Skip to main content

NCSA Receives Honors in 2021 HPCwire Readers’ and Editors’ Choice Awards

Abstract gradient pattern with cyan, purple and teal action lines with blue background

NCSA has been recognized with four awards in the annual HPCwire Readers’ and Editors’ Choice Awards, presented at the 2021 International Conference for High Performance Computing, Networking Storage and Analysis (SC21), in St. Louis, Missouri. This is the eleventh consecutive year NCSA has been so honored.

These awards highlight the innovation that is the hallmark of NCSA. In addition, they demonstrate how teamwork and collaboration can transform scientific research, especially when combined with the use of AI. Our staff works diligently to support science, but these past two years we’ve worked tirelessly to develop and support the tools our campus needed to safely operate during this pandemic, so I’m especially delighted the efforts of our team that developed the Laboratory Information Management System, LIMS, for the University of Illinois COVID SHIELD saliva test were recognized with these awards.

William “Bill” Gropp, NCSA Director

The complete list of winners can be viewed on the HPCwire website. NCSA was recognized with:

  • Editor’s Choice: Best Use of High Performance Data Analytics & Artificial Intelligence. A team led by Argonne National Laboratory, with scientists from NCSA and the University of Chicago, used the Summit supercomputer at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, NCSA’s HAL cluster, funcX, Nvidia’s TensorRT and the Data and Learning Hub for Science (DLHub) to create reproducible, physics-inspired AI models that search for and detect gravitational waves in one-month’s worth advanced LIGO data within seven minutes. It’s the first production-scale AI method that combines HPC and edge computing and enables orders of magnitude faster AI-driven inference of gravitational waves (published in Nature Astronomy).
  • Reader’s Choice: Best Use of HPC in the Cloud (Use Case). NCSA LIMS team’s efforts were honored. The NCSA team used Amazon Web Services, PostgreSQL and open-source tools to develop a custom, HIPAA-compliant Laboratory Information Management System (LIMS) for the University of Illinois COVID SHIELD saliva test. The NCSA COVID LIMS system integrates with multiple healthcare systems to accept test orders and report results and is now used by diagnostic laboratories across the country to test K-20 students so they can safely return to in-person learning.
  • Reader’s Choice: Best Use of HPC in the Cloud (Use Case). NCSA was honored a second time in this category, for the COVID LIMS system our LIMS team (above) developed.
  • Reader’s Choice: Best Use of HPC in Physical Sciences. An international scientific collaboration developed the first class of AI models that outperform humans in the classification of thousands of compact star clusters observed by the Hubble Space Telescope. The collaboration used NCSA’s HAL cluster in addition to systems at other institutions. Participating institutions are: Space Telescope Science Institute, Gemini Observatory, Caltech/IPAC, University of Chicago, Argonne National Laboratory, University of Illinois, Argelander-Institut für Astronomi, Zentrum für Astronomie der Universität Heidelberg, Australian National University, University of Alberta and Max Planck Institut für Astronomie. Resources used: AWS, Bridges-2 (Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center, allocated and supported by XSEDE), HAL (NCSA), NVIDIA cuDNN-accelerated deep-learning framework, TensorRT, and the Data and Learning Hub for Science.

The coveted annual HPCwire Readers’ and Editors’ Choice Awards are determined through a nomination and voting process with the global HPCwire community, as well as selections from the HPCwire editors. The awards are an annual feature of the publication and constitute prestigious recognition from the HPC community and are revealed each year to kick off the annual Supercomputing Conference, which showcases high performance computing, networking, storage and data analysis.

 “Every year it is our pleasure to connect with and honor the HPC community through our Readers’ and Editors’ Choice Awards, and 2021 marked an exceptional showing of industry innovation,” says Tom Tabor, CEO of Tabor Communications, publisher of HPCwire. “Between our worldwide readership of HPC experts and an unparalleled panel of editors, the Readers’ and Editors’ Choice Awards represent resounding recognition throughout the industry. Our congratulations go out to all of the winners.”

About HPCwire

HPCwire is the #1 news and information resource covering the fastest computers in the world and the people who run them. With a legacy dating back to 1986, HPCwire has enjoyed a legacy of world-class editorial and journalism, making it the news source of choice selected by science, technology and business professionals interested in high performance and data-intensive computing. Visit HPCwire at


The National Center for Supercomputing Applications at the University of Illinois 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 these resources to address research challenges for the benefit of science and society. NCSA has been advancing many of the world’s industry giants for over 35 years by bringing industry, researchers and students together to solve grand challenges at rapid speed and scale.

Back to top