"The problems that will be studied in these projects are important from the scientific point of view, as well as from the societal or economic points of view", stated Bryan Shader, UW's special assistant to the vice president of research and economic development, and a professor of mathematics. "The spatial and temporal scope, and the complexity of these studies, requires the use of a supercomputer."
Seven projects received allocations in November 2012; another six were selected in February 2013; four more were chosen during July 2013; five were picked in December 2013; four were chosen last summer; and this latest batch received approval earlier this month.
The newest projects, with a brief description and principal investigators, begin March 1, and are as follows:
This joint project involves UW, the University of Utah, Utah State University and Brigham Young University. This project is supported by a $5 million National Science Foundation (NSF) grant.
Fred Ogden, UW's Cline Distinguished Chair in the Department of Civil and Architectural Engineering and Haub School of Environment and Natural Resources; and Craig Douglas, a professor of mathematics and the School of Energy Resources, head the project.
Bart Geerts, a UW professor in the Department of Atmospheric Science, leads the project. Team members include Yonggang Wang, a UW post-doctoral student in atmospheric science, and Changhai Liu, a project scientist II in NCAR's Research Applications Lab.
This NASA-supported research is led by Stefan Heinz, a UW professor of mathematics, and Michael Stoellinger, a UW assistant professor of mechanical engineering.
Xiahong Liu, the Wyoming Excellence Chair in Climate Modelling and a UW professor of atmospheric science, leads this joint National Science Foundation/Department of Energy funded project. Xiahong Liu's collaborators include Zheng Lu and Yiquan Jiang, both post-doctoral students, and doctoral student Mingxuan Wu and Yun Zhou.
Dimitri Mavriplis (PI), Jonathan Naughton, Jay Sitaraman and Stoellinger - all professors in UW's Department of Mechanical Engineering - will collaborate. The project is supported by a large, recently awarded Department of Energy grant and an Air Force Office of Scientific Research grant.
The recommended allocations total 34 million core hours, 96 terabytes of storage space, 340 terabytes of archival storage, and 25,000 hours on data analysis and visualization systems, Bryan Shader said. To provide some perspective on what these numbers mean, here are some useful comparisons. In simplest terms, Yellowstone can be thought of as 72,567 personal computers that are cleverly interconnected to perform as one computer. The computational time allocated is equivalent to the use of the entire supercomputer for 20 days, 24 hours a day. The 96 terabytes of storage would be enough to store the entire printed collection of the U.S. Library of Congress nine times.
Yellowstone consists of about 70,000 processors, also known as cores. An allocation of one core hour allows a project to run one of these processors for one hour, or 1,000 of these for 1/1,000th of an hour.
The Wyoming share of the NWSC resources is currently 75 million core hours of computing on Yellowstone; around 400 terabytes of high-performance storage; and 5 petabytes of longer-term tape storage.
The NWSC is the result of a partnership among the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR), the operating entity for NCAR; the University of Wyoming; the state of Wyoming; Cheyenne LEADS; the Wyoming Business Council; and Cheyenne Light, Fuel and Power. The NWSC is operated by NCAR under sponsorship of the NSF.
The NWSC contains one of the world's most powerful supercomputers (1.5 petaflops, which is equal to 1.5 quadrillion mathematical operations per second) dedicated to improving scientific understanding of climate change, severe weather, air quality and other vital atmospheric science and geo-science topics. The centre also houses a premier data storage (16 petabytes) and archival facility that holds historical climate records and other information.