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NCSA celebrates big computing, big data with Petascale Day

On Oct. 15, NCSA invites everyone to participate in Petascale Day, a celebration of big computing and big data.

Petascale” refers to computing and data in the quadrillions, like the more than 13 quadrillion calculations the Blue Waters supercomputer can perform every second and the quadrillions of bytes of data the center can store.

Everyone is invited to see and learn more about Blue Waters, one of the world’s most powerful supercomputers. Tours of the supercomputer are self-paced, so visit the National Petascale Computing Facilty (1725 S. Oak St., Champaign) any time between 3 and 6 p.m. and stay as little or as long as you like. Guides will be available to answer questions. Come alone, or with a group—all ages welcome!

After 5 p.m., free parking is available across Oak Street in University Lot E-14. Before 5 p.m., metered spots are available in E-14. The Champaign-Urbana Mass Transit District offers excellent service to the area.

At the NCSA Building, 1205 W. Clark St., Urbana, visitors can see stunning 3D high-definition visualizations of scientific phenomena—including the Orion Nebula and the swirling winds of a hurricane—created by NCSA’s Advanced Visualization Laboratory for IMAX theaters and planetariums. Come any time between 3 and 6 p.m. The demonstration lasts approximately 15 minutes.

Metered parking is available on surrounding streets and in the parking garage north of the NCSA Building. The Champaign-Urbana Mass Transit District offers excellent service to the area.

If you have questions, please contact Barb Jewett ( | 217-265-0748) or Trish Barker ( | 217-265-8013).

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