA. Expanding capabilities extends to staff as well. “In retrospect, I probably really wasn’t that great a match for NCSA,” says Melanie Loots with a laugh. “But Larry Smarr was interested in me and I was hired to be in the … Continued

User reflections: John Hawley

Q. What were you studying when you used NCSA’s first supercomputer, the Cray X-MP? What new results came from its use? What other NCSA capabilities helped you advance your science? A. At the time I was working on modeling astrophysical jets and the behavior of orbiting rings of gas that were subject to a certain … Continued

Behind the scenes of NCSA: Data aces

The computer information storage field, both hardware and software, has changed immensely through the years. In the early days, storage didn’t have many options; it was big platters, slow access arms, and even slower manually mounted tapes. File system performance and archival storage were not glamorous like the supercomputers, merely a background service. Storage now … Continued

Illinois scientific visualization team helps show impact of ‘The Great Flood’ for premiere at ELLNOR

Grammy Award-winning guitarist and composer Bill Frisell and Obie-winning experimental filmmaker Bill Morrison will premiere “The Great Flood,” a 75-minute multimedia work of original music and film inspired by the 1927 Mississippi River floods, on Sept. 10 at ELLNORA | The Guitar Festival at the University of Illinois’ Krannert Center for the Performing Arts. Members … Continued

A project designed to evolve

What can be done to provide new and expanded infrastructure and services that substantively improve the ability of a broad range of researchers to conduct their work? How can we do this and account for the fact that research no longer typically happens in the context of a single investigator on a single campus? These … Continued

Audio + Visual

By Tracy Culumber So you thought the visualizers on iTunes were entertaining? How about a live musical performance where digital artwork goes well beyond oscilloscopes and actually creates music in a real-time collaborative, interactive virtual world. Following the International Computer Music Conference in Copenhagen last August, Ben Smith sat at his laptop on a stage … Continued

Blue Waters Update—NCSA/IBM Joint Statement

Effective Aug. 6, 2011, IBM terminated its contract with the University of Illinois to provide the supercomputer for the National Center for Supercomputing Applications’ Blue Waters project. NCSA is confident that its goal of building a sustained-petascale supercomputer remains achievable in a timely manner. NCSA is coordinating with the National Science Foundation to ensure project … Continued

Girls dive into computer science during GEMS

by Bri ChapmanNCSA Cybereducation Intern Instead of spending their summer at the pool this year, 38 middle-school girls plunged headfirst into learning with hands-on experiments with math, science, and programming concepts during Girls Engaged in Math and Science (GEMS) camp at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA). Since 1994, GEMS has involved middle-school girls … Continued

NCSA leading project to improve security for science gateways

A three-year project to improve security for science gateways used by researchers across the country gets under way today, led by the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA) in collaboration with Indiana University, the Texas Advanced Computing Center (TACC), and the University of Wisconsin-Madison. The “Distributed Web Security for Science Gateways” project, which is supported … Continued

Seats available in summer course on many-core processors

The Virtual School of Computational Science and Engineering still has seats available at some locations for the 2011 Summer School course on Proven Algorithmic Techniques for Many-core Processors. This course, taught organized by Wen-Mei Hwu from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, provides students, faculty and staff access to an outstanding set of lessons on … Continued

NCSA helps Chicago’s Adler Planetarium create ‘Deep Space Adventure’

NCSA’s Advanced Visualization Laboratory (AVL) collaborated with the Adler Planetarium and astronomy researchers to take planetarium visitors on an ultra high-definition “Deep Space Adventure” that combines a science fiction narrative with scientifically accurate renderings of planets, stars, and galaxies. The Adler’s Grainger Sky Theater now projects the largest single seamless digital image in the world … Continued

‘The Tree of Life’ to screen in Champaign

You’ve probably heard about “The Tree of Life,” which recently won the Palm d’Or at the Cannes film festival and stars Brad Pitt. But you might not have heard that the movie features two scientific visualizations by NCSA’s Advanced Visualization Lab. “The Tree of Life” will begin its run at Champaign’s Art Theater on June … Continued

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