November 09, 2011
Nov. 9 -- 2011 was a milestone year for the Texas Advanced Computing Center (TACC). In addition to celebrating our 10th anniversary of enabling scientific discoveries and advanced computing achievements, TACC debuted its newest HPC system, Lonestar 4, and announced that we had won an award from the National Science Foundation to build one of the most powerful supercomputers on the planet, Stampede, set for production in January 2013.
On the science front, TACC supported the development of new semiconductor and quantum computing technologies that will play an important role in future computing development, helped improve plant biology tools and algorithms, and aided scientists in Japan by providing computing time to researchers impacted by the earthquake and tsunami.
This year at SC'11, TACC's booth activities will highlight these projects and other socially significant scientific research made possible by our advanced computing resources, while also demonstrating center-led R&D projects, and outlining our future direction. We are particularly excited to present Lasso, a multi-panel touch display that showcases TACC's role as a pioneer in display and interface technologies. Also of note, we will have a Dell compute node with an Intel MIC card as well as the Knight's Ferry software development kit. Future incarnations of these technologies will power the upcoming 10-petaflop Stampede system. Staff will be on hand to discuss this emerging computing architecture.
Several leading application researchers will present their findings in TACC's booth, including: Ali Yilmaz (The University of Texas at Austin), principal investigator on an NSF-funded project investigating the effects of cell phone radiation on the body; Michael Crowley (National Renewable Energy Laboratory), part of a research team using simulation to explore biomass conversion by bacterial and fungal enzymes; Robert Farber (Pacific Northwest National Laboratory), a leader in GPU and hybrid computing techniques; and Nathan Baker (Pacific Northwest National Laboratory), chief scientist for the Signature Discovery Initiative and lead for the National Cancer Institute Cancer Biomedical Informatics Grid.
TACC Visualization Researcher Brandt Westing interacts with Lasso, TACC's touch-sensitive tiled display. Lasso will be in TACC's booth for interaction.
Also speaking in the booth will be TACC Director Jay Boisseau, Deputy Director Dan Stanzione, and staff member Lars Koesterke, among others. Their talks will focus on the new Stampede system, developments in the iPlant Collaborative, and lessons learned porting scientific computing codes to the Intel MIC co-processors, respectively. [See full SC'11 Booth Presentation List.]
Throughout the day, TACC's booth will feature stunning visualizations, short videos showcasing TACC systems and scientists, and interactive demonstrations of Lasso, a 3x2-monitor touch-sensitive tiled display equipped with Microsoft Kinnect for interaction at a distance.
Additionally, TACC staff will be leading and participating in a number of tutorials, talks, and special sessions at the conference. Kelly Gaither, TACC's director of Visualization, led the creation of the Scientific Visualization Showcase, a new event at this year's conference. The showcase gives conference attendees a chance to experience the beauty of scientific visualization. Other highlights include two talks in the new "State of the Practice" track highlighting TACC's development of multi-touch display environments and best practices for the deployment and management of production HPC clusters, as well as two TACC-led workshops on Python for high performance and scientific computing and gateway computing environments. [See full list of TACC's Involvement at SC'11.]
On the education front, TACC will again be sponsoring a Student Cluster Challenge Team from The University of Texas at Austin. Last year, the TACC-sponsored team took home second prize and the highest LINPACK score ever. This year, with support from Dell, Intel, Mellanox, Chevron and Green Revolution Cooling, they hope to do even better.
As always, TACC staff will be present to discuss high performance computing, remote visualization, and data storage and archiving, and to provide one-on-one guidance on advanced computing techniques and technologies.
Join us at these talks and visit TACC Booth #323 on the exhibition floor to learn more about TACC's advanced computing resources, services, and programs.
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