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NCSA announces 2018-19 Blue Waters Graduate Fellows

The Blue Waters project at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA) has selected ten graduate fellows from across the United States, spanning various fields of study, as recipients of the Blue Waters Graduate Fellowship. Blue Waters is a leadership-class supercomputer funded by the National Science Foundation and operated by NCSA at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

“The Blue Waters Graduate Fellowship Program is a very competitive and unique program, offered to highly qualified Ph.D. students across the country, with support from the National Science Foundation,” says Scott Lathrop, the Blue Waters Program Manager for Education, Outreach and Training. “The program has empowered the fellows to accelerate their research and leverage their success to pursue professional careers in industry and academia.”

The Blue Waters Graduate Fellowship Program, now in its fifth year, provides fellows with a year of financial support while they pursue research on Blue Waters, a supercomputer with sustained petascale computing power.

“The Blue Waters Project is excited to have our fifth round of Blue Waters fellows to continue our efforts to accelerate young researchers’ careers who have chosen to use large computation and data analysis in their work,” said Bill Kramer, Director of the Blue Waters Project. “The awards include substantial funding, a significant allocation of computational time on Blue Waters, NSF’s leadership-class computer, and intellectual resources to enable these students to expand their research goals.”

Blue Waters fellows receive financial support of $50,000, which includes a stipend and tuition allowance. The fellows also receive funds to travel to NCSA and the annual Blue Waters Symposium, a 50,000 node-hour allocation of computing time, and focused staff support to accelerate their research. Since its inception, this program has awarded more than $2.3 million and over 73 million core hours to support innovative research across a broad spectrum of science domains.

The 2018-2019 Fellows’ research focuses

  • Elaad Applebaum, Rutgers University, will run cosmological simulations that uncover the mechanisms of star formation in dwarf galaxies.
  • Katelyn Barber, University of North Dakota, will be using numerical simulations to streamline the identification of convectively-induced turbulence for aviation.
  • Shanna Chu, Stanford University, will be testing complex physical models developed for intermediate-depth earthquakes.
  • Robert Cieri III, University of Utah, will be studying the effects of habitat, body size, and metabolic rates on airflow patterns in human lungs.
  • Andrew Emerick, Columbia University, will work in collaboration with the Enzo-P/Cello project to develop a new approach to viewing interactions between stars and galaxies.
  • Alexander Gurvich, Northwestern University, will model the outflows of gas in forming stars, and investigate multiple phases of outflows at a high resolution.
  • Kara Marsac, Colorado School of Mines, will use reactive transport modeling to estimate the probability of finding alternative water sources in areas with very high water-stress.
  • Ruijie Darius Teo, Duke University, will investigate proteins in proximity to Fe-S clusters and examine the role of the latter on charge transfer.
  • Walter Torres, Duke University, will run CFD experiments with the goal to explain and predict the anticyclonic flow of nutrients, contaminants and sediment around island systems.
  • Samuel Whitman, University of Colorado Boulder, will study bluff body stabilized turbulent flames in order to improve turbines.

About NCSA

The National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA) at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign provides supercomputing and advanced digital resources for the nation’s science enterprise. At NCSA, University of Illinois faculty, staff, students, and collaborators from around the globe use advanced digital resources to address research grand challenges for the benefit of science and society. NCSA has been advancing one third of the Fortune 50® for more than 30 years by bringing industry, researchers, and students together to solve grand challenges at rapid speed and scale.

About NCSA’s Blue Waters Project

The Blue Waters petascale supercomputer is one of the most powerful supercomputers in the world. Blue Waters uses hundreds of thousands of computational cores to achieve peak performance of more than 13 quadrillion calculations per second. With 1.5 petabytes of memory, Blue Waters has faster data storage than any other open system in the world. Scientists and engineers across the country use the computing and data power of Blue Waters to tackle a wide range of interdisciplinary challenges. Recent advances that were not possible without these resources include computationally designing the rst set of antibody prototypes to detect the Ebola virus, simulating the HIV capsid, visualizing the formation of the first galaxies and exploding stars, and understanding how the layout of a city can impact supercell thunderstorms.

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