March 21, 2012
March 20 -- Six research teams have begun using the first phase of the Blue Waters sustained-petascale supercomputer to study some of the most challenging problems in science and engineering, from supernovae to climate change to the molecular mechanism of HIV infection.
The Blue Waters Early Science System, which is made up of 48 Cray XE6 cabinets, represents about 15 percent of the total Blue Waters computational system and is currently the most powerful computing resource available through the National Science Foundation.
"This is an exciting and important milestone in the Blue Waters project," said Irene Qualters, program director of the NSF Office of Cyberinfrastructure. "It began as an idea, and now thanks to sustained collaborative efforts by the entire project team, the vendor and the science teams, this computational tool is beginning to advance fundamental understanding in a wide range of scientific topics."
More than two dozen research teams have been awarded Petascale Computing Resource Allocations (PRAC) through a competitive NSF-led process. The PRAC awards enable these teams to work with NCSA to prepare their codes to take full advantage of Blue Waters and other extreme-scale computing systems. The teams submitted proposals outlining how they could use the Early Science System during the limited time it is available before being integrated into the full Blue Waters system; it was challenging to select just a few of the teams to achieve the first Blue Waters science results.
"All of these outstanding science and engineering teams are poised to do great, boundary-expanding work. The achievements of the first set of pioneers will soon be followed by those of their colleagues when the full system becomes available later this year," said NCSA Director Thom Dunning, principal investigator for the Blue Waters project.
The Early Science System research teams and their projects are:
For more information about Blue Waters and the science and engineering research it will support, see http://www.ncsa.illinois.edu/BlueWaters/.
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