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Volodymyr Kindratenko to guest edit journal

NCSA’s Volodymyr Kindratenko will guest edit the May/June 2012 issue of Computing in Science & Engineering. The special issue will focus on the use of GPUs in science and engineering applications. Submissions for the issue are now being accepted. They can cover all aspects of the topic, but articles presenting results of porting efforts of … Continued

NCSA’s Advanced Visualization Lab contributes to Palm d’Or-winning Terrence Malick film

Filmmaker Terrence Malick is often praised for the beauty of his films and their resonance with nature. Roger Ebert talks about his “painterly images.” For Janet Maslin, it’s his “visual genius” and his “intoxication with natural beauty.” In Malick’s new movie, “The Tree of Life,” some of that natural beauty came from an unlikely source—the … Continued

NCSA deploys new high-performance cluster dedicated to industrial use

The National Center for Supercomputing Applications is deploying a new 22-teraflop high-performance computing cluster, dubbed iForge, dedicated exclusively to the center’s Private Sector Partners, such as Rolls-Royce, Boeing, and Caterpillar. iForge comprises a mix of 121 Dell servers: 116 PowerEdge M610 servers featuring dual-socket/six-core (12 cores total) 3.46 GHz Intel Xeon x5690 processors, 96GB of … Continued

NCSA installing 153 teraflop supercomputer

The National Center for Supercomputing Applications has begun installation of a 153 teraflop supercomputer, dubbed Forge. Forge is a hybrid system that combines both CPUs and general purpose graphics-processing units (GPUs); it will replace NCSA’s previous hybrid system, known as Lincoln, and is expected to enter production by July 1. Forge will combine 18 Dell … Continued

International coalition aims to enable climate simulation at extreme scale

Policy decisions for mitigating climate change or adapting to it are subjects of great discussion throughout the world. Uninformed decisions will impose a heavy cost on future generations, both financial and human. Therefore, it is essential to reduce the current uncertainties about future climate changes and their impact by running climate simulations at 1,000 times … Continued

Going somewhere

NCSA turned 25 in January. Bob Wilhelmson was at NCSA from the very beginning. Although he formally retired last year, he still is involved with the center. When the unsolicited proposal that gave birth to NCSA was written and sent to the National Science Foundation (NSF) in 1983, high-performance computing was being discussed by folks … Continued

The “most powerful computer in the world”

by Thom DunningDirector, NCSA Last fall our Chinese supercomputing colleagues caused a stir in the United States, as well as the rest of the world, by announcing the Tianhe-1A supercomputer. Tianhe-1A, with a Linpack benchmark score of 2.57 petaflop/s (PF/s), captured the #1 spot on the Top500 List, shoving aside Oak Ridge’s Jaguar at 1.76 … Continued

Free radicals—Get them before they get you!

by Trish Barker Researchers from Long Island University use NCSA’s Abe to provide a valuable clue in the hunt for more effective antioxidants. In the 1970s, Andreas Zavitsas had a theory that the key factor determining the rate of free radical reactions was the starting energy of the reactant, or parent, molecule. But other scientists, … Continued

User reflections: Michael Norman

Preparations for observing NCSA’s 25th anniversary this year revealed several users who computed at NCSA in 1986 who are still active users today. We invited them to share their thoughts on advances in high-performance computing. Michael Norman, University of California, San Diego [Editor’s note: Michael Norman, director of the San Diego Supercomputer Center, was, until … Continued

Behind the scenes of NCSA—Mission: security

Though they’re not quite as clandestine as an impossible missions force, the work of NCSA’s Security Operations team is just as vital and nearly as challenging. This group of network security specialists supports the center by applying the latest cybersecurity advances to protect NCSA’s high-performance computing resources. They also maintain the integrity of staff computers … Continued

Medium action

by Barbara Jewett University of Colorado researchers study the chemistry of the interstellar medium with the help of NCSA’s Abe. Space is not empty. In fact, says Zhibo Yang, there’s an area of the universe called the interstellar medium (ISM) that is filled with molecules, atoms, ions, and grains of dust. And these things are … Continued

A tremendous return

An expert in building reliable computing systems, Ravi Iyer is the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign’s Vice Chancellor for Research. NCSA’s J. William Bell talked to Iyer recently about the Blue Waters sustained-petascale supercomputer and the role of large projects like Blue Waters and interdisciplinary centers like NCSA at the University. Q. Tell us a … Continued

Contrail clouds

The climate research community suspects that aviation impacts global climate by changing cloud cover, but the extent of this effect is very uncertain. That’s the focus of a Stanford University project led by Mark Jacobson and Sanjiva Lele. Their team, including PhD candidate Alexander Naiman, is studying the impact of commercial aviation on climate. The … Continued

‘People’s lives are affected’

by J. William Bell The Blue Waters sustained-petascale supercomputer will help researchers figure out ways to blunt climate change and develop local strategies for living with the changes that do occur. A scientific consensus has emerged: The Earth’s climate is changing, and human behavior is accelerating that change. Climate modeling on supercomputers played a huge … Continued

EcoG cluster aiding high-energy physics research

When Illinois students worked with faculty and NCSA staff to build one of the world’s most energy-efficient supercomputers last fall, they hoped the system could be used to speed up some real scientific calculations once theirbenchmarking work was done. And in the months since they picked up their Green500 awards at SC10, their hopeshave been … Continued

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