University of Wyoming (UW) faculty members will lead projects that will use the NCAR-Wyoming Supercomputing Center (NWSC). Each project was critically reviewed by an external panel of experts and evaluated on the experimental design, computational effectiveness, efficiency of resource use, and broader impacts such as how the project involves both UW and NCAR researchers; strengthens UW's research capacity; enhances UW's computational programmes; or involves research in a new or emerging field.
The Wyoming-NCAR Allocation Panel recently evaluated the large allocation requests to use computational resources at the NCAR-Wyoming Supercomputing Center, said Bryan Shader, UW's special assistant to the vice president of research and economic development, and a professor of mathematics.
"The projects were granted allocations totaling 42 million core hours. In addition, 6 million core hours were recently awarded to a new faculty member as part of his start-up package", he stated.
Twenty-five UW-led projects used Yellowstone - the nickname for the supercomputer - in 2015, and this places Wyoming as the top university in total allocations, users and usage among all universities that use the NWSC.
Since the supercomputer came on line during October 2012, allocations have been made to 42 UW research projects, including these latest seven, which commenced this month.
The newest projects, with a brief description and principal investigators, are as follows:
Bart Geerts, a UW professor of atmospheric science, heads the project. Collaborators include Yonggang Wang, a UW post-doctoral scientist; Changhai Liu, from NCAR's Research Applications Laboratory; and Xiaoqin Jing, a UW doctoral student.
Bart Geerts also heads this project. Collaborators are Jeff French, a UW assistant professor of atmospheric science; Lulin Xue, a project scientist with NCAR's Research Applications Lab; and Xiu Chu, a UW doctoral student.
The project is funded through an ongoing NSF grant with Roy Rasmussen and Dan Breed, both with NCAR; and a pending NSF grant with French and Robert Rauber, a professor and head of the Department of Atmospheric Sciences at the University of Illinois-Urbana Champaign.
Lamia Gaoul, an adjunct professor in UW's School of Energy Resources (SER), leads the project. Collaborators are Mohammad Piri, the Wyoming Excellence Chair in Petroleum Engineering and a UW professor of petroleum engineering in the SER; and Will Welch, a post-doctoral researcher in petroleum engineering.
Jang-Condell heads the project that is funded by the NASA Exoplanet Research Programme.
Project collaborators are Ben Shipway and Adrian Hill, both from the UK Meteorological Office; and Hugh Morrison from NCAR. The project is funded through start-up funds from UWs Office of Research and Economic Development.
Xiaohong Liu, the Wyoming Excellence Chair in Climate Science and a professor of atmospheric science, is the project leader. Collaborators are Bart Geerts and Jianting "Julian" Zhu, a UW associate professor of civil engineering; Andrew Gettleman and Colin Zarxycki, both from NCAR; and UW doctoral students Chenglai Wu and Zheng Lu.
The project is funded through a College of Engineering and Applied Science grant.
Dimitri Mavriplis, a UW professor of mechanical engineering, is the project lead. Collaborators are Michael Stoellinger, a UW assistant professor of mechanical engineering; Tom Parish, department head and a UW professor of atmospheric science; and Jon Naughton, a UW professor of mechanical engineering.
Funding is provided through a U.S. Department of Energy grant secured by Naughton.
The most recent recommended allocations total 42 million core hours, 71 terabytes of storage space, 222 terabytes of archival storage, and 9,000 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 13 days, 24 hours a day. The 222 terabytes of storage would be enough to store the entire printed collection of the U.S. Library of Congress more than 20 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.
A new supercomputer, dubbed Cheyenne, is expected to be operational at the beginning of 2017. The new high-performance computer will be a 5.34-petaflop system, meaning it can carry out 5.34 quadrillion calculations per second. It will be capable of more than 2.5 times the amount of scientific computing performed by Yellowstone.
The NWSC is the result of a partnership among the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR), the operating entity for NCAR; UW; the state of Wyoming; Cheyenne LEADS; the Wyoming Business Council; and Cheyenne Light, Fuel & Power. The NWSC is operated by NCAR under sponsorship of the NSF.
The NWSC contains one of the world's most powerful supercomputers dedicated to improving scientific understanding of climate change, severe weather, air quality and other vital atmospheric science and geo-science topics. The center also houses a premier data storage and archival facility that holds historical climate records and other information.