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18 general, 9 exploratory allocations on Blue Waters awarded to Illinois researchers

Eighteen researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign received allocations on the Blue Waters petascale supercomputer at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA). A portion of available time on Blue Waters is reserved for University faculty and staff projects like these that require the system’s unique capabilities.

Ten of the awards will continue projects already running on Blue Waters, related to a wide variety of topics like tornadoes, steel casting, and cell function, among others. Eight allocations are for new projects:

  • Santanu Chaudhuri (Chemistry) will use an adaptive algorithm to discover new ternary phases of semiconducting, magnetic and high-temperature superconducting compounds.
  • Donna Cox (Art + Design/NCSA)will design and render high-resolution, multi-format visualizations, including 4K full-dome formats for large-scale museums and high-definition TV. This is part of the NSF project Centrality of Advanced Digitally-Enabled Science (CADENS).
  • Charles Gammie (Astronomy) will model isothermal magnetohydrodynamic turbulence in an accretion disk, which occurs around young stars, black holes, neutron stars, and white dwarfs.
  • Claudio Grosman (Molecular & Integrative Physiology) will investigate the molecular details that underlie charge selectivity in pentameric ligand-gated ion channels.
  • Indranil Gupta (Computer Science) will evaluate the performance of several widely used, data-intensive cloud computing software systems on a supercomputer-like machine.
  • Eric Jakobsson (Molecular & Integrative Physiology/Beckman Institute) will simulate the structure-function relationships of proteins confined in silica-bounded cavities.
  • Deborah Levin (Aerospace Engineering) will model 3D fluid flow using her group’s newly developed code that has already shown it can handle hundreds of billions of particles.
  • Junshik Um (Atmospheric Sciences)will calculate radiative properties of four different idealized small ice crystals, which can be used to improve modeling and satellite studies of ice clouds.

The renewed allocations are for Narayana Aluru, Gustavo Caetano-Anolles, John Gerlt, Liudmila Mainzer (formerly Christopher Fields), Nancy Makri, Klaus Schulten, Marc Snir, Emad Tajkhorshid, Brian Thomas, and Bob Wilhelmson.

Nine projects also received exploratory allocations to test their code on Blue Waters. Topics for these projects include but are not limited to human bone strength and fractures, food processing, and sediment transport in rivers.

More information on all of these projects is available at The next deadline for proposals is March 16, 2015.

Blue Waters is one of the world’s most powerful supercomputers, capable of performing quadrillions of calculations every second and working with quadrillions of bytes of data. Its massive scale and balanced architecture enable scientists and engineers to tackle research challenges that could not be addressed with other computing systems.For more information about Blue Waters and the discovery it enables, go to

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