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Primeur weekly 2016-09-19

Focus on Europe

PRACE 13th Call for Proposals includes new Marconi system ...

European Research Council grant for new simulation methods for predicting performance of the next generation of aircraft ...

New NKN international network to boost EU-India collaboration ...

Prize for predicting chemicals' harmful effects without animal testing ...

PHENOMEN is a FET-Open Research Project aiming to lay the foundations a new information technology ...

Middleware

Altair acquires Solid Iris Technologies, expert in photorealistic rendering and visualization ...

Bright Computing announces reseller agreement with SGI ...

Faster parallel computing: New programming language delivers fourfold speed-ups on problems common in the age of Big Data ...

Huawei and ESI sign a Memorandum of Understanding to foster innovative HPC solutions to accelerate industrial manufacturing ...

Ohio Supercomputer Center launches OnDemand 3.0 ...

Hardware

DDN names Robert Triendl SVP Global Sales, Marketing and Field Services ...

GridGain Systems introduces in-memory computing solutions deployed on Microsoft Azure to address the needs of the financial services industry ...

Mellanox and Cumulus deliver first complete 10/25/50/100 Gb/s Ethernet open networking switch portfolio ...

Mellanox launches 25 Gb/s Ethernet SFP28 optical transceivers and active optical cables for data centre networks ...

Historic Dell and EMC merger complete; forms world's largest privately controlled tech company ...

NetApp introduces new version of SANtricity storage software ...

Chelsio Terminator 5 Unified Wire adapters achieve first-to-market delivery of Windows 10 ...

DDN's new object storage offering enables IT pros to deliver high performance and big cost savings ...

Alabama's new fastest supercomputer accelerates UAB research ...

Canada Foundation for Innovation provides $1,1 million for CBRAIN computing platform at McGill ...

Cirrascale launches expanded multi-GPU solutions with NVIDIA Tesla P100 accelerated computing platform ...

CSIRO Australia issues Request for Tender for an Advanced Technology Cluster ...

Loyola faculty win $280K grant from National Science Foundation to supercharge research computing power available on campus ...

Huawei HPC solution with GPU acceleration showcased at GTC China 2016 ...

Huawei releases Intel Rack Scale Design-based servers ...

Pioneering research paves the way towards exascale optical networks ...

Applications

GridGain Professional Edition 1.7 adds non-collocated joins plus enhanced integration with the GridGain Web console management tool for improved in-memory computing ...

CWI launches spin-off Stokhos Emergency Mathematics ...

SDSC supercomputer modelling reveals acrobatics of CRISPR-Cas9 technology ...

Promising drug leads identified to combat heart disease ...

Prestigious fellowship brings environmental science into the digital age ...

A computer simulation to spare children from heart surgery ...

New NVIDIA Pascal GPUs accelerate deep learning inference ...

European Medium-Range Weather Centre (ECMWF) commits to pushing the limits of predictability in 2025 Strategy ...

A4L announces research award from SOSCIP and OCE ...

UAB researchers use expanded computing power to accelerate Big-Data science ...

Using Blue Waters supercomputer to better understand Ebola transmission ...

Blue Waters supercomputer used to develop a standard for partisan gerrymandering, generates 800 million maps ...

Unique code-generating software makes weather and climate forecasting easier ...

Researchers use Edison supercomputer to improve performance and energy efficiency of bioinformatics application ...

DOE High Performance Computing for Manufacturing Programme seeks to fund new proposals to advance energy technologies ...

Finland and IBM partner to develop personalized health care and spark economic growth with Watson ...

Storms and tides combine to cause coastal flooding around the Clyde ...

Diffraction-controlled laser-driven proton acceleration ...

The Cloud

University of Michigan and Yottabyte partner to accelerate data-intensive research ...

Blue Waters supercomputer used to develop a standard for partisan gerrymandering, generates 800 million maps

This Blue Waters-generated map shows a redistricting option for North Carolina.14 Sep 2016 Urbana-Champaign - University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign researchers, Professor Wendy K. Tam Cho and Yan Y. Liu recently won 1st place in the Common Cause 2016 First Amendment Gerrymander Standard Writing Competition with their proposal of a novel method for identifying partisan gerrymandering, which they created using the Blue Waters supercomputer at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA) at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Partisan gerrymandering is the drawing of electoral district lines in a manner that discriminates against a political party. In his 2016 State of the Union address, President Obama called on lawmakers and the public to take a number of steps to change the current redistricting systems. "We have to end the practice of drawing our congressional districts so that politicians can pick their voters, and not the other way around", stated President Obama.

Wendy K. Tam Cho recounted that while the Supreme Court has also expressed considerable interest in curtailing partisan gerrymandering, they have lacked the tools to "assess how much unfairness is in a map". Wendy K. Tam Cho and Yan Y. Liu have used Blue Waters with other research projects, and knew that the solution to identifying partisan gerrymanders rests with high performance computing.

Their idea was sparked by a long-standing discussion in redistricting circles about creating the set of all possible maps. Having such a comparison set provides the proper context for judging a disputed partisan gerrymander. However, the size of this set is astronomically and prohibitively large. Wendy K. Tam Cho stated: "People have always liked that idea but the ability to draw all possible maps is not possible."

Wendy K. Tam Cho and Yan Y. Liu delved into the substantive theoretic justifications and devised a path that dramatically shrinks the number of necessary maps. They then developed a massively parallel algorithm with runtime collaboration among problem-solving processes which utilizes Blue Waters to drastically increase the ability to create a very large number of maps that satisfy specified criteria.

"We drew 800 million maps. No one has drawn more than about 10,000, and usually the number is about 1,000. We create orders of magnitude more maps which enables the type of statistical analysis the Court needs to explore political gerrymanders in context. Our maps are not just greater in number, they are also of much higher quality than anyone has ever produced."

Moving forward with the research, Wendy K. Tam Cho and Yan Y. Liu hope to put further work into the algorithm, tailoring it closely to Supreme Court mandates, increasing its efficiency, and making it applicable to an even wider array of political scenarios, as this research is ongoing and maps are in constant flux. Their research is an embodiment of the computational tools that the legal system needs in order to determine a workable standard for regulating partisan gerrymandering, which the courts have been trying to do for decades.

Researchers can develop tools, but ultimately, only the Court can adopt the use of these tools as the legal standard. All the same, by providing the legal community with the computational tools that are necessary for policing gerrymandering, Wendy K. Tam Cho and Yan Y. Liu's work is a step toward the future where high performance computing will have an increasing influence in society and governance.

"We spend a lot of time thinking about computing for a host of different problems, but not generally in social science. Social science has been slow getting into the computational realm, especially high performance computing, but there are many ways we can use computing to improve society by, for instance, integrating these technological advances with our democratic ideals."

Source: National Center for Supercomputing Applications - NCSA

Back to Table of contents

Primeur weekly 2016-09-19

Focus on Europe

PRACE 13th Call for Proposals includes new Marconi system ...

European Research Council grant for new simulation methods for predicting performance of the next generation of aircraft ...

New NKN international network to boost EU-India collaboration ...

Prize for predicting chemicals' harmful effects without animal testing ...

PHENOMEN is a FET-Open Research Project aiming to lay the foundations a new information technology ...

Middleware

Altair acquires Solid Iris Technologies, expert in photorealistic rendering and visualization ...

Bright Computing announces reseller agreement with SGI ...

Faster parallel computing: New programming language delivers fourfold speed-ups on problems common in the age of Big Data ...

Huawei and ESI sign a Memorandum of Understanding to foster innovative HPC solutions to accelerate industrial manufacturing ...

Ohio Supercomputer Center launches OnDemand 3.0 ...

Hardware

DDN names Robert Triendl SVP Global Sales, Marketing and Field Services ...

GridGain Systems introduces in-memory computing solutions deployed on Microsoft Azure to address the needs of the financial services industry ...

Mellanox and Cumulus deliver first complete 10/25/50/100 Gb/s Ethernet open networking switch portfolio ...

Mellanox launches 25 Gb/s Ethernet SFP28 optical transceivers and active optical cables for data centre networks ...

Historic Dell and EMC merger complete; forms world's largest privately controlled tech company ...

NetApp introduces new version of SANtricity storage software ...

Chelsio Terminator 5 Unified Wire adapters achieve first-to-market delivery of Windows 10 ...

DDN's new object storage offering enables IT pros to deliver high performance and big cost savings ...

Alabama's new fastest supercomputer accelerates UAB research ...

Canada Foundation for Innovation provides $1,1 million for CBRAIN computing platform at McGill ...

Cirrascale launches expanded multi-GPU solutions with NVIDIA Tesla P100 accelerated computing platform ...

CSIRO Australia issues Request for Tender for an Advanced Technology Cluster ...

Loyola faculty win $280K grant from National Science Foundation to supercharge research computing power available on campus ...

Huawei HPC solution with GPU acceleration showcased at GTC China 2016 ...

Huawei releases Intel Rack Scale Design-based servers ...

Pioneering research paves the way towards exascale optical networks ...

Applications

GridGain Professional Edition 1.7 adds non-collocated joins plus enhanced integration with the GridGain Web console management tool for improved in-memory computing ...

CWI launches spin-off Stokhos Emergency Mathematics ...

SDSC supercomputer modelling reveals acrobatics of CRISPR-Cas9 technology ...

Promising drug leads identified to combat heart disease ...

Prestigious fellowship brings environmental science into the digital age ...

A computer simulation to spare children from heart surgery ...

New NVIDIA Pascal GPUs accelerate deep learning inference ...

European Medium-Range Weather Centre (ECMWF) commits to pushing the limits of predictability in 2025 Strategy ...

A4L announces research award from SOSCIP and OCE ...

UAB researchers use expanded computing power to accelerate Big-Data science ...

Using Blue Waters supercomputer to better understand Ebola transmission ...

Blue Waters supercomputer used to develop a standard for partisan gerrymandering, generates 800 million maps ...

Unique code-generating software makes weather and climate forecasting easier ...

Researchers use Edison supercomputer to improve performance and energy efficiency of bioinformatics application ...

DOE High Performance Computing for Manufacturing Programme seeks to fund new proposals to advance energy technologies ...

Finland and IBM partner to develop personalized health care and spark economic growth with Watson ...

Storms and tides combine to cause coastal flooding around the Clyde ...

Diffraction-controlled laser-driven proton acceleration ...

The Cloud

University of Michigan and Yottabyte partner to accelerate data-intensive research ...